Interviews

An interview with Tracy Byrd


By Ryan Gueningsman, Staff Writer

Tracy Byrd had a recent hit called “The Truth About Men.”

Well, the truth about Byrd is that he is just a “good ol’ guy from Texas who loves the Lord and loves Country music,” he said.

“My children are my most precious possessions and I appreciate so much my career spanning over a decade now. I’m so blessed,” he added.

Byrd’s career has launched hits like “Holdin’ Heaven,” “Lifestyles of the Not So Rich and Famous,” “Watermelon Crawl,” and the ballad “Keeper of the Stars.”

“On my albums, I do try to come up with a good mix and I try to include the light-hearted up-tempos because that is what seems to get the big response for me on radio and in my shows,” Byrd said. “But, if I had my way, I would do more swing type songs and a lot more traditional sounding country music. That is where my heart is, so I do a mix of that in my shows.”

Byrd is planning on touring all across the nation this summer, promoting his newest CD, “The Truth About Men,” as well as his recently published cookbook “Eat Like a Byrd.”

“We’ve had two great singles from this album, the title track and “Drinkin’ Bone” went into the Top 10,” he said. “I’m not sure which one the label is going to come out with next, I hope a ballad or mid-tempo. This summer, we will tour all over the nation, we’ll do a big west coast run and play a lot up north and do all the fairs and festivals we can.

“We like to call them the ‘mud and dust’ tour. Also this summer we’ll be talking a lot about my cookbook and my seasonings and marinades that folks can buy at Wal-Mart Super Centers.

“I’m real proud of them because they are top-of-the-line and made with high grade vinegars, not water like a lot of them are on the shelves. Also, if people buy the cookbook at www.eatlikeabyrd.com/homecoming, then a $5 contribution will be made to my charity of choice, Children’s Miracle Network.

“Our fan club party this year at Fan Fair in Nashville will be an Eat Like a Byrd party and we’ll be cooking with my spices and marinades for my fan club members, who are called Byrd Watchers,” he said.

Byrd has also been focusing on his song-writing more than he has in the past, and looks to continue doing that, as well, while on the road or taking breaks from touring.

“I’m writing more than I have in a lot of years with some of my favorite writers in Nashville. I’ve really enjoyed getting back to that,” he said.

Byrd has lived for 16 years in Beaumont, Texas, with his wife, Michelle, and kids Evee, Logan, and Jared.

He gives back to the community with his annual Tracy Byrd Homecoming Weekend, which took place the last weekend in March. A fishing tournament, concert, and golf tournament raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network; the proceeds have underwritten the Tracy Byrd Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care Center at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.

In addition to his philanthropic activities, Byrd hosts the Mossy Oak’s Hunting the Country TV show on ESPN2.

“I love making music, and I love this job,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like one, and never has. I just absolutely still get fidgety and tickled about going in the studio and making records, and about going on stage. It’s great to wake up and love your job like that.”

Byrd is looking forward to the summer and seeing his fans on the road.

“Me and my band always love playing in Minnesota,” Byrd said. “I’d love to do some big deer hunting some day. Y’all are some of the finest people in the nation! I’m looking forward to June 5!”

What did T-Byrd’s wife think about “The Truth About Men?”

“My wife loved the song because she can strongly identify with it,” he said. “When I sing it on the road, I see folks in the audience shaking their head in agreement. The women are usually elbowing their significant others and saying ‘that’s exactly how you are!’”