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Jonathan Byrd - The Waitress
[2002]
$15.00
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"...my discovery of the year. Byrd is right up there with the best of them with a twist and turn of phrase, a facile use of language and the ability to tell a story straight into your heart. This is an unforgettable CD." -Rich Warren, WFMT

On Byrd's second CD, The Waitress, he's still telling tales of country towns, but the characters are carrying cell phones and recovering from foreign wars. Using the same "less is more" approach as he did with Wildflowers, Jonathan tells vibrant stories, often with only his guitar for accompaniment. In June 2003, The Waitress was ranked no. 22 in airplay from the international folk DJ group, folkdj-l. "The Ballad of Larry" was printed in Sing Out! magazine and sent to their 2500 subscribers on CD. The title cut's a funny but unsettling slice of romantic obsession with the lady who keeps his cup of coffee filled. "Tape Full of Love Songs" reveals an ironic twist worthy of an O. Henry short story. "Rosie," a chilling murder ballad from Byrd's family history, sung a capella, just might raise the hairs on the back of your neck. With fiddle, accordion, bass and cello.

The Waitress
The Ballad of Larry
Radio
The Snake Song
Down the Old Mountain Road
My Generation
Small Town
Tape Full of Love Songs
Stackalee
Home Sweet Home
Being With You
Fiddle and Bow
Rosie

The Ballad of Larry
by Jonathan Byrd

Larry is a veteran, I seen him at the store
A six pack of malt liquor- it’s the Prozac of the poor
A can o’ chili and a can o’ beans and a pack of cigarettes
Four cheap cigars- he writes a check
He climbs into his van, it’s a blue Econoline
They’re both on their last legs, if looks are any sign
There’s a flag on the bumper and, just to the right
A bald eagle with a nail file says, “It’s time to fight.”

You think you’ve got nothing to give
Look around how people live
Loneliness is poverty
Say, “hey,” say, “hey,” to me.

I had an old piano that just didn’t belong
A couple missin’ keys that seem to be in every song
Even when I had it tuned, it didn’t sound that good
I was tempted to scrap the guts and burn the wood
I put it in the paper, a piano for free
If you can haul it, you can have it, and people came to see
Some folks played “Chopsticks” or “Body and Soul”
Always, they’d hammer in the empty holes

You think…

“I heard you got a piano,” he said with suspicion
He was shakin’ from the cold and probably malnutrition
I said, “Hey, Larry, won’t you come on in
Can I make you some coffee?” but he wasn’t listenin’
He went to that piano like he’d seen an old friend
He drew his name in the dust, he told me where it was made and when
He said, “I haven’t seen one like this since I was a boy.”
His face was twisted into joy.

You think…

Well, we talked a few minutes, and then the coffee was hot
I said, “Hey, Larry, won’t you show me what you’ve got.”
He showed me what he had alright, with conviction and soul
He banged the barrelhouse blues, baby, he rolled like Jellyroll
He played songs of love and country, from C to shining C
And not once, not once, did I hear a broken key
A broken old piano and a broken old man
Rolled away smokin’ in a broken old van

Current Reviews: 1
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"The Waitress" was my introduction to Jonathan Byrd's music. ..
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