Byron Berline

Byron Berline & Sundance

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The debut recording by Byron Berline and Sundance focuses heavily on the writing and lead vocals of bassist Jack Skinner; unfortunately, neither his compositions nor his singing are especially remarkable. Sadly, Berline doesn't have as prominent a role as he did in his previous group, Country Gazette. The album is also a tad over-produced, with the unexpected inclusion of Bill Withers' quickly tiresome "Sweet Wanomi," which is a bit too repetitious (a common problem with Withers' songs) to work very well in a country-rock setting. It is not surprising that there was a major upheaval in personnel and instrumentation by the time the band's follow-up record (Live at McCabes) was recorded the following year, most notably with the departure of Skinner and a return to a more acoustic sound and traditional bluegrass play list. This long out-of-print disc will be of minimal interest to most fans of Byron Berline.

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