Thursday, September 5, 2013

NEAF '13 Feature Artist: Jeff Byrd

You can really only say so many nice things about someone before it may start to sound insincere, but I can honestly say I love this gentleman like a brother and I mean every word. I reviewed the recent release from Jeff Byrd and the boys in Dirty Finch a few months back with a glowing review. They have an incredible knack for great harmonies, honest and heartfelt songwriting, and are just a really f*cking fun band to see play live. Go read the review ( JBDF Review) if you want to hear more nice things I have to say about Jeff...otherwise, check out what the man has to say about the fest, the band, and being a part of this Americana shit-storm we call the NEAF.

1)    First and foremost, who are you, what do you do? That is, what band are you in or are you a solo artist, what have you guys been up to leading up to the festival, anything exciting we should all know about? Your chance for shameless self promotion…go! 

JB: I'm Jeff...singer, songwriter for Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch. We've been performing a lot, also just began writing for the new album to be released next year. 

2)      New England Americana and the Fest firmly plant their roots and morals in “community”. The event is a culmination of a community of musicians and artists that is going on all year. What does that community mean to you?

JB: To me it's just so important to have a community of like minded individuals that want to perform music alongside their peers in celebration of music. The gentleman (RLR insert : and ladies!) that head this festival deserve a round of applause (or at the very least, drinks) for the hard work they dedicate into making this festival a reality.

3)      Name a record that shaped you as a musician early on. What music initially made you want to sing, or pick up an instrument and make music?

JB: Plastic Ono Band...the absolute raw intensity of that album is untouchable. John Lennon made me want to sing and play guitar and harmonica...and piano. But do it well...and with nothing but brutal honesty.

4)      What are you listening to now that you think folks should be aware of?

JB: Bob Dylan- Blood on the Tracks. If you haven't familiarized yourself with that album, do it now. Another example of brutal honesty.

5)      Music  festivals, in general,  are fairly well known for surprise sit ins, improvisational jams and collaborations. If you could see any two of this year’s acts collaborate on stage at this year’s NEA Festival, who would you like to see?

JB: Myself, Dave Deluca, Brian Carroll, Noel Coakley, Sarah Blacker and John Colvert doing something goofy.

6)      Why is creating music important to you? Why do you pick up your instrument and write songs? Why do you play that dive bar on a Thursday night? What keeps you going?

JB: I have to create music for happiness and sanity. I think when you're a musician you always will be a musician. In other words, it's ingrained in you. I love music, I love performing, I love the guys I play with...they're family. I want my son to know when he gets older that daddy followed his dream. I want to be able to look back and think about all the venues I played...success is what you make of it. As far as I'm concerned I've already tasted everything else is gravy train.

Jeff and the boys are playing at The Bar at Tasty Burger on Saturday, September 28th at 8 PM. Be sure to check them out at the fest and also when they make their way up this way or playing around RI. 

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