Music is the language of the soul.

As the saying goes.

A harmonic vocabulary that is universal, can be understood, felt, and enjoyed by all, regardless of culture, society or class.

Tastes will vary, from pop and hard rock to blues, country and techno, there is a sound out there for everyone.

You could be into bands like The Kinks, The Stranglers or Squeeze or look up to famous Scots like Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos and Clydebank’s finest Marti Pellow.

It is whatever you make of it.

But it helps, this music malarky, if you have worked with all of the above and more during a lifetime dedicated to the art.

“When I was 17, I thought I was going to be a pop star, I thought I’d be a pop star within a year because I was writing songs and had a band,” admits now 62-year-old Jim Byrne with a smile.

“I went down to London back then and I was offered a record deal by Ray Davis from The Kinks, who was going to produce it.

Clydebank Post: Jim picked up the guitar at 13Jim picked up the guitar at 13 (Image: Supplied)

“But they wanted me to go down a route I didn’t want to do, so I turned it down.”

Jim – a guitarist - has been described by critics as Scotland’s “best kept music secret” after securing his first record deal at the tender age of 59.

He has done it all, from starting up famed Glasgow music venue the Kazoo Club in the nineties whilst a member of The Hemmingways, to touring the world to play his guitar – once finding himself playing at the famous Bitter End Club in New York, an iconic venue played and loved by none other than Bob Dylan in the 1960s.

He’s been involved in bands such as the 1990s, The Primevals and the Creeping Charlies.

And all this from a little lad from Clydebank who first picked up his weapon of choice when he was just 13.

“When I was a youngster I would play in Clydebank, in the local pubs and clubs, anywhere that would take us,” Jim recalls.

“My first gig was in our school disco when I was 16 or 17, so right from the start, I always played music.”

The veteran rocker openly notes he has dabbled in various genres of music during his days, from emerging out of education into the punk scene of the seventies to trying out folk, country & western and Americana before recently switching focus to his acoustic playing, where he can follow his passion of writing his own material.

Jim goes on: “That’s always been my focus since the start, writing songs more than anything else.

Clydebank Post: The veteran secured his first record deal at 59The veteran secured his first record deal at 59 (Image: Supplied)

“I didn’t always consider myself any great singer, and I still don’t really to be honest with you.

“Nobody would say I was the best singer in the world, so that’s not my focus, but it suits the songs I do.”

Despite his commitment to the craft, Jim juggles life as a music man with running his own company, a digital equality enterprise he has been at the helm of for the last 20 years.

And his business nous may come from launching a successful independent music bar in the early 1990s, known at the time as the Kazoo Club before becoming the 13th Note Café.

Jim and his wife Pat started the site as a way to give up-and-coming artists a platform to perform and they perhaps helped nudge the career of a certain Franz Ferdinand frontman in the right direction back in the day.

He continued: “One of the bands that I put on was Franz Ferdinand. Well, they weren’t called Franz Ferdinand at the time. But Alex Kapranos was fronting that band, and I gave them their first gig.

“I didn’t give them their big break, but I gave them the opportunity to play live. It was the same people involved.

“I ended up passing on that club to Alex, and it became very popular as a place for local bands.

“He kind of took it further and then it became this famous club where a lot of bands got their start.”

Clydebank Post: Jim is now looking to play intimate gigs through 'home concerts'Jim is now looking to play intimate gigs through 'home concerts' (Image: Supplied)

It was 2008 when Jim decided to pack in the band life and go solo, spending his time writing new material.

But it wasn’t until three years ago when, at 59, he secured his first ever record deal, a milestone in his life he insists came about purely by chance.

“I wasn’t looking for a record deal,” he laughs.

“It was a complete accident. It wasn’t like I was pursuing a record deal for all my life and then suddenly, bang, I managed to hit the gold mine.”

Jim received a call from old friend Warren McIntyre, who has his own label in Fox Star Records.

Whilst the men chatted, it was mentioned one was set to release new music online and the other offered to put it out on his label, and Jim admits the popularity of his music changed forever in that moment.

He tells the story: “When I first released that EP two years ago, all of a sudden, I was on BBC Radio Scotland, interviewed on drive time radio, interviewed on loads of podcasts, just the idea that you are on a record label impresses people, which wasn’t the case when you are just doing your own thing to a certain extent.

“It’s a psychological thing. It’s not that you are any better than you were yesterday, it just opens doors because it changes people's attitudes towards you.

“That’s been the main change.

“Two singles from my album have been the most played in my life.”

Now into his seventh decade of life, Jim is turning his newfound acclaim to providing more “intimate” gigs, reluctantly accepting his days of touring places like Ireland, France, the Netherlands, Italy and England are long gone and instead playing “home concerts” – where he goes into people’s houses and serenades those in attendance.

He finished: “At 62, it is actually quite difficult to do that sort of thing and remain healthy.

“I want to do things that are more intimate.

“The music itself is quite intimate, this set of songs is about mental health and romance and the real world that we live in.

“To me that suits home concerts. This is a relatively new thing - when you visit people’s homes and they organise the audience, they invite people and I come along and I play to them.

“I have already done one and it was great, it suited me perfectly.”

If anyone would like to invite Jim to their home to play, visit