Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri – that’s blues country. He grew up on the city’s north side. One of the neighbourhood bars had Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. As a teenager going to music clubs, he and his buddy were often the only white people in the place. “We never had any problems. We were too naïve, and had too much respect for the music and culture – they knew it, they could tell.”
By age thirteen, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964. Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual who’s who of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Jim has been on the blues highway for 45 years.
Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70s after years of drifting, working odd jobs and playing music. In 1981 he put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. In 1986 the Jim Byrnes Band played 300 nights.
Jim Byrnes’ fame as an actor has grown immeasurably from his too-numerous-to-mention TV roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show.
Jim has proven that a serious car accident in 1972 has done anything but hinder him. Despite two swipes with death and some pretty hard knocks, Byrnes has still managed to rack up an enviable string of credits, both on and off-screen.
Jim’s first love, however, is the blues. His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. In 1981 he released ‘Burnin’’, followed in 1987 with I’ve Turned My Nights into Days and 1995’s Juno-Award winning That River.
Jim’s has produced four outstanding albums in six years since he hooked up with Steve Dawson, one of North America’s most critically acclaimed roots music producers. 2004’s Fresh Horses and 2006’s gospel tinged Juno Award winning House Of Refuge set standards that aren’t often equalled.
My Walking Stick was the 2009 release … a blood and guts, behind your knees, love, life, death, and after life release from the multi award winning Mr. Byrnes. Jim and Steve continued to explore the gospel, blues, rockabilly, and country genres, and once again pull it all together in an original and unique bluesy way.
A little more than a year later, the same team got together and produced Everywhere West. A salute to Jim’s origins and influences, the CD sprinkled three exciting new originals in amongst tracks by seminal blues artists.
In 2012, Jim decided to record I Hear The Wind in the Wires, an album of songs from the golden age of country music – many of which he’s been listening to for all his life. This time around, he turns back the hands of time to take his listeners into the world of country music, but it’s not the kind of country we’ve heard on the radio any time this century. This is surely the most natural, satisfying and downright joyous album of Byrnes’ lengthy career. Steve Dawson is back in the saddle again as producer and multi-instrumentalist (electric, acoustic, slide, pedal steel and baritone guitar, banjo, ukelele). To hear these two men celebrate the music of Buck Owens, Ray Price, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins and other country music legends is a rare and exhilarating experience.
Jim Byrnes plays 150 dates a year in North America and Europe. He will continue to bring his music to stages all over the world. Who could ask for more than that?
Steve Kozak has been a mainstay on the western Canadian Blues scene since the mid-eighties performing his up-tempo brand of working man’s blues to enthusiastic audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest. Backed by some of Vancouver’s top musicians, Steve has built a reputation as one of western Canada’s premier Blues acts. This year Kozak gained national attention by winning the Maple Blues Award for New Artist of the Year.
Throughout his career Steve has shared the stage, and played with many Blues greats including; Pee Wee Crayton, James Harman, Big Joe Duskin, Sonny Rhodes, Eddie ‘The Chief’ Clearwater, Duke Robillard, Rod Piazza, Rick Estrin, Mark Hummel, Lee Oskar, Nick Curran, Big Joe Louis, Mitch Woods, Tom Holland, Kenny Blues Boss Wayne, Miss Robin Banks, and Rockabilly guitar legend Evan Johns.
The 2013 Maple Blues Award winner has recently released his fourth and highly anticipated CD ‘LOOKIN’ AT LUCKY’, a compilation of original compositions featuring special guest James Harman. It has twice reach #1 spots on Blues and Roots radio station top 20 charts in Canada, hit #10 in the top 50 Blues albums getting radio play in the US and has been receiving rave reviews since its release in August of 2012.
Brickhouse is an original band with a vision. A vision that one day ‘live’music will rule the day… again! For 17 years, fans have hummed, sung and even lived the songs that bring them back time and time again. Singer Rob Bracken invites you into the ‘kitchen’, where sights, smells and sounds are tossed on a groove and served on a platter. Never without a house gig, always a good time.
Dubbed as “Vancouver’s busiest band” (Storman Norman, Rock 101 Sunday Blues) Brickhouse has won the respect among musicians as a band that makes a difference, where the ‘song’ is the focus, accompanied by individual inspiration. On any given night, old and new friends share the stage to play their part in the classic “Brickhouse” experience.
With a list of original material that rivals the number of keys on a full size piano, Brickhouse delivers a message that attracts the young at heart. With over 200 shows a year, it’s no wonder fans choose the set list before the band does.
Now a six piece ensemble, the sounds are forever evolving into a groove that’ll knock your socks off!
Rob Bracken – Lead Vocals and harmonica
Ray Keesh – Bass Guitar
Ed Johnson – Drums and Percussion
Oldrich (OZ) Zitek – Saxaphone and Backing Vocals
Todd Taylor – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Darryl Havers – Hammond Organ, Keyboards and backing Vocals
Matt is a veteran singer/songwriter from Toronto. Born and raised a true piece of Canadian bacon and proud of it. His music can satisfy a wide range of pallets, from straight Rock to sweet soul, right down to the salty blues. A high- energy live show that is sure to leave you satiated. Matt is recording his first solo effort atStraitSound Studios in Roberts Creek with Producer Ray Fulber.
His band features all local talent with Pat Haavisto (Drums), Ray Fulber (Bass) and Tim Hearsey (guitar) and don’t miss the soulful, sexy backup vocals of the Jack Danielas… Matt is thrilled to be bringing his brand of heavy rockin blues to Pender Harbour this year! Stay tuned for the brand new album.
For more information go to: www.watsonrocks.com
Arriving on the west coast from New York City, Tim made Vancouver his adopted home and quickly gained a reputation as one of the city’s rising young guitar talents. Hard work and dedication to his music have rewarded him with the friendship and respect of his peers. By day, Tim works with Vancouver’s finest studio talents at his ‘Stella Studio’ recording facility and at night, is still one of the city’s most in-demand live performers/sidemen.
In a career spanning over three decades, his music has been recorded by the likes of Amos Garrett to Jim Byrnes and has been featured in many films and hit TV series. In 1996 he co-wrote the Juno Award winning album “That River” (Best Blues/Gospel Album by Jim Byrnes).
Although he now lives in Canada, Maple Blues Award winner David Vest is an authentic, Southern-bred boogie-woogie piano player and blues shouter. Born in Alabama in 1943, David grew up in Birmingham, near Tuxedo Junction. He played his first paying gig in 1957, and by the time he opened for Roy Orbison on New Year’s Day 1962, he was a seasoned veteran of Gulf Coast roadhouses and honky tonks.
At the age of 17, David went on tour with Jerry Woodard and the Esquires, some of whom later became key members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and the Muscle Shoals Horns. While still with Woodard, he jammed with Ace Cannon, Bill Black’s Combo and the Jimmy Dorsey Band in clubs along the Florida Panhandle, where fellow Alabaman James Harman would soon make his mark.
He had seen Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash by 1958. He saw Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, and John Lee Hooker in the prime of their careers. Sam Cooke, Clyde McPhatter and Hank Ballard, too. About the time he turned 21 he found himself onstage backing Big Joe Turner, who said that David Vest’s playing made him feel like he was back home in Kansas City.
He had also worked the southern gospel circuit, appearing on programs with the Statesmen and the Blackwood Brothers. His first recording featured the last song written by Alton Delmore. David himself wrote the first songs ever recorded by Tammy Wynette, as detailed in Jimmy McDonough’s bio of the country legend. He also dated a sister of the Louvin Brothers, toured with Faron Young (who threatened to kill him), backed Red Foley in a show where all the stars got robbed, worked in a theatre with Fannie Flagg and became the first American artist to record an album in Romania.
Later David would receive the “direct laying on of hands” from piano legends like Big Walter The Thunderbird, Katie Webster and Floyd Dixon. He would tour extensively with Jimmy T99 Nelson and Miss Lavelle White, when he wasn’t playing bebop in jazz clubs with Jimmy Ford and Straight No Chaser.
From 2002 through 2006, he was co-leader of the Paul deLay Band, reaching the Top Ten on Billboard’s national blues chart with The Last of the Best. After deLay’s untimely death, Vest joined forces with Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne to form supergroup Northwest Pianorama, and briefly led a Sun Ra tribute band.
David’s many festival appearances include Bumbershoot, King Biscuit, Waterfront (Portland), Winthrop, Edmonton, Calgary, Tremblant, Baltimore, Houston, Ritzville and N.O. Jazzfest (with Miss Lavelle White). Time has done little to diminish David’s level of energy, skill and drive. Whether working solo or with his band, he continues to bring audiences to their feet. and his latest CD East Meets Vest (his fourth as leader since 2002) was named “one of the best blues albums of 2012” by Holger Petersen of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues.
John Lee Sanders can sit in front of a piano and transport you from the everyday to a smoky New Orleans Cajun Bar, then on to a Blues Club in Chicago, and still further on to an uptown Jazz Club, all in one set. He presents a musical gumbo of boogie piano, tenor sax and a soulful voice of tremendous spiritual range. An Emmy nominated composer and three time Canadian Music Award winner, he has recently been nominated for a 2012 Maple Blues Music award.
John Lee will be performing a Gospel Show with talented Dawn Pemberton and Sojourner member, Will Sanders. He will also be closing the Festival on Sunday night at the Garden Bay Pub.
Considered by many to be one of Canada’s finest “blues” pianists, Willie MacCalder plays and sings a wide range of Blues and R&B styles, featuring a huge repertoire of traditional blues, originals, boogie-woogie, and jazz standards. Willie’s unique, trademark style is so smooth and precise that easily challenges Johnnie Johnson for the top spot. His vocal style has been compared to a smoother and blusier Jerry Lee Lewis.
Over the years, he has earned a number of industry music poll awards, and his trademark piano sound is heard prominently on all of the popular Powder Blues hits.
Joe has performed in the U.S. National finger picking championships and was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival’s New Folk songwriting contest.
“With intricate fingerstyle guitar, earthy baritone and lyrics from life, Joe Stanton does what he loves – writing and performing acoustic music.”
Joe’s philosophy of “playing wherever they’ll listen” has taken him and his Martin D28, on a 30 year journey from his favorites haunts in his home on the Sunshine coast, to a concert in a hot air balloon over the Swiss Alps, to the Kerrville Folk festival in the hill country of Texas, to the world fingerpicking championships in Winfield Kansas.
Joe’s acoustic guitar style has been likened to his heroes, Leo Kottke, Chet Atkins, Bruce Cockburn, and his songwriting has resulted in 4 cd’s, styles ranging from Bluegrass, to contemporary folk, to alt country, all receiving radio airplay in Canada, the US , Europe and Australia, and 2 vinyl singles in the 1980’s earning 2 BCCMA award nominations .
Over the years Joe has performed all over Canada, The U.S. and Europe. Highlights include performing for the Olympic Torch Relay, The Kerrville Folk festival in Texas, the Island folk festival in Duncan, and He has been chosen for the Vancouver Province’s Playlist 3 times.
Joe is always working on the next recording project, His most recent “Vintage” is a compilation of favorite songs from all of his releases, along with a few new solo guitar instumentals .and was released June 30 2012.
Photo above: Joe Stanton with Simon Paradis.
Joe Stanton and Simon Paradis are performing together at a FREE show from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm at John Henry’s Marina, Garden Bay on Saturday, June 8, 2013.