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My Walking Stick
Black Hen Music (2009)

My Walking Stick Track Listing
  1. Ol' Rattler
  2. Walk On Boy
  3. My Walking Stick [mp3]
  4. Lookin' For A Love
  5. Ophelia
  6. Talk In Circles
  7. Three Shots
  8. Lonely Blue Boy (Danny's Song)
  9. Drown In My Own Tears
  10. I'm Living Off The Love You Give
  11. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
  12. I Want My Crown
  13. One Life (Creole Poetry)

Album Notes

My Walking Stick is the latest blood and guts, behind your knees, love, life, death, and after life release from the multi award winning Jim Byrnes. This is his third album in five years since he hooked up with Steve Dawson, one of North America’s most critically acclaimed roots music producers. They put together another world class band and 'My Walking Stick' finds them building on the roots of 2004’s Fresh Horses and 2006’s gospel tinged Juno Award winning House Of Refuge. They continue exploring gospel, blues, rockabilly, country, and once again pull it all together in an original and unique way.

As Byrnes puts it, "On this recording we've gone all over the map with some originals, some obscure covers of all sorts ... fun stuff with some of the best damn players in the world. You know, since I first got in cahoots with Steve I knew I'd found a great ally in genre bending and eliminating the pigeon holes often foisted on musical creativity”, says Byrnes. “I've been at this professionally for more than 40 years and I really feel that I'm only now discovering my true voice.”

Byrnes explains further. “John Hammond tells how in talking to Muddy Waters he asked about why he wanted to become a professional entertainer and, sure, there were the references to influences; Robert Johnson, Son House, The Mississippi Sheiks, Big Bill Broonzy, but his muse turned out to be GENE AUTRY! And so on this recording we've gone all over the map with some originals, some obscure covers of all sorts, a Robbie Robertson composition, retelling the stories of John Henry and Stagger Lee in different settings, all sorts of fun stuff with some of the best damn players in the world.”

What People Are Saying ...

"There aren't many albums like My Walking Stick being recorded today. Then again, there aren't many singers like Jim Byrnes around anymore either. Yet, with 'My Walking Stick' Byrnes has crafted a collection of songs that can stand up anywhere. It is an instantly likeable album full of musical integrity and dynamic performances." — No Depression
"Jim Byrnes is a legitimate blues music hero in Canada. Hopefully 'My Walking Stick' will earn Byrnes the stateside respect that he deserves."
— About.com

"Jim Byrnes is a triple threat, not just a singer-guitarist but an actor and writer as well. Byrnes' voice throughout the release is a throaty growl even when he's crooning to Ophelia and singing of sundry other matters."
— Acoustic Music.com

"St. Louis-born Jim Byrnes cross pollinates an exciting selection of genres on this, his umpteenth album. If you are not familiar with the music of Byrnes I think it is time you did something about it — like yesterday."
— Americana UK

"An album that finds deep blues, rough gospel, playful swing, and dreamy-eyed country getting along like distant relatives swapping tales at a well-oiled family reunion. The whole disc invites joyful participation; it's one jamboree that doesn't leave anybody out."
— The Georgia Straight

"On a well-chosen collection of traditionals, originals and covers (including the old-jazzed Irving Berlin title track), you hear Byrnes and his lived-in baritone pushed up on the shoulders of a best-imaginable band, outstandingly marshalled. This is the third strong Byrnes-Dawson collaboration in five years, and it's the finest yet.
— The Vancouver Province

"Like fellow countryman Colin Linden and the Band (whose "Ophelia" he covers here), Byrnes assimilates a variety of Americana influences, filters them through his grizzled, often spiritually based viewpoint, and delivers a wonderfully diverse disc, surely the equal of, and arguably better than, his 2007 Juno award-winning Album of the Year House of Refuge."
— All Music.com

"Whether covering Irving Berlin, Robbie Robertson, Mel Tillis ... among others, or serving up originals ... 'My Walking Stick' is a soulful, aural delight."
— The Record

Album Credits

Jim Byrnes - vocals, guitars
Steve Dawson - Weissenborn, slide, baritone, tremelo, lap steel, bass, acoustic & electric guitars,
mandotar, melotron, ukelele, pump organ and glockinspiel
Jesse Zobot - violin, viola
Lindsay Mitchell - guitar (track 4)
Chris Gestrin - organ, pump organ, Wurlitzer, piano
Keith Lowe- double bass
Stephen Hodges - drums and percussion (track 10)
Matt Chamberlain - drums and percussion
Jeanne Tolmie - background vocals (tracks 1, 6, 7, 13)
The Sojourners (Marcus Moseley, Will Sanders and Ron Small) - background vocals (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)