There are touches of country, blues and folk in the self-titled debut release from Texas' Byron Dowd Band. Dowd's country roots are most evident on the ballads Sinner's Lament
and One Hill
, as well as the opening track Stained Dirt
. Perhaps the strongest country tracks are Footsteps
("The sweat falls from your face like a rainstorm/With three minute shade breaks to keep you sane") and Nowhere But Here
("You're ate up with lonesome and wound tight as a snare drum") on which Dowd is joined on harmonies by Maylee Thomas.
Also impressive are the blues rockers Punch A Train ("I'd punch a train just to get back home/For guitar strings and country songs only last so long") and Keeping Gone ("The years rolled by and left the lines on my face/ Kinda sat myself down and took a real long look at this place/I've paid more than most on just getting grown/Still I ain't done keeping gone").
The folksy Six Feet Above ("Paper cuts upon the heart/They bleed real bad but stop and start") and an acoustic version of Stained Dirt are further highlights.
Dowd wrote or co-wrote all 11 tunes and is nicely supported throughout by band mates Ben Moore (bass) and Cody Carroll (drums) as well as Dowd's co-producer Rob Wechsler (fiddle, mandolin). With strong compositions and Dowd's soulful vocals, at times reminiscent of Hal Ketchum or Leroy Parnell, this is an impressive debut.