Although most are likely to have seen Jimmy Burns perform with his tight band in club and concert settings, he has been known to perform as a solo artist, and when doing so, is equally a joy to see and listen to.
Born in the Delta town of Dublin, Mississippi in 1943, Burns came to Chicago in the
midst of the post-WWII migration. And he brought a deep blues and gospel sensibility from the community and elds of Coahoma County to Chicago. As a teenager, he partook in the harmonizing street corner doo-wop phenomenon, like his friends and contemporaries Curtis May eld, Major Lance, Jerry Butler, and Gene Chandler. Around 1959 he joined The Medallionaires and recorded on a couple of doo-wop tracks. Burns issued singles on the USA, Minit, Tip Top and Erica labels and toured with the Fantastic Epics.
Following a long hiatus from music he returned to the scene in the 1990s as a blues guitarist and singer and was soon recorded by Delmark’s Bob Koester. Burns’ debut, Leaving Here Walking (1996), made a big impact on the scene, winning the coveted Blues Album of the Year award from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD), and earning two nominations for W.C. Handy awards.
Thus far he has released four CDs and a live DVD on Delmark, and he also played guitar on his late brother Eddie’s 2002 Delmark album, Snake Eyes. He detoured to Velrone in 2011 to record Stuck in the Middle, on which he tried on different musical hats, before returning to Delmark in 2015 to record It Ain’t Right, an- other great set of blues, soul, and gospel which showcase his silvery, yet authoritative, voice.