Bobbo Byrnes
Gig Seeker Pro

Bobbo Byrnes

Anaheim, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Anaheim, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Americana Folk




"Powerful and Introspective Modern British Indie Folk From America!"

‘Liking’ a particular musician or band is incredibly personal and subjective, regularly making no sense at all. I first encountered Bobbo Byrnes via his 2018, TWO SIDES TO THIS TOWN album, which I gave a very positive review to; but it was the follow up; RED WHEELBARROW that made me a fan.
With hindsight there’s not a lot to choose between the two; you can certainly hear that there’s a difference; some kind of progression in the style of songwriting even; but why I would wear one CD out and not the other; makes no physical sense … does it?
Now, another three albums on, Byrnes has all but ditched the Americana/Alt. Country formula that has done him proud so far; so nothing has prepared me for these songs … nothing.
First of all there’s some electronica jiggery-pokery that opens the first song; (Warren Sroka’s) Cold War … and continues throughout as Byrnes dives headlong into what I’d normally think of as Modern British Indie Folk!
The song is universal, and at the very least thought provoking; but the construction owes a lot more to the likes of Waterboys, Ian McNabb or even bloomin’ Ed Sheeran than it does anyone born on the other side of the Atlantic.
As the album progresses, the thing that has surprised and impressed me most is the intricate and imaginative way Byrnes plays his guitar ….. for a Modern Folk album (IMHO) there are Jazz and Blues flourishes here and there complimenting his impassioned songs and stories; the songs Untitled and Time Enough being prime examples; but there are others in there too.
Once his existing fans get over the initial shock of the change in direction; they are in for a veritable treat, with The Sea and Time Enough being deceptively simple songs on first hearing but evolve into ever more thoughtful and personal songs that would make fans of Ed Sheeran and Glen Hansard proud to own.
While the production behind the songs sounds complex; I have the feeling that this is the way Bobbo Byrnes can achieve on stage as a solo performer; none more so than Brendan Behan’s Contemporary-Sea Shanty Crooked Jack; which reminded me of the Roger McGuinn album of similar stories, many years ago.
If I’m honest it’s taken a while to fully comprehend and truly appreciate what Bobby Byrnes has created here; but there was a ‘Eureka moment’ a few days; and now I’m smitten; which has also made selecting a Favourite Song all the more difficult.
As a for-instance; even though I own a Bluegrass version; so I know it can be disseminated; I didn’t recognise Bowie’s magnificent Heroes for a few days; then ….. WOW …. it hit me like punch to the gut ….. what an incredible job Byrnes has done; and the windswept backing takes it into an arena Ziggy could never have dreamed of.
There’s even a beautiful instrumental here; October, and again highlighting Byrnes’ dexterity with an acoustic guitar.
But; I’m sticking with Byrnes’ own words for my actual ‘Favourite Song’ and it too is ‘Magnificent’ and a song that will make your jaw drop; such is the power and imagery that House of Cards creates I’ve had to turn the dial up to 9 so as not to miss a single word; and I urge you to, too when you buy your copy.
A sudden change of direction for one of my Favourite Alt. Country acts; but a very welcome one; and one that deserves your attention in many ways. - The Rocking Magpie - January 2023

"Indie Spotlight, January 2019"

Bobbo Byrnes offers an approach that is the essence of genuine Americana - heart wrenching, passionate and a sound that's both tender and tenacious without compromising either. His latest album, Two sides To This Town, is authentic, illuminating and entirely pervasive, as if plucked from real life circumstance and then transposed to this series of impassioned performances. Byrnes himself is practically a one man band; tackling the bulk of the instrumentation - Guitars, keyboards, pedal steel, mandolin and vocals - his well worn delivery recalls the emotional essence of Gram Parson and Gene Clark with all their well-worn trappings. Anchored by acoustic guitars and Byrnes' assertive vocals, the songs resonate with a resilience and determination that leaves no doubt as to his credence and commitment. He takes an assertive stance without sacrificing emotion or nuance in the process, and songs such as "Angelia," "Glad and "Heart Like Mine" create a compelling connection straight away. It only takes a cursory listen to Two Sides To this Town to recognize the fact that an important and essential new artist has indeed arrived. - Goldmine Magazine

"The Best Kick-Ass Heartbreakin’ Alt. Country Rock LA Has To Offer."

The Best Kick-Ass Heartbreakin’ Alt. Country Rock LA Has To Offer.

Obviously I can’t know everyone on the Americana scene; that would just be silly; but I do like to think I have my finger on the button; yet somewhere along the line I’ve totally missed multi-Award winning Bobbo Byrnes in any of his guises be it solo or as part of Riddle of the Stars, The Fallen Stars or The Brown Coats; all of whom sound like I’d love ’em!
Hey ho; on to Bobbo’s latest solo effort and the reason that I’m giddy with excitement.
It was the complex guitar lick that opens first song Angelia that first caught my ear; and when the band drop a musical time bomb after about thirty seconds I just knew this was going to be a doozy of a record.
Yup I can tell that quickly.
Angelia is an atypical Blue Collar Small Town Country/Americana love song about “driving to those high tension lines/where the night sky is so fine/Angelia/I want to dream with you tonight”.
OK Bruce trademarked such songs many years ago; but Byrnes and band do it so damn well and from the very bottom of the heart, you just know he’s not heard The River or if he did it was when his Dad played it.
Then up pops the dreamy Heart Like Mine; sung with a slight rasp to the throat and with bass player Mrs Tracy Byrnes adding extra pathos with her harmonies you just just know in your heart Mr Byrnes wrote this one long and lonely night in a cheap motel 100’s of miles from the love of his life.
For a solo-album Byrnes makes a mighty big noise on a few songs, which would have been Country Rock a few years ago but are probably Alt. Country or should that be Ameripolitan these days?
Who cares?
When I first heard the poignant Welfare Cadillac and the absolutely fizzing Summer Wine I did not just imagine Byrnes playing them live; but what the videos should look like as the notes and words filled the room.
I hear plenty of ‘good’ music by writers who use a ‘formula’ and there’s nothing wrong with that; but sometimes I hear songs where the writer just had to get the words down on paper without a thought or a care in the world regardless of the outcome; Vegas which closes the record is just such a song, from the heart and to the heart.
With six and a half of the songs here from his own pen (or I-Pad?) Byrnes roves himself to be quite the songwriter; but his rendering of the kick-ass Glad by Tracy Huffman, Matthew Ryan’s Dam and more importantly Chris Knight’s Jealous Kind show what great taste he has and a clever musical brain too.
But it’s his own songs that have impressed me the most with two fighting for the top spot of Favourite Track; will it be the laid back and reflective Last Hurrah or the left of centre Massachusetts where he actually duets with Tracy? Hmmmm; not easy but I’m going for the latter which again conjures up not just memories of Bruce when he was cool but guys like Robbie Fulks too.
Plus; as a collector of great couplets, who among you isn’t impressed with “Back in College when we were DJs/Elvis was Costello whenever we played/ Red Shoes and we danced the night away!” Come on; maybe it’s an age thing but to me Elvis IS Costello too.
Not for the first nor I guess last time this year I’ve made another amazing discovery and now can’t wait to shout the name BOBBO BYRNES (and Tracy Byrnes!) from the RMHQ Rooftop…… gonna love this album.
Trust me; I know. - The Rocking Magpie

"Artist Spotlight"

"Bobbo's newest solo album, Two Sides to This Town, features Byrnes' on guitar, mandolin, keys, and voice, sits somewhere between alt-country and the Replacements -- Springsteen's storytelling, Paul Westerberg's barroom musings, Ryan Adams' casual command of melody." - ZT Amplifiers

"Be sure to catch him"

"Traveling troubadour, Bobbo Byrnes returns with an engaging new album of Americana singles aptly called Two Sides To This Town. He's got a keen eye for capturing small town life (perhaps because he's lived it first hand) and putting it to song in a way that's universally relatable in the American landscape. His vocals are friendly and convincing as he and wife Tracy Byrnes on bass, Matt Froehlich on drums and Danny Ott on lead guitar weave masterful tales of life and love. Favored tracks include the wonderful sentiment of "Heart Like Mine," the enlightening "Jealous Kind," the noir vibe of "Welfare Cadillac," and the chart topping arena anthem, "Summer Wine." Byrnes will be coming to New England in October. Be sure to catch him live." ~ Metronome Magazine Sept 2018 - Metronome Magazine


"This 'Two Sides to This Town' is the successor to the 'Motel Americana' released in 2017 (album report) . This album is immediately food for the real Alt-Country rockers among us with outliers like ' Heart Like Mine ', ' Massachusetts' and the particularly beautiful 'Welfare Cadillac '. This 'Two Sides To This Town' is well thought-through Alt-Country with a dash of rock in it. An alternation with powerful rock songs and inspiring ballads." -

"Highly Recommended"

Bobbo Byrnes , the man I've met musically already, in conjunction with the bands The Fallen Stars and Riddle & The Stars. After last year's album, "Motel Americana", the musician is now following with Two Sides To This Town . So he dances to three weddings. The music of the new album is very lively, very fresh and rushes on energetically, because the first two songs are really good Americana-sound first class. The songwriting is thoughtful and meticulous, the arrangements are passionately staged and I actually seem to hear The Fallen Stars, especially as wife Tracy is also involved, with bass and vocals.

Alternative country, finest rock, punchy, harsh vocals, lots of melody, a lot of harmony, the finest music, which is ideal for long car rides on endless highways of the USA. I hear echoes of John Cougar Mellencamp, a good mood while listening is guaranteed anyway, what more could you ask for? In addition to most of the driving songs, it gets even quieter and more contemplative in between, "Dam" is a good example, how to dress the mood with a little melancholy. Ultimately, however, the whole of the record lives on a continuous marching atmosphere, sometimes reminiscent of bands like The Long Ryders, or The Jayhawks. Anyway, Bobbo can easily and well put up in the list of many alternative country bands, this CD gives reason enough. - Musikansich (Sweden)

"Don't Miss Bobbo"

New high-quality musical building blocks from Bobbo Byrnes who shares his solo trips with bands like The Fallen Stars and Riddle & The Stars.
Byrnes is on a live scene around 150 times a year, under his own name and together with the two band constellations.
At least as strange that he is not a big name with his bullet-proof, neighborly and sometimes rough northern country and Americana, which has been accurately described as more like Paul Westerberg than Lynyrd Skynyrd.
On the "Two Sides To This Town", which is the sequel to the solo debut "Motel Americana" released in March last year, he continues to show what exquisite personal singer / songwriter he is. (translated from the Swedish) - Popgeni


Motel Americana - 2017
Pacific Coast Skyline (EP) - 2018
Two Sides To This Town - 2018
Red Wheelbarrow (EP) - 2019
SeaGreenNumber5 - 2020
so many bars, so many saturday nights - 2021
October 2023



After moving from Boston to SoCal, he founded one of Orange County’s leading Americana Rock bands, The Fallen Stars. He tours solo now, blending rock and roll energy, country flavored instrumentation and folk inspired storytelling he’s a throwback to a bygone era of mix tapes and AM Gold. Bobbo read too much Kerouac as a youth and though he no longer hitchhikes he is still a vagabond at heart seeking to continue on his path - singing and strumming, learning and sharing stories, connecting with people and leaving a wake of happiness behind him.  

"Whether the wider world recognizes it or not, he ought to be considered an essential Americana master.”  ~Goldmine Magazine

"The style is one part Country, one part Alternative and one part “punk rocker turned folk singer.”

Band Members