Byron Berline fans will find much to love about Flyin’ Fingers, his latest double CD (44 tracks). This outstanding collection of all original tunes, written and produced by Byron Berline at The Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, OK, was also co-produced by Steve Short. Byron is no stranger to every genre of music; he has recorded with the late Bill Monroe, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Rolling Stones to skim the surface. This CD is a mixture of bluegrass, swing and old time fiddling, and you can tell as the bow pulls across the strings in his title track, that music is Byron’s soul. Typical Byron, smooth, soulful and elegant, and the KING of double stop fiddling can undoubtedly be witnessed in the tones of Easy Does It Waltz. Berline sticks to his own sound, sensibilities and style.
The album is not only a testament to Byron Berline’s soul connection with music, but his skills and adventurous playing are as prominent today as they were yesterday. This man is the master of rags, waltzes, hornpipes, reels and breakdowns, Cajun, swing, gypsy and lets not forget, major keys, minor keys, flat keys and double stops. A champion fiddler and the son of a champion fiddler (Leu Berline), Byron has never forgotten that music flows through his veins. A true musician feels their sound deep inside, and allows it to flow throughout their soul, just as Berline does here.
Byron Berline’s roots have always been with family, and still today this is apparent on this recording. He showcases many original tunes named and written about family members, old friends, and loved ones.
In true, Byron fashion, Berline once again has assembled a fine group of musicians to accompany him on these tunes. His current bandmates in the Byron Berline Band figure prominently. On each song we are privileged to hear these outstanding musicians as they accompany the great master. Greg Burgess, acoustic guitar and fiddle, Billy Perry, banjo and dobro, Richard Sharp, stand-up bass, Steve Short, drums and Thomas Trapp, acoustic guitar, just might make up one of the most talented bands around as they play alongside Byron, not behind him. Bette Berline, Byron’s wife can be heard tickling the ivories on Bette’s Waltz, which was written in her honor by Byron. Many friends have guest spots on this recording, Jerry Douglas, Alan Munde, Barry Patton, (the nation’s best bones player), are simply a few of them. One cannot overlook Canada Dry, where Byron has an acoustic guitar spot, and on other tunes where he can be found picking on the mandolin.
Let me finish up with tip of the hat to a tune titled Boomer Sooner Breakdown, a tribute to Byron’s alma mater, Oklahoma University, where he could be found on the football field standing beside Coach Bud Wilkerson and his other teammates.
This double disc set of all original tunes is done in true Byron style. Just simply ask him if he wrote these songs. His response, “I didn’t write ’em..I just made ’em up.”
Now, you all need to do is to get your copy of Flyin’ Fingers, begin tapping your foot, waltzing across the kitchen tiles, and enjoying the tunes of the KING of the Double Stop, Byron Berline. I have already began!
Standing ovation for this recording!