"NOW AND THEN"
©2006 (Independently Released)
Review by Lucky Boyd
Okay, you might need a score card to figure out the genealogy. I'll try to sort it out for you. You won't need anything but your ears to fall in love with The O'Byrnes. Mike and Terry are Dad and Mom. Terry wrote some great songs and recorded them back in the 90's. Terry and Mike planned to release their debut CD in 1999, but the project was shelved after the couple moved to Texas. Now the talented offspring arrive on the scene in the form of Ryan and Candice. The foursome decide to record a few more songs and release a 'now' and 'then' CD. Hence the name. Well, here it is. It's attributes are many, including the great work done at SugarHill in Houston, fabulous harmony work throughout the album, stunning songwriting, and masterfully arranged covers of five other writers including Dylan, Lucinda Williams, and Mike Settle's "But You Know I Love You," made popular by Dolly Parton. Mike's guitar work is solid, Ryan's mandolin is as tasteful as I've heard, and every vocal is solid and powerful. Terry's ethereal voice is perfect for folk and bluegrass, and everyone eventually chimes in on lead vocal duties. Personally, I get nervous reviewing family acts because they usually think they sound better than they actually do. No nerves here, folks. The O'Byrnes are the real thing. Their style of music is multi-genre giving a 'something for everyone' feel to their performances. My good friends Matt Early and Bert Wills play on the 'now' tracks, and Brian Thomas' steel guitar offering is a notable performance. This is a great debut offering and I hope it's just the first in a long line of CDs from this talented family. My favorite cut? The O'Byrnes deliver a picture perfect performance of Michael Smith's "Dead Egyptian Blues." Get your copy of "NOW AND THEN" today. You won't find this MTM exclusive anywhere else!
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