Jamie Byrd,
Garden of Days
(RoosterDog, 2005)

San Francisco artist Jamie Byrd is one of the most solemn singer-songwriters you'll encounter. Most of her songs are ballads, sung softly, sincerely and very tastefully. At no time does she cut loose, let the sheer joy of making music burst through. No, she is way too polite for any outburst like that. At no time does she allow humor to slip into a song. She is far too serious to entertain lighthearted moments.

Her lyrics make grand statements. In "Gonna Build Me a Barn," she writes:

Life's too short for trouble
day after day
When you're too tired of
leaving, too restless to stay
I know life's too short to throw
such a good love away.

"In a Mirror" personifies love:

Love went looking for a mirror
Found your face reflected there
It found the hand that paints the sky
Where we will take our hearts to fly, fly.

Sentiments such as these are presented in a low energy, solemn vocal style accompanied by fingerpicked acoustic guitars, cellos and violins. It's all very introspective, very quiet. I picture a person alone, late at night, sitting before the fire with a glass of wine listening to this CD. If you're that person, you might enjoy it.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

4 October 2008

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