Stony Plain Records (1995)
1. No Special Rider [mp3]
2. Treat Me This Way
3. That River
4. All Over You
5. Every Waking Moment
6. If I Ever Cried
7. Junior Burn The House Down
8. Otto's Mood
9. I Got It Bad
10. Wrapped Up, Tied Up
11. Still Stuck On You
From the Original Stony Plain Press Release
This is the first album released in eight years for Jim Byrnes. In that time, he has built himself into a major force in the television community with lead roles in 'Wiseguy', 'Neon Rider' and presently as co-star on 'Highlander' the TV series. Showing in 163 North America markets and over 32 countries worldwide, Jim has made himself into a high profile figure both here and abroad. Byrnes has parlayed that profile into the continued promotion of blues to the nation by hosting CBC's 'Hooked On the Blues' which premiered August 19th and will be rebroadcast nationally throughout the year.
Despite his enviable lists of TV and Film credits, Byrnes never lost the passion for his first love, music. The release of 'That River' is the much anticipated culmination of years of writing and collecting songs, a project he began while filming 'Highlander' in Paris. "This CD is a reflection of my respect for the blues, for R&B, for soul and for jazz all rolled into one." said Jim Byrnes.
What People Said
The cut line says Swing/Blues, and that's accurate enough one supposes. But the music played here is more evocative of the later '40s black rhytm and blues before it degenerated into rock. Byrnes is a veteran of the west coast jazz scene and, we suspect, strongly inflienced by Doc Cheatham. Anyway, what you'll hear and enjoy is a smoky-voiced singer and a bootin' band that matches his own drive. Together, they create music that moves, really moves. There's no palpable angst, just tightly disiclipined musicianship that delivers something that's all too rare these days. We're talkin' fun. Byrnes is in control all the way with his voice and strong guitar, but listen as well for the bodaciously blistering sounds from the horn section. Goooood album.
Vancouver-based blues verteran Jim Byrnes has been central to the local blues scene for so long, you might hasve taken his mastery of blues and soul music for granted ... and that would be a mistake. Byrnes has a tight, multi-faceted band honed to a razor-sharp edge by years of one-nighters. The singer reshapes licks burned into our collective unconsciousness by a patheon of soul music giants. (Al Green and James Brown band hero Jimmy Nolan are a pair of his richest sources.) Byrnes builds a singular style from his encyclopedic knowledge of the form. He can love talk a soul ballad to life or juke a jump blues or guitar shuffle into a frenzy with equal facility. He's the man, and he doesn't put his magic on record very often. So, don't miss this tasty slice of Byrnes' genius ... and be sure to catch his next trip to town. Highly recommended.
- Times-Colonist, Victoria
Vancouver's Byrnes makes an overdue return to commercial blues on this ultra-classy collection. Blending neatly with a tight, horn-driven band, his smoky voice glides soulfully through standouts like 'All Over You', the jump blues 'No Special Rider', Ellington's 'I Got It Bad' and Darryl Burgess's 'Still Stuck On You'. Topping the bill is the elegant title track single, the best thing that Byrnes has ever done, and a definite contender for a long run.
- The Record
The new disc captures the intensity of Byrnes' stage show and if there is any justice one of the truly nice guys in the world of entertainment will finally get the same kind of recognition for his music as he has for his acting abilities over the past few years.
- The Edmonton Journal
The disc recalls the way Long John Baldry used to deftly mix the blues with soul and R&B. Byrnes' passion for the music is obvious throuighout. And so it should be. After all, the blues prepared Byrnes for the life that lay ahead of him.
- The Calgary Herald
His new offering, the first in many years, is infectious and energetic, a must for big band blues lovers. The first single 'That River', is a beautifully crafted piece. The band is fantastic live ... check 'em out!
- THE Magazine, Vancouver
'That River' is the third album from this Juno Award, Leo, Genie, MapleBlues, Canadian Folk Music Awards winner and member of the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame. This eleven track album of original and cover tunes shows that you can take the boy out of St. Louis but you can't take the St. Louis blues out of the boy. Among the tracks on the album in a jumping rockabilly song to get things started and a haunting rendition of the Duke Ellington piece 'I Got it Bad'. It may be called the blues but the music of Jim Byrnes is high energy songs that makes you feel good, not bad.
Jim Byrnes - Vocals, Guitar
Mike Kalanj - Keyboards
Tom Colclough - Tenor Sax
Derry Byrne - Trumpet
Tom Keenlyside - Alto and Baritone Sax
Bill Runge - Alto and Tenor Sax and Bass Guitar
Jerry Adolphe - Drums
Recorded at Blue Wave Studios
Tom Keenlyside - Producer
Jim Byrnes - Executive Producer
Perry Barrett - Engineer