I have often said I just don't care for modern music of today. Beyonce, Adelle, and all the others who make millions of dollars with their recordings, fail to impress me with their voices, their choice of songs and their demeanor.
Today I had to change my mind about singers of today. I sat and listened to Paul Byrom for two hours. Not only is he the best voice out there, he is an excellent entertainer. His Irish accent and his great sense of humor, his self-deprecating humor, keeps his audience glued to his performance. Last year Paul's latest album THINKING OF HOME reached the top of the iTunes, Amazon and World Billboard Charts and he has just been named for the second time in three years, The Irish Tenor Of The Year by the Irish Music Association.
He can be funny, but also quite serious. He is not only singing but also writing songs and his song about Lady Liberty is deeply moving. His people, like my people, came to this country as immigrants. Mine came before there was a Statue of Liberty, but in Paul's song, a man comes from Ireland to escape the trouble there, hoping to make his home here in the land of promise. I was reminded of how our country is made up of immigrants who hold Lady Liberty in high esteem and the words on that statue touch them deeply.
Paul sings so many beautiful songs I can't name them all, but on each one I am amazed at his voice control, holding long notes, sure and strong. He began voice training when he was seven years old as a boy soprano. One of his recordings is 22 songs done when he was fourteen years old. He said he was fortunate that when his voice changed he became a tenor instead of a bass.
He sang for four years with Celtic Thunder, a fabulous group of Irish singers and musicians, but struck out on his own and is doing quite well, at home and in the United States. He always sings a song in honor of George Donaldson, fellow member of the group who died young, in his forties, a few years ago. George was one of my favorites so it pleases me when he is honored in this way.
I feel like I know Paul's family after seeing him in concert a few times. His wife is Dominique and her father is Phil Coulter, outstanding musician and song writer. Coulter has written many of the songs sung by Celtic Thunder. One of my favorites is Scorn Not His Simplicity about Coulter's son born with Down's Syndrome. Paul does a great job on this one.
I will play Paul's CDs all the way home. I am a big fan and wish everyone could hear him and see his events in person.
Do you have a favorite singer whose music affects you like Paul's music affects me?