Dispatched to Dorris Island, West End Festival and future fun

Added on Monday 15 Jun 2009

I had a great time last Sunday as a guest of Ciaran Dorris' radio show on Celtic Music Radio; I was dispatched to Dorris Island (a bit like desert island discs) and had to choose 4 songs, something to read, a person to have dinner with and a luxury item. I'll admit I caused Ciaran a bit of stress; I was held up by the chatty Alan Broom who was working in the office. Then I had to disappear as I'd forgotten to bring the CD with my chosen songs - it was still in the car - and when Ciaran wanted to play them, I couldn't tell him what order they were in, on the CD. In general, I inadvertently tripped Ciaran up at every turn. Good fun for the listeners - not sure Ciaran thought it was as funny though. Sorry Ciaran.

The songs I choose for the show were 'Mardi Gras In New Orleans' by New Orleans piano player Professor Longhair, Roly Poly by country music legend Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, 'It's Been a Long Time' by Steve Forbert and 'Days Aren't Long Enough' by Steve Earle. I also played a couple of of my own new songs on my acoustic guitar - which wasn't the best idea as I didn't know them as well as I thought I did. I couldn't have been that bad though, as I did get a comment on my Myspace the next day (from a listener) inviting me over to play some gigs in Nashville. :-) The invite didn't include fares to get there - so I think we'll have to put that on hold for now. It is an exciting prospect - you never know - could be something to work towards.

I choose Kieth Richards as my dinner guest; I think I would have a great time chatting to Kieth and loved the idea of getting the guitars out for a Jam after dinner. The book I choose to take with me was, 'the Book of Prologues' by Alastair Gray; mainly because it was a book I had started reading before we moved house a couple of years ago - and it disappeared during the flitting - never to be seen again. We did have a big clear-out of hundreds of books when we moved; perhaps it disappeared into the Caledonian bookshop with the rest.

If you are interested in reading authors introductions to their books (getting the excuses in first, attacking other authors, replying to critics and so on) - all the way from the 700s then this is the book for you. It's funny and heavy at the same time; the funny bits are in the comments on each entry by Alastair Gray or one of his literary friends.

Gigging in the West End

Last night I played a gig at the Aragon on Byres Road as part of, 'Folk blues and beyond' - which is part of the West End Festival. It was a great night of music - as also on the bill were friends, The Ballachulish Hellhounds and Crawford Smith. There were lots of friendly faces in the audience including Mathew, Mags, Steph, Issi and Davy, Ciaran and Outi Karhula.

I'd like to say a big hello to the friendly couple I met when I finished my set; sorry I didn't catch your names - but thanks for the nice words and encouragement. Hope to see you at future gigs.

I'll be playing another gig this Friday as part of the West End Festival in the Liquid Ship on Great Western Road. On the bill will be Patrick Monaghan, Ciaran Dorris and John Alexander. I'm looking forward to it - the Liquid ship is one of my favourite venues.

Recording at home

I'm still learning how to record in my home studio. One thing I'm learning is that the entry level equipment I've got is a bit limiting, e.g. I can't record acoustic guitar and voice at the same time; as I've only got one microphone input. Well that's not strictly speaking true, I could record both if I set the microphone to pick up both my singing and guitar; but I've tried that and the quality was poor, so I gave up on that strategy. Not to worry - I've plenty of time to record that tricky second album.

Future fun

We've (i.e., myself and Pat) got quite a few things to look forward to over the next few weeks, including attending a songwriting retreat led by Martin Stephenson, Scott MacDonald and Helen McCookerybook. This will be at Friars Carse Hotel in Dumfries.

I'm also going down to London with Pat to play some gigs; apparently the streets are paved with gold. Check my myspace for dates if you are in London and fancy coming to say hi. http://www.myspace.com/dexterslim

All the best, Jim

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What the critics said about 'Every day is sunshine' by Jim Byrne.

  • "a heady and exotic mix. " Q Magazine.
  • "..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
  • Album of the week on Celtic Music Radio
  • Added to 'God's Jukebox' on Radio Two Mark Lamarr show
  • "A beautifully produced collection of Americana" The Daily Record. Four Stars
  • "Great record... a complete, compelling listen. ", Adam Levy (Songwriter/artist, guitarist with Nora Jones)
  • "ten beautiful, atmospheric songs..", Folk, Blues and beyond
  • "a fresh, original album", Eilidh Patterson (singer songwriter, vocalist with Beth Nielsen Chapman)
  • Sounding like Johnny Cash never left Folsom prison...meditations on life that'll soon sound like old friends. Spiral Earth

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