Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
M H | 01/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think Guitar mags and critics have usually liked James Byrd because most liked the idea of a player utilizing the classical arrangements in their playing (those who found Yngwie Malmsteen's compositions to go a little too far as music that can be enjoyed over and over) along with a bluesy rock sound. James Byrd, then, provides a happy medium: classic blues/rock sound, bluesy most of the time, with classical runs here and there to give his music a very unique taste.
Since Malmsteen and Satriani came on the scene, guitarists of the same generation (Vinnie Moore, Macalpine, Steve Morse, etc) fought to establish a name for themselves by implementing different sound and music in their playing from about 86 to 1993. Having a new "tone" or "sound" became an empty slogan for suggesting that a new guitar album was innovative and worth listening to. But by 93, critics were sick of this, and then James Byrd came around. In fact he seemed to have been there for awhile, and the critics ate it up.
This many years later, I still like the album. It is strange that some do not like James Byrd's music, especially this album. The point of James Byrd is not hearing another Malmsteen sound-alike, but something of what jimi hendrix might have sounded like if he was born 25 years later, and heard Malmsteen's style of playing. That means his "tone" will not sound "new", but simply classic, often with a darker edge to some songs.
One review here claimed it was "cliche metal", I am not sure what that is. There is, in point of fact, very little of James Byrd that could be called "metal", by any definition of any period in the eighties, or later. Hard rock would be a better fit, even for the harder sounding tracks. And no, the album is NOT dominated by "fast licks" or fast playing. Its dominated by a strong overtone of blues, combined with the hard rock/neo-classical edge you often hear in players like Malmsteen, or the rock of Eddie Van Halen. But simply far far more blues.
Its hard to describe what he sounds like, but if you don't like bluesy hard rock don't buy this album. If you didn't mind jimi hendrix, but maybe found Malmsteen interesting but hard to listen to, perhaps try James Byrd."
GUITAR TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL.
James E. Lane | Joplin, mo. USA | 12/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An absolutely fantastic work of art.
Without a doubt a great guitar cd.
With a beautiful blend of acoustic & electric guitars James has put together something that goes on and stays on till it's over.
I'm not really a "Beethoven Rock" fan.
So most neo-classical guitar player's tends to blend in together.
If you're thinking about getting anything by James Byrd, start right here.
No need to do a song-by-song report. Just get this, you will be happy.