Craig Norris Byrd has no problem writing songs about the trials and tribulations that life throws at us. The folk-rock singer/songwriter takes the personal and makes it relatable with his conceptual music and lyrics. His debut album, Remissions, gives us a look at his passions and values. The 10 track album is heavy with a cathartic artistic statement where he purges his pain and struggle into his music. “I am not so interested in publicizing what I have done, but I am interested in sharing where this album comes from,” shares Craig . “This album is a personal statement I had to get out of the way before I could move on.”
Remissions pulls from many different folk traditions, and harkens us to the likes of Paul Simon and a little bit like Johnny Cash. It was solely composed, arranged, and produced by Byrd, but features a bevy of ace musicians supporting his fine songcraft.
The songs on the album take on darker themes. His song “Your Bud” is about his father’s descent into dementia and how he never got to fix their relationship. “He died with much regret and never got the chance to meet my two sons,” Craig shares. “His mental acuity steadily diminished and he met his death in a hospital when he woke up from back surgery and did not know who he was and what was going on. He was unrestrained and proceeded to tear out his sustenance and medication tubing and get up to try and leave. This resulted in physical trauma from which he never recovered.” He sings “And I was wrong to let the pain I went through/keep us so far apart until just now,” trying to grapple and cope with the memory of his father.
Not every song is as heavy as “Your Bud” and “Gina Rides a Tiger,” a song about his sister’s death by breast cancer. He also has a few love songs, like “Consuelo,” which is sung entirely in Spanish and dedicated to his wife. It even has a bit of Latin influence in the way he plays guitar. The song “Merge” is a conceptual take on love going beyond the physical and thinking more about the emotional and mental aspects.
Listen to Remissions:
Needless to say, each song is vulnerable, raw, and poetic. What separates Craig from the pack is his openness and love for what he does. He writes music with a meaning, hoping to affect the lives of others in a positive way.
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