The latest offering from Tommy Byrd and Kathy Street is THEN AND NOW, an impressive collection of eleven songs and featuring some heavy-hitting Texas musicians including but not limited to Lloyd Maines on dobro, and Warrren Hood on fiddle and mandolin. This Americana collection ranges from the bluesy "Ain't Nothin' Better Than You", to the uplifting "Lay Your Troubles Down", to a lullaby to heart-felt stories and a belief in the healing power of music. As fan D. Mahoney of Tyler says, "Your music is full of hope and optimism mixed with a little humor, just what a weary world needs! Listening to it has improved my outlook on life." Tommy Byrd and Kathy Street's song "Love Broke The Fall" took first place in the country division of a recent Austin Songwriter's Group contest, which speaks volumes of their talent. The two joined forces in the Spring of 2001, playing and singing their original music with such guest artists as Matt Slusher on mandolin, Al Sato on dobro, and Bradley Kopp on guitar, all high caliber performers which add to the consistent, sweet harmonies of Byrd and Street.
TOMMY BYRD: From lazy mornings on his back porch, to the historic tragedy of 9/11, Tommy Byrd's distinctive and personal view of the world enters his lyrics with grace and style. As a self-taught guitarist for most of his life, Tommy Byrd has written, produced and performed his songs, combining his talent with other songwriters and singers to create an impressive collection of Americana and folk music that appeal to fans of all generations. He began his musical career in El Dorado, Arkansas, in 1964, where, encouraged by his grandmother, and inspired by the Beatles's performance on Ed Sullivan, he purchased his first guitar. Over his career, he has been repeatedly recognized for his songwriting talent. In 1986, Tommy Byrd wrote the winning song in the Official Song of Austin contest sponsored by the Austin Chamber of Commerce. He was a top finalist in a national songwriting contest sponsored by TNN in 1998. Tommy Byrd's songs have been recorded by Austin band Stop the Truck and Austin singer Mady Kaye. In 2001, Kids' Acting used three of his songs in the production The Emperor's New Shows. Piano Press has recorded a song that he co-wrote called "All of Us Together" for a CD called Kidtunes. More recently, in 2006, Tommy Byrd's Love Broke the Fall won 1st in Country in the Austin Songwriters 2006 contest, as well as placing 2nd in the Inspirational music category. His Kisses and Conversation placed 1st in the Jazz category. Zig Zag, co-written with Kathy Street, placed 3rd in the Jazz category. Tommy Byrd's career in music has included performing in bands in Arkansas and Texas, including Austin's own Geezinslaws, a recording contract with STAX Records in Memphis TN, to joining Willie Nelson on "Amazing Grace" for the LP, The Sound in Your Mind. Add to that, his inventive nature in creating and producing advertising jingles, it's an easy bet that Tommy Byrd has a voice that most Texans have heard. In addition to his music, Tommy is an artist who draws pencil or pen and ink portraits from photos as well as pen and ink renditions of homes across the Austin area for local realtors.
KATHY STREET: Kathy Street, along with 5 siblings, was born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in Mt. Holly, NJ, before moving to Baytown, Texas when she was 16. In Baytown, while attending Lee College, Kathy was part of a folk trio, doing the lead vocals. It was at that time that Kathy began performing in musicals, becoming Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. After moving to Austin and finishing her Bachelor's degree in Education at the University of Texas, Kathy began singing with a 5 piece folk/pop group called October....as well as teaching 6th grade in Austin. As time passed, and with the birth of her third child, her music career was placed on a back burner and she focused on her young family and on volunteering as a facilitator for children's grief groups in Austin schools. She didn't stray far though, finding time to perform as Elsa, the Baroness in The Sound of Music for Austin's Zach Scott Theater in 1985. In the 1990's, Kathy Street returned to the stage. At the time, she was on the local board for the Center for Attitudinal Healing in Austin, and sang at an International Board meeting. This led to a performance at the International Conference for Attitudinal Healing hosted by Jerry Jamplosky in San Francisco. As her children began attending college, Kathy Street found time to co-produce, act and sing in Broadway Cabaret I and Broadway Cabaret II in 2001. She also decided to move forward with her songwriting, enrolling in a class at the University of Texas as well as attending songwriting workshops in Austin. In addition to performing, Kathy manages the business side of Byrd and Street.
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