Album Review: David Adam Byrnes - "Keep Up With A Cowgirl"

One of the most-gifted net-traditional country singers in the industry delivers the kind of country music that keeps you coming back for more.

David Adams Byrnes had to leave Nashville to become the country music star he always dreamed of being. On his new album Keep Up With A Cowgirl, released via Reviver Records, the decision to move to Texas and become a Texas Music Chart legend in the process was the right decision. It’s a path that other country singin’ songwriters have taken (most notably Willie Nelson) and the state of Texas suits David Adam Byrnes well. His music leans heavily on the kind of sounds which dominated country music in the 1990s and 2000s and remain evergreen country music themes and sounds. Vocally there are plenty of times the Arkansas native recalls Mark Chesnutt and that’s about as high praise as I can give his kind of country singer.

Songs like “Too Much Texas” (with stellar fiddle fills and instrumentals along with mandolins and banjos in the mix) and “One Honky Tonk Town” showcase why David Adam Byrnes has become a star in the Texas and the Southwest. The latter song, his seventh-consecutive single to top the Texas Regional Radio Report, made David the only artist to achieve this feat (just call him the “Texas Music Luke Combs”). He writes, sings and performs #1 hits and songs that could and SHOULD be hits all over America. “I Find A Reason” is the kind of song that anyone with a broken heart can relate to while “All I’m Missing” feels like a happier take on the same topic where DAB finds all the things he has except the one he really needs. “Better Love Next Time” take an atmospheric fiddle-laced sound which recalls the best Dean Dillon and Clay Blaker written George Strait ballad about a man and a woman who are good for short doses but aren’t meant to be together. It’s a strong outlook on the fact that nearly every relationship a person can get into is going to have a logical end on the path to the person they’re destined to be with.

“Like I’m Elvis” talks about the very real facts that happen to an artist who is on their way up playing to half-empty (or more) rooms as they build their career and how the love of their life back home loves him regardless of what he has. “Accidents” showcases how life brings people together and how the “meet cute” of fate and destiny are interchangeable. The record features four acoustic tracks including the lone track no written by DAB and his co-writers, Dan Seals’ “Everything That Glitters Is Not Gold.” It’s a raw, pure showcase of the kind of thing DAB used to do in bars around Nashville for tips, playing great songs while the other three are acoustic versions of tracks from this album that showcase both songwriting and songwriter “in the round” moments that bring the power and intimacy of songs to you no matter where you are.

Everything about Keep Up With A Cowgirl showcases why David Adam Byrnes was smart to go to Texas to find his musical self. He always had these songs and this sound in him but the music industry in Nashville sometimes (oftentimes) tries to make people into their images instead of leaving the people as the image that they always were: a star in their own right. Texas took to David Adam Byrnes as quickly as he took to Texas and I’m happy that he’s now experiencing the success he always was meant to have. Keep Up With A Cowgirl is the kind of country music longtime country music fans will enjoy and it’ll bring in some new ones too.