Jim Byrnes

This artist performed at the VFMF in 2017

Jim Byrnes


“Byrnes is never imitative of any other vocalist. He rides these tunes just right, with a perfect balance of passion and restraint — a winning combination in a bluesman of any era.” – allmusic.com

 Jim Byrnes lives and breathes music. He’s been on the blues highway for nearly fifty years, and he’s crooned, drawled, belted, hollered and sweet talked more songs into a microphone than most people even get to hear in a single lifetime.

He 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. By age thirteen, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964. Byrnes moved to Vancouver in the mid-70s, and in 1981, put together the Jim Byrnes Band – an outfit that became a staple of the local music scene.

He’s released numerous albums, five with producer Steve Dawson. They’ve covered the gamut, from the gospel, to blues, rockabilly, and country in an original and unique bluesy way. Jim’s evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight.

Over the years, he’s won multiple awards and 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. At the festival he’ll team up with The Sojourners for what will surely be a must-see event.