In the liner notes for his debut CD, New England native RD Byrd describes his own work this way: “He writes songs about life and what people think about, whether it is one of his driving down the road songs, his love songs, his influential songs, or songs about what is going on the world today. RD Byrd has a song for everyone!”
If you are somewhat put off by the clumsy simplicity of these notes, move past them and give the CD a listen. You will discover a little gem of a release. For what RD lacks as a wordsmith, he more than makes up with solid musicianship and songwriting.
RD Byrd (né Roger Loiseau) is a fine guitarist who, with help from drummer Jeff Thal and keyboardist Vic Steffens, produced this eight song CD. Stylistically the songs have a southern rock feel, which is complemented by RD’s double-tracked vocal harmonies. Think Marshall Tucker Band meets Crosby, Stills and Nash.
The recording is clean without sounding sterile. Byrd’s production is simple yet shows off the strength of the three man group. The glaring problem is that Byrd is no wordsmith. In “With Only You,” he sings: "We’ve been together for the longest time/I guess I’ll have to just realize/ You’re on my mind so much it’s hard to see/When you’re not there it’s hard to be the same."
Fortunately the music and musicianship are mighty enough to mask the poorly rendered sentiments. And Byrd’s searing solos on “In A Letter” and “Park Bench” are alone worth the price of admission.
For a debut release, RD Byrd is good but with strong lyrics it could have been so much better. For his next release, perhaps Byrd will find himself a talented lyricist to help make his songs really shine.
RD Byrd's self-titled debut CD is available in all the usual outlets.