From Jam Magazine 11/00
Nine of Eleven on the Rockometer
When you first meet Bobbo (he goes by one name, kinda like Cher, Madonna and Prince), he hands you a business card, which states, matter-of-factly, "Bobbo. Rock Star."
He may not be a bonafide rock star just yet, but Bobbo Byrnes' first CD My Affect is Appropriate, a rollicking, rootsy gem, should send him on his way up the rock and roll ladder. For more info, check out Bobbo's web-site at www.Bobbo.org.
A one-man musical army (along with vocals, he's credited with playing guitars, piano, accordion, Hammond B3 organ, mandolin, lap steel and bass on the disc), Bobbo has crafted a sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, 12-song disc which invites repeated listens, and should end up in your everyday playlist.
My Affect has a lot of Black Crowes in it, but most strongly resembles former Guns N Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin's solo work, a comparison Bobbo seems to relish.
Vocally, Bobbo was blessed (or cursed, depending on your desire for sparkling, polished vocals) with the gruff, raspy, Izzy Stradlin, Keith Richards-type vocals. In fact, the song 77 More Miles sounds like it could've been an outtake from Stradlin's solo album with his band the JuJu Hounds.
Beautifully recorded by Sir Bob Nash at Wonka Sound in Lowell, MA, the CD features an overtly cool guitar sound, again reminiscent of the Black Crowes (especially the opener, String of Lies, with it's splashes of B3), and Izzy Stradlin. Bobbo gets just the sound he needs from a stripped-down setup of an old, Gibson guitar cranked through an equally old overdriven amp to get the kind of tasty, rootsy guitar sound you can really sink your teeth into.
Bobbo is helped out by his wife Tracy Byrnes on bass and backing vocals. She sings passionate lead on Never Leave and adds a beautiful back-up on Memories are Better.
Lyrically, Bobbo has an interesting, humorous way of looking at things. In Reunion Year, he looks at what would have been his 10th reunion if he'd made it through college. "I've been to college/and I've been kicked out of college/and I'm five classes away from a good for nothing degree." Sound familiar? In The Wedding Song, Bobbo sings, "I've been to lots of weddings/and each one is different/but this is the first one with a bride I had slept with."
On the disc's closer, Anywhere, Bobbo tells the story of his life, from the day he bought his first red guitar, joined a band, dropped out of college, got married, saw his band break up and reform without him, went to a psychologist and just keeps on keeping on. "I didn't mean to be here/It's just where I ended up/and all the stories I have told were all too good to be made up."
It ain't pretty, but is sure is rock and roll. Just like Bobbo.
Cosmik Debris (5/00) - The MP3 Files with Bill Holmes
I'll be honest - I was trolling the MP3 world one night trying to see who would dare list The Faces or Ron Wood in their "sound alikes", and that's how I found Bobbo. And when I saw that he also listed his love for a Hammond B3 organ, I knew it was something I had to hear. My Affect Is Appropriate finds Bobbo playing guitars, piano, accordion, mandolin, lap steel and bass along with the aforementioned massive organ, and anyone who enjoyed both the warmth and power of The Faces and their family - Woody, Ian MacLagan, Ronnie Lane - will enjoy Bobbo's record. "January" was my starting point, organ as the solid rock foundation over which guitars ring and Bobbo's vocal rasps. If there is a weak side to his arsenal, it's his vocals, which are always emotional but sometimes flat and off key. Yeah, like Woody. But the twelve songs on his CD have a lot of heart and recall many of your favorite bands that just don't get airplay anymore. Just like Woody. You probably know someone like this who lives for music and plays songs for himself as much as he does for others. Hell, you may be that person. Check him out.
Check out the artist's website:
1. String of Lies
2. Reunion Year
4. Memories are Better
5. Green Eyes
6. The Wedding Song
8. Never Leave
9. Last of the Beautiful People
10. Dirty Dishes
11. 77 More Miles