Brent Byrd brings his one-man traveling band to Hilton Head Island

jpaprocki@islandpacket.comAugust 1, 2012 

  • Brent Byrd plays at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at Bomboras Grille in Coligny Plaza on Hilton Head Island.

    Details: www.brentbyrdmusic.com

Life on the road is a bit easier when you've got your own RV. No more claustrophobic vans, no more roadside motels -- yes, the RV life has worked well for Brent Byrd at this stage in his career.

The acoustic guitarist returns to Hilton Head Island to play Bomboras Grille on Saturday as part of a four-month tour.

The tour has stretched from his St. Augustine, Fla., home to Nashville, Tenn., Asheville, N.C., and everywhere in between. He's only been making it back home to cut tracks for a new CD.

"It gets tough sometimes," he said. "But it's definitely an experience I won't forget."

It's just Byrd and his RV out there on the road. He plays solo now but uses looping equipment on stage that allows him to record himself live and replay it, generating an effect as though he were up there with a full band.

He's spent the past year touring to promote his latest album, "Time to Start Livin'," a kicked-back set of funky acoustic rock. He describes his style as if Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix were jamming late night and The Black Crowes and Bob Dylan suddenly showed up.

Explaining exactly what he sounds like has proven to be a tricky task.

"Just trying to get shows as a solo acoustic artist can be hard," he said. "They think you're going to get up there and do 'Kumbaya.' I'm acoustic, but I try to throw a twist in it."

Byrd, originally from Chicago, moved to the Jacksonville, Fla., area from San Diego about two years ago. He was starting from scratch, trying to get ingrained in a new scene.

Touring now is a bit easier. Crowds and owners recognize him. Gigs aren't just at random. He can go into a venue knowing what to expect.

"You have to spend time working on venues, try to make repeat performances and build a fanbase," he said. "Since I've been doing that it's a whole new world."

He hopes to get a full band together, like he has in the past. But right now it's difficult to make that work financially. He's fine being a loner on the road. He can kill plenty of time doing interviews or record signings. Small radio stations or record stores are surprisingly open if you just call.

"Other than that, you can just try to perfect your music," he said. "Not much more than that."

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