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Discovery Coast Music Festival Back in 2010

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge

After a one-year hiatus, Bella Coola’s Discovery Coast Music Festival will again fill the valley with world-class music on Saturday and Sunday, July 24 and 25.

The festival committee is proud to announce that legendary multi Juno Award winning blues and roots artist Jim Byrnes will be headlining their 11th festival, backed by a recent addition, The Sojourners gospel trio. Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri ­— blues country. He grew up on the city’s north side, where one of the neighborhood bars had Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. Starting piano at age five, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar by the age of 13.

Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual who’s who of blues history: Furry Lewis, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Taj Mahal, Robert Cray and many others. Byrnes moved to Vancouver in the mid-70s, and later put together a band that became a staple of the local music scene. In 1986, the Jim Byrnes Band played 300 nights. Although he has gained fame as an actor, Jim’s first love is the blues, and he still plays 150 dates a year in North America and Europe.

His evocative, smoky vocals are found in a truth that doesn’t come overnight. In Jim’s words, “Early bluesmen were really ‘songsters’ who interspersed their blues with spirituals, popular music, folk songs, anything to get the crowd to take note, and I suppose that’s how I cast myself when I began my career. In the spring of 2003…I leapt at the opportunity to create a musical dialogue with the very finest players of a whole new generation; sort of fathers and sons, you know? It’s been a long, hard road and so ‘Yahoo, thank the Lord’, I thought, ‘fresh horses’.”

His latest recordings are the result of a musical collaboration that explores gospel, blues, rockabilly, and country, pulled together in an original and unique way, and backed by the critically acclaimed Vancouver based gospel trio, The Sojourners. Formative years spent singing in their home churches in the deep south give The Sojourners’ sound an authentic edge that only comes with experience.

This is real gospel, blessed with a soul that can’t be faked. It will remind listeners of the connection between civil rights, social justice and gospel that Mosely, Small and Sanders have explored throughout their careers. Mark your calendars now, so you won’t miss the legendary Jim Byrnes and The Sojourners when they bring it to the Bella Coola stage.

The 11th Annual Discovery Coast Music Festival in Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada July 24 & 25, 2010

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