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Album Review

Arkansas native turned Nashville resident David Adam Byrnes has been quoted as saying, "I definitely have a twang that does not lend itself to other genres." The genre he belongs to is country, and his twang serves him consistently well on this 2011 release. Byrnes is an expressive country-rocker with strong honky tonk leanings; his musical heritage includes George Strait, Randy Travis, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and Merle Haggard, and he doesn't run away from that heritage. In fact, Byrnes (who co-wrote most of the material) celebrates it and wears it like a badge of honor, which is quite refreshing at a time when so much of the music being played on country radio is way too slick and processed for its own good. Byrnes isn't slick or processed; his depictions of life in small-town America come across as honest and sincere rather than forced or contrived, and that country-and-proud outlook yields excellent results on the barnburners "My Kind of Crowd" and "Down Homegrown," as well as poignant tearjerkers such as "She Only Wanted Flowers" and "That's What I Tell Myself." Tearjerkers, of course, have been a part of country ever since the days of the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and Riley Puckett; they're an important part of the country experience, and Byrnes has no problem singing them convincingly. Nor does he have a problem pulling off a drinking song. On "The Jukebox, the Bottle and Me," Byrnes embraces the familiar drinking-to-ease-the-pain theme that so many honky tonkers (from Hank Williams, Sr. to Dwight Yoakam to George Jones) have embraced over the years; it's a song that anyone who has savored the dark pleasures of Haggard's "The Bottle Let Me Down," Jones' "Just One More," or Williams' "There's a Tear in My Beer" should have no problem getting into. Rapper Ice-T once commented that the truly compelling hip-hoppers are the ones who obviously have first-hand knowledge of the things they rap about, and one could make similar arguments about country; the country singers who sing convincingly about life in rural or small-town America are the ones who have actually lived it and experienced it. Byrnes leaves no doubt that he has first-hand knowledge of the things he sings about, and he shows considerable promise on Premium Country.

Customer Reviews

He rocks

I love David Adam Byrnes !!!! He is my fav!

love him

I LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!!

I listen to it on repeat daily-- really good stuff!!!

Plus, when I met him @ CMA Fest he was so nice and involved with the fans...... and isn't he CUTEEE???

Super ThrowBack

This sounds like the 90's country I grew up but evolved. Smart, country, and just a voice to reckon with! I LOVE "She Only Wanted Flowers" and can't wait to see what DAB does next.

Premium Country, David Adam Byrnes
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Customer Ratings