On these dark nights album reviewed by 'The Letter'

Added on Wednesday 8 Apr 2009

I was very pleased to get this positive album review by The Letter - the website run by web designer Blair Millen.

There's something warmly familiar about the debut album from Glaswegian singer-songwriter Jim Byrne that resonates with me. Being a fan of people like Will Oldham, Elliott Smith and Michael Hurley, I can appreciated the gentle, country-tinged, guitar on opening track The Handle's Broken On My Cup. While the whispery vocals on Come Dance With Me bring to mind Lambchop's Kurt Wagner. Byrne has placed himself in good company here.

Photo: The Letter. What a departure though. Byrne's solo sound couldn't be further from the raucous rock of previous band Loris. Where we once had big riffs and howling choruses we've now got sweet melodies and blissful harmonies. Check out My Weather Girl for the epitome of understated pop... all 90 seconds of it!

On These Dark Nights is a beautiful album; ideal listening for those cold winter evenings. It's secret lies not only in the combination of sing-along melodies and simple instrumentation but in the vocals. With only guitars (including banjo and banjo mandolin) and, on Sunday Morning, a Wurlitzer piano to accompany the occasionally fragile-sounding voice of Byrne, the opportunity for close scrutiny is there, but it's this vulnerability to Byrne's singing that turns out to be one of his strengths.

Thanks Blair :-)

All the best,

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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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