Occasionally you befriend someone that you cannot even remember the first time that you met them. It isn’t because that person is forgettable, or even that the circumstance in which you met was. The reason you forget the first time you met is because it simply feels like you have known that person forever regardless of the actual duration. Something just clicks and even if you don’t get to see each other every week, or make music and gig together regularly it still just feels right when you do. Jeff Byrd is one of the very few people I feel that way about. A couple years? A handful of gigs every year? It doesn’t matter because when I do see Jeff and when I get to sit in with him and the boys in his band it all just comes back and we are old friends again, whether it’s been 6 months or 6 days.
Now, that kind of friendship and the brotherly love we have for each other would be enough to give up a spot on volume 2 of Locals Covering Locals to the man, but on top of all that the dude is a great musician and fantastic songwriter. Whenever I try to come up with a way to explain Jeff and the band’s music I am hard pressed to come up with something specific, but I guess it would be something along of the lines of “if the music of Ryan Adams, Jeff Tweedy, and Tom Petty somehow had a weird musical threesome and created a baby” music genre. It’s good. It’s got heart, it’s got balls, and it makes you move. He is all about crafting a great song, but also about how that song is going to effect an audience. And as proven by his shows, he also knows how to work that audience and give them what they want.
Another thing I love about Byrd is the attitude that he has about music, performing and the community. He loves being a part of this thing that is bigger than us all, but isn’t hell bent on it and needing to be involved in every special gig or event. He and the Dirty Finch boys do their own thing, they play a bunch of shows all year at places they love, they do it for the love of making music. They are damn good at it too, giving the crowd what they want at all their gigs. Not being afraid to pull a 3 straight hour gig, throw in some crowd pleasing covers and their own stuff alongside…which eventually leads to the audience asking for more of their original songs and becoming immediate fans. Which is why we should all be musicians and songwriters anyway, the love of performing and creating.
Jeff is probably the last person who would ask me if he could have a slot on this project, which is all the more reason why I want him to be involved. He doesn’t need to ask, because I want folks with his mindset, his attitude, and his love for music to be involved.
Ladies and gentlemen, volume 2 of Locals Covering Locals just got a whole lot of handsome…welcome Jeff Byrd to the family.