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Byron Thorne is by most accounts, the unlikeliest of impresarios. Byron is a retired school teacher, who specialized in teaching basic language skills to dyslexic children. Byron is also a person who nourished an abiding love for blues music, particularly the boogie woogie variety popularized in the 1930's and 1940's by artists like Fats Waller, Louis Jordan, Clarence Williams, and Cow Cow Davenport. Byron is well- known to the Vancouver, BC, Canada blues music scene, frequently habiting venues like the Yale, The Fairview Pub, and Rossini's, taking in the sites and sounds of a musical community whose depth and breadth is embarrassingly rich with talent and history. The recording you hold in your hands is the culmination of a dream important to Byron… the re-examination of an important piece of North American musical heritage, interpreted by a group of musicians and vocalists that represent the best of the Canadian West Coast. The purpose of the recording is twofold; to acquaint a younger audience with an exciting, vibrant brand of musical expression that ought not to be forgotten by the mainstream, and to further expose the tangible riches of the West Coast musical collective.
Byron crossed the divide between talent and patron by commissioning and financing this album. Instead of production by commercial conjecture, it is driven by a simpler pleasure…a fan combining his favorite songs with his favorite hometown musicians, and putting the necessary financing in place to pull it off with flair and style.
The lack of production orthodoxy was not lost on the talent assembled for the January 2003 sessions that took place at Vancouver's venerable Blue Wave Studio. They rewarded the confidence and enthusiasm that Byron exuded with performances that crackled with life and energy…igniting, and perhaps reinventing these popular compositions.
At the end, it was as it should be… musicians responding to their audience. Byron stood in proxy for a larger crowd, and there was enormous gratitude expressed on both sides. Music fans should appreciate Byron's commitment and sacrifice. "The House Of Blue Light" is, after all, by a music fan, for music fans.
While Byron is not a musician, he has demonstrated an astute musical intuition in terms of the selection of the material, and his inputs into arrangements and selection of the vocalists to compliment the selections. This is not simply an album for academics and historians. It is designed to help a tired and cynical music consumer let the "Good Times Roll". So, go hunt down those dancing shoes… there's going to be "Good Rocking Tonight"!