Jon Byrd - Byrd's Auto Parts
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Byrd's Auto Parts (Longleaf Pine, 2007)

Jon Byrd

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

This debut from Jon Byrd's Auto Parts collective is a strong mix of originals and well-chosen covers, delivered by Byrd's engaging, scuffed-up voice and the able backing of his compadres.

Byrd and company cover a lot of ground here, and they cover it well. They start things off with Byrd's own "Jackknife," a bit of soft-shuffle acoustic country, and range through some minor-key, loping country rock ("Reputation") and hot-damn rig rock ("Freightliner Fever"). There's countrified Beatles ("Don't Let Me Down") and hard-shuffle Doug Sahm ("Be Real"), a sturdy cover (featuring vocal help from Shannon Wright of the Wrights) of Neil Young's mopey classic, "The Losing End," a steel-fueled, melancholic ode to closing time ("One Final Round") and, to finish things up, the railroad beat and hot guitar picking of a suitably blistering take on Cash's hit, "Blistered."

Sitting quietly among all of these, though, might be the disc's high point - Byrd, all by his lonesome with his acoustic guitar, delivering the remarkable bleakness of Butch Primm's "Mark My Word." Don't let this one slip under the radar.

CDs by Jon Byrd

All Your Mistakes, 2023 Down at the Well of Wishes, 2011 Byrd's Auto Parts, 2007

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