Who do I sound like?

Added on Friday 31 Oct 2008

Mention to someone that you play music and the first thing you will be asked is, 'what kind of music is it you play?' or 'who do you sound like?'. Hmmm - time to wrack my brains for an answer that will reflect my prejudices, not sound uncool and be a least be close to the truth. The problem is I don't really know who or what I sound like; I write songs and play them on an acoustic guitar.

So in general terms - it's acoustic music; but is it 'roots', 'folk', 'contemporary folk' 'country', 'alternative country', 'country blues', 'bluesy folk'??????

Who cares Jim, I hear you say; it's music 'man' - and there is only two sorts; good and bad.

You are right - at one level - it's all music - and you either like it or you don't. But in today's 'niche' music market - you need to know where you fit in - or it's impossible to promote yourself. At the most basic level, I need to write something about myself to send to gig promoters - and they need to know what type of music I play.

So with that in mind I asked some of my friends to tell me, firstly what kind of music I play and secondly, who I sound like. So far the replies have been interesting. I sound like Tom Waits, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan before he went acoustic and Lloyd Cole crossed with Hipsway. The most amusing reply was from Robert Ruthven who said I'm John Martyn meets Jimmy Martyn. Which is I think a reference to the idea that the generic name for everyone in Glasgow is, 'Jimmy'.

That was the most amusing answer - but I've also had some puzzling comparisons; I posted some of my music on the Glasgow West End Forum, and unprompted, got compared to Scott Walker, Seasick Steve and Jake Thackery. Hmmm the comparison to Jake Thackery is worrying.

Who do you think I sound like? Add your comment below.

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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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