If there has ever been an instance of a Country artist doing what he was born to do, it’s Silverado Records’ latest find, David Adam Byrnes. On the night of his high school graduation in Sherwood, Arkansas, music wasn’t far from his mind. “I literally got my diploma,” he recalled, “looked up at the crowd, gave a salute, and darted out the door.” David actually spent his final night of high school on the stage, opening a local show for the legendary Hank Williams, Jr! It wasn’t the first time he would leave the school to venture to play music. His Friday nights were full of hits on the field – as a member of the Sylvan Hills Bears football team, and then he’d be on stage at the local Country club that same night!
Music has been all that David has ever known, stretching back to his earliest memories of listening to local radio station KSSN, and a certain Country singer from San Marcos, Texas. ”George Strait was my absolute hero,” he confessed, recalling that he would take his cowboy hat to school every day – wearing it when not in class, earning the moniker of “George Strait.”
As time progressed, so did David’s musical tastes. His father turned him on to artists such as Merle Haggard and Keith Whitley, and one album wound up having a profound effect on his life – Savin’ The Honky Tonks from traditional stalwart Mark Chesnutt. He heard the album during his senior year, and the simplicity and authenticity spoke volumes to him. He wasn’t finding truth in the mindless Pop Music of the day, rather it was heartfelt moments such as “Then We Can All Go Home” and “Would These Arms Be In Your Way” that helped him decide where his career path would ultimately lead.
“I heard it, and that album just changed my life. Everything about it, the sounds, the song content, that's what I like. That's what I was driven to. I love that Texas Honky-Tonk sound,” he recalled. David soon began playing songs by artists like Chesnutt and Strait at a local Mexican restaurant, and the response was immediate from the local patrons. “It was absolutely packed. Lines wrapped around the building and couldn't get another person in. My senior year, I played there every Tuesday.” That exposure would lead to other gigs within the region – helping him develop his name.
A woman named Sandi, one of the restaurant’s customers kept coming back, and liked what she heard. As it turned out, she had some connections to Music City. “She lit the fire beneath my butt,” he reveals. “She told me ‘You need to start coming to Nashville.” David took her up on her advice, making several trips to Music City to learn the ins and outs of the music business.
Trying to adhere to his parents’ wishes, David tried college – for a brief period. But, it was no use. His classroom was destined to be the Nashville club scene. Backup plan, be damned!
With the mindset of ‘Plan B has always been ‘Don't screw up Plan A,’ he hit Nashville. With the experience of being a big fish in the relatively small pond of Central Arkansas, he found out that the road to stardom was going to have a few more miles than he had planned.
“I got here, to be honest with you, I was a little cocky,” he says with a laugh. I turned heads right off the bat; there's this 19- year old that's too stupid to realize what he's gotten himself into,” he says, admitting that the Country he grew up on - and the sounds that were trending on Music Row weren’t running in parallel lines. “I’m singing all this old school country from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I just wasn't into it. In fact, I almost felt like an outsider because I'm trying to do this traditional country, and everybody's steering away from it.” Most artists would roll with the punches, and allow Nashville to shape them into what it wanted to be.
Not David Adam Byrnes.
If anything, it just kind of thickened my skin to where I got used to people telling me not to do stuff,” he admits, promising himself that he would remain true to the roots of country music that he grew up inspired by. And, then…in a totally new-wave fashion, opportunity came calling.
“I remember getting a message on Facebook about my interest in signing with Silverado. I literally ignored it because I thought ‘What record label reaches you on Facebook?’ David’s manager urged him to call Scott Thomas at the label back – and he soon found himself with a recording contract. He says it’s been a perfect professional union, as the label is allowing him to do his music….his way.
“I love traditional country and when they came on board, that's what they loved, I didn't hold anything back on it. I was one hundred percent me, and they wanted to embrace that. In all honesty, it's the first time I've ever had a team around me that wasn't trying to change who I was.”
David has also developed a strong fan following in the Lone Star State of Texas. He’s performed on stages with Cody Johnson, Josh Abbott, Stoney LaRue, and Aaron Watson. He has found an audience there who respects his traditional sound like no other – as he has become one of the rising talents on the Texas Music scene.
And, now David Adam Byrnes has his first single available to the public. The release, “Already High,” is a fun toe tapper. “It's just a playful song. I wrote it with Michael White, who has written many songs., including “The Baby” by Blake Shelton. The album – tentatively titled Neon Town produced by Trent Willmon (Cody Johnson)- is recorded and ready to be released. He’s equally ready for people to hear it. He feels that the time is right – for Country Music to be ‘Country’ again, and he feels he is just the man to do it!
“I just want be able to take Country Music to people that feel like they're not getting it. One of the things that I hear from fans is there's just no traditional country. Yeah there is, we just gotta go out and get heard.”