“Bobbo Byrnes offers an approach that is the essence of genuine Americana - heart wrenching, passionate and a sound that's both tender and tenacious without compromising either. His latest album, Two sides To This Town, is authentic, illuminating and entirely pervasive, as if plucked from real life circumstance and then transposed to this series of impassioned performances. Byrnes himself is practically a one man band; tackling the bulk of the instrumentation - Guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, mandolin and vocals - his well worn delivery recalls the emotional essence of Gram Parson and Gene Clark with all their well-worn trappings. Anchored by acoustic guitars and Byrnes' assertive vocals, the songs resonate with a resilience and determination that leaves no doubt as to his credence and commitment. He takes an assertive stance without sacrificing emotion or nuance in the process, and songs such as "Angelia," "Glad and "Heart Like Mine" create a compelling connection straight away. It only takes a cursory listen to Two Sides To this Town to recognize the fact that an important and essential new artist has indeed arrived.” ~ Goldmine Magazine (January 2019)
"Two Sides To This Town is one of those albums you stumble across and wonder why the hell this guy isn't better known. Bobbo Byrnes, from Southern California, plays around 150 shows with The Fallen Stars and solo every year, showcasing his blend of Tom Petty, Steve Earle and Springsteen. It's wonderful, soul-stirring stuff." Rock-n-Reel Magazine - U.K.
"Bobbo's newest solo album, Two Sides to This Town, features Byrnes' on guitar, mandolin, keys, and voice, sits somewhere between alt-country and the Replacements -- Springsteen's storytelling, Paul Westerberg's barroom musings, Ryan Adams' casual command of melody." ~ ZT Amplifiers Artist Spotlight
"The Best Kick-Ass Heartbreakin’ Alt. Country Rock LA Has To Offer.
Obviously I can’t know everyone on the Americana scene; that would just be silly; but I do like to think I have my finger on the button; yet somewhere along the line I’ve totally missed multi-Award winning Bobbo Byrnes in any of his guises be it solo or as part of Riddle of the Stars, The Fallen Stars or The BrownCoats; all of whom sound like I’d love ’em!
It was the complex guitar lick that opens first song Angelia that first caught my ear; and when the band drop a musical time bomb after about thirty seconds I just knew this was going to be a doozy of a record.
Yup I can tell that quickly.
Angelia is an atypical Blue Collar Small Town Country/Americana love song about “driving to those high tension lines/where the night sky is so fine/Angelia/I want to dream with you tonight”.
OK Bruce trademarked such songs many years ago; but Byrnes and band do it so damn well and from the very bottom of the heart, you just know he’s not heard The River or if he did it was when his Dad’s played it.
Then up pops the dreamy Heart Like Mine; sung with a slight rasp to the throat and with bass player Mrs Tracy Byrnes adding extra pathos with her harmonies you just just know in your heart Mr Byrnes wrote this one long and lonely night in a cheap motel 100’s of miles from the love of his life.
For a solo-album Byrnes makes a mighty big noise on a few songs, which would have been Country Rock a few years ago but are probably Alt. Country or should that be Ameripolitan these days?
When I first heard the poignant Welfare Cadillac and the absolutely fizzing Summer Wine I did not just imagine Byrnes playing them live; but what the videos should look like as the notes and words filled the room.
I hear plenty of ‘good’ music by writers who use a ‘formula’ and there’s nothing wrong with that; but sometimes I hear songs where the writer just had to get the words down on paper without a thought or a care in the world regardless of the outcome; Vegas which closes the record is just such a song, from the heart and to the heart.
With six and a half of the songs here from his own pen (or I-Pad?) Byrnes roves himself to be quite the songwriter; but his rendering of the kick-ass Glad by Tracey Huffman, Matthew Ryan’s Dam and more importantly Chris Knight’s Jealous Kind show what great taste he has and a clever musical brain too.
But it’s his own songs that have impressed me the most with two fighting for the top spot of Favourite Track; will it be the laid back and reflective Last Hurrah or the left of centre Massachusetts where he actually duets with Tracy? Hmmmm; not easy but I’m going for the latter which again conjures up not just memories of Bruce when he was cool but guys like Robbie Fulks too.
Plus; as a collector of great couplets, who among you isn’t impressed with “Back in College when we were DJs
Elvis was Costello and whenever we played Red Shoes
we danced the night away!”
Come on; maybe it’s an age thing but to me Elvis IS Costello too.
Not for the first nor I guess last time this year I’ve made another amazing discovery and now can’t wait to shout the name BOBO BYRNES (and Tracy Byrnes!) from the RMHQ Rooftop……..you gonna love this album.
Trust me; I know.
released April 08th 2018
" ~ The Rocking Magpie
"While Byrnes has his own strong artistic voice (which includes his stellar skills on guitar, mandolin and keyboards), his songs and passion will appeal to fans of Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Dawes and John Mellencamp. That is some good company to be sure." ~ Rock n Roll Truth
"New high quality musical building blocks from Bobbo Byrnes who shares solo tours with bands like The Fallen Stars and Riddle & The Stars. Byrnes is on a live stage around 150 times a year, in his own name and together with the two band configurations. It's strange that he is not a bigger name with his secure, flashy and sometimes shabby northern country and Americana accurately described as more like Paul Westerberg than Lynyrd Skynyrd. On the "Two Sides To This Town" (Songs & Whispers), which is the sequel to the solo debut "Motel Americana" which was released in March last year, he continues straight through with ten songs, three covers and seven of his own, showing the exquisite personal singer / songwriter he is." ~Blues Roots Corner
"Two sides to this town is a classic piece of American Heartland Rock! That was my first thought when hearing the opening cut of this album, Angelia, a fantastic uptempo heartland rocker that is clearly in the style of all those legendary artists that made this genre quite unique within the rockworld. Yes of course Bruce Springsteen, but also Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Dawes, Michael Stanley, Ryan Adams, Drivin’ N Cryin’ and John Mellencamp come to mind when listening to Bobbo Byrnes. This is American Rock at it's finest! Bobbo himself plays in several bands actually and this solo effort seems like an in-between record (correct me if I'm wrong here), but without a doubt, this is a lovely record that hits the right spot here for sure. Besides Angelia, other highlights are Glad, Jealous kind and Vegas, all showing Heartland Pop/Rock at it's best! Here and there we can also hear some calmer ballad ish material and even a bit altcountry, but Bobbo is mostly rocking for us on Two sides to this town, so make sure to check out this release a.s.a.p. in case this is your music style at:" ~Struttwerzine
Music an sich
Written in Music
"Traveling troubadour, Bobbo Byrnes returns with an engaging new album of Americana singles aptly called Two Sides To This Town. He's got a keen eye for capturing small town life (perhaps because he's lived it first hand) and putting it to song in a way that's universally relatable in the American landscape. His vocals are friendly and convincing as he and wife Tracy Byrnes on bass, Matt Froehlich on drums and Danny Ott on lead guitar weave masterful tales of life and love. Favored tracks include the wonderful sentiment of "Heart Like Mine," the enlightening "Jealous Kind," the noir vibe of "Welfare Cadillac," and the chart topping arena anthem, "Summer Wine." Byrnes will be coming to New England in October. Be sure to catch him live." ~ Metronome Magazine Sept 2018
"This 'Two Sides to This Town' is the successor to the 'Motel Americana' released in 2017 (album report) . This album is immediately food for the real Alt-Country roxkers among us with outliers like ' Heart Like Mine ', ' Massachusetts'and the particularly beautiful' Welfare Cadillac '. This 'Two Sides To This Town' is well thought-through Alt-Country with a dash of rock in it. An alternation with powerful rock songs and inspiring ballads." ~ Rootsville.eu