The Innocent, the new album by Jim Byrne

Photo: the innocent jim byrne. Launch:
Brel, Ashton Lane, Saturday 25th February, 2012

A wooden mallet, an armchair and a Ewan MacCall CD

Lizzie McColgan
Tel. 0141 576 9446
Book Online

Jim Byrne follows up the critically-acclaimed Every Day is Sunshine with his latest album, The Innocent. It's a musical leap forward; no generic Americana clich?s. But it also builds on what Jim is known for: eccentric songwriting influenced by early 20th century American music. There's also Jim's deeply craggy voice: a hypnotic mix of old-time crooner, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and phrasing that at times evokes Leonard Cohen.

The new songs have a nostalgic impulse, a hankering for more innocent times. Most are laid-back, comforting even (balm for hard times?). There's a strangeness, too, though. Should the lullaby Sleepy Head be sung to a crying baby or feature in a horror film, implying awful goings-on just out of sight?

As on Jim's previous album, he's joined by some of Glasgow's best musicians, notably?Yvonne Lyon (delicate piano on Sleepy Head) and virtuoso guitarist and banjo picker Graham Mackintosh (Satisfied Mind, Thirteen). Jim?s brother, Peter Byrne, adds harmonic richness on backing vocals (check the chorus on Sand in your Shoes) as does Glasgow singer songwriter Dinny (Two Empty Chairs, You Are A Good Friend Of Mine).

The album's left-field songwriting is complemented by a production that takes a weird route at times. As well as the tuba on Two Empty Chairs (which might remind you of a German oompah band), the percussion on Fancy Wooden Box is supplied by hitting an armchair with a wooden mallet. The backing beat on You Are a Good Friend of Mine employs a Nike shoe box, a?Ewan MacColl?CD cover and a Bic pen (it had to be a Ewan MacColl?CD cover, no other CD would have had the same effect).

Reviews of? Every Day is Sunshine
"A beautifully produced collection of Americana"?The Daily Record. Four Stars
"..full of cinematic turns of phrase, dressed up in alluring melodies delivered by some of the most respected players on the modern-day Celtic Folk scene." UNCUT
"a heady and exotic mix. "?Q Magazine


Jim Byrne is an award-winning singer songwriter from Glasgow, Scotland. He has performed across the UK, France, Italy, the USA (notably The Bitter End in New York) and Canada and over the last couple of years has become a regular at festivals and music venues. He has supported Otis Gibbs, Benny Gallagher (of Gallagher and Lyle) and played alongside Wizz Jones (reputed taught Eric Clapton blues guitar) among others. As a songwriter he has written with jazz singer Carol Kidd MBE and Marti Pellow