Let’s start by joining up some song titles and making a sentence. Saturday night is alright for walking in the rain. Actually, it wasn’t and thoughts of gratuitous and pointless violence soon crossed my mind as my waterproofing proved inadequate for a Woodlands Road deluge. Fortunately, God has a plan and shelter was available and duly sought in the salubrious surrounding of Brel. As chance would have it, Jim Byrne and The Blackwoods would soon be playing there.
On arrival, Dinny was playing a set of covers and her own songs that ably complemented what was soon to come. She wears her heart on her sleeve which is no bad thing when you have a voice that sells emotion like few others could.
Should there be a need for a prince of mellow mellifluousness then Jim Byrne would be a prime contender for that crown. Although he did not go as far as wearing an Aran sweater - remaining instead the man with the hat – you could see him dominating what used to be called light entertainment. With The Blackwoods flexibly accompanying him on a variety of swappable instruments, he, in his own self effacing way, soon had the attentive audience right where he wanted them.
More old timey than trendy Americana, Jim Byrne’s music drew from the dustbowls of the good old US of A and he injected his songs, and indeed the seamlessly integrated covers, with a wholesome warmth and an endearing sentimentality that sounded like it had been transported through time from a rose tinted past. Of the songs from his new album “The Innocent”, “Sweeter Than A Rose” stood out as the song that defines what Jim Byrne is all about.
As the last song faded into the night, I have to admit to feeling all warm and fuzzy and at one with the world. Outside though, it is still raining. 47 seconds later, I am considering the merits of Swiss made assault rifles again. I think I might need to play Jim Byrne’s album when I get home. Music therapy, as it were.