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Jon Byrd (from the album All Your Mistakes on Longleaf Pine Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Jon Byrd is a true heartland hero. Born in South Alabama, he became a pivotal part of the so-called ‘Redneck Underground’ in the 1990’s when he first made his name as a valued sideman. After moving to Nashville, he established himself as a prolific singer/songwriter who eventually managed to accumulate an impressive individual catalog. His music leans to classic Americana — all heartfelt songs imbued with pedal steel guitar, genuine emotion, and material that culls the lessons learned from storied forebears and imbued into his own efforts.
His new album, All Your Mistakes, is no exception. A series of emotionally resilient story songs, it possesses a true connection with real people and unblemished circumstance. For example, Johnny Paycheck’s “(It Won’t Be Long) And I’ll Be Hating You” comes across as easily the bitterest break-up song in recent memory. On the other hand, Byrd’s own “Why Must You Think of Leaving” is a plea for reconciliation, sung from the perspective of a man who’s making one final desperate attempt to convince his lover not to abandon him forever.
Jon Byrd is nothing if not a determined down-home troubadour, and when he sings the praises of “Miss Kitty’s Place”, “Golden Colorado”, and “These Days”, the sentiments are not only sincere, but also decidedly delivered. Jon Byrd’s attachment to the places of his past is obvious, and there’s no separating the singer from the song. For its part, “City People” is a true testament to those erstwhile environs where honesty and integrity exist side by side.
Other songs convey a similar kind of conviction. “I’ll Be Her Only One” is a powerful homage to dedication and devotion in equal measure. So too, Jon Byrd’s cover of the late Ian Tyson classic “Four Strong Winds” is infused with the abject affection for the wide-open spaces of the far western wilderness Tyson originally imagined. While it may seem overly effusive to call All Your Mistakes Byrd’s ultimate masterpiece, it is, at very least, an affecting set of songs flush with both passion and purpose. Credit Jon Byrd with sharing songs that are as rich as they are reverent. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Jon Byrd from Bandcamp
For more information, please visit the Jon Byrd website
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