This week on Art of the Song, futuristic songwriter and Grammy-winning producer Andy Byrd is featured.
About the artist:
Man Full of Holes, as you may have guessed, is a pseudonym: for a well-known music industry professional, Andy Byrd.
Andy Byrd has devoted most of his life to the business and art of music. His success as a performer, studio musician, music producer, audio engineer, mix engineer, hit songwriter, music publisher and
recording studio designer and studio builder has been without parallel in most professional music circles.
Byrd’s successes as a Nashville songwriter and music producer are many. His Top-Ten hits as a songwriter include TRAIN OF MEMORIES, by Kathy Mattea, and MENDING FENCES, by Restless Heart, each of which earned Andy the ASCAP Award for Most Performed song. Andy’s Grammy Award-winning production on Asleep at the Wheel’s THE WHEEL KEEPS ON ROLLING made the album a huge success for Capitol Records.
His 20-year stint as a Nashville songwriter also included other successful songs by artists such as Suzy Bogguss, Terry McBride & the Ride, John Michael Montgomery, Matthews Wright & King, Larry Stewart, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ricochet, Tanya Tucker, Duane Steele, Victoria Shaw, Asleep at the Wheel, & Danni Leigh.
If songwriting didn’t keep him busy enough, Andy’s record production star also shone bright on the Nashville skyline. His pre-production on Steve Earle’s GUITAR TOWN and EXIT allowed label head Tony Brown to simply “cop” the demos. And, as mentioned above, Asleep at the Wheel’s album, THE WHEEL KEEPS ON ROLLING, won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Performance: HIGHTOWER. Byrd also produced two successful albums on Warner Records for Victoria Shaw; Lionel Cartwright’s CHASIN’ THE SUN which Byrd produced on the MCA label; along with Asylum label’s WHEELS for that great southern band, Wheels.
One would think that songwriting and record production would keep a guy busy enough. Not Byrd. In his “spare” time, Andy was a music publisher for publishing giant Warner-Chappell Music on Music Row in Nashville. During his 10-year stint there, Andy not only signed songwriters to publishing deals, he also designed and oversaw the operations of WC’s in-house studio where lots of hit song demos were cut. He also designed and built studios for Jim Ed Norman and Mel Tillis, as well as for the Oak Ridge Boys. Songwriting, music producing, publishing, and studio design in one career can make a guy really need a vacation. When Andy stumbled on Taos, NM as a vacation spot, it was heaven on earth, and his dream came true when he felt he had “made it” enough to relocate to Taos in 2000. The scenery was great, but it soon became evident that Byrd had no intention of giving up the creative force so strong in him. He rekindled the relationships he had with New Mexico legends like Michael Hearne, Jenny Bird, Bill & Bonnie Hearne, hit songwriter Mentor Williams, country star Lynn Anderson, & Taos Pueblo’s favorite son, Robert Mirabal.
Andy instantly began collaborating as a songwriter with the Southwest-area stars, and then he produced Michael Hearne’s album SIGHT & SOUND, which swept the New Mexico Music Awards in 2003. Not only did Byrd groove with the hip Southwest sound, but when Petroglyph Records hit town, Andy jumped at the chance to produce two CDs for the Latin Jazz-based label, Francesca Ancarola’s SONS OF THE SAME SUN, which Andy produced in Santiago, Chile, and Antonio Restucci’s CRISOL, which Andy produced in Santiago, Chile and Barcelona, Spain. Both of these Latin CDs won wide critical acclaim and established Byrd as a World-Music producer. He co-wrote Francesca’s single with her, TO THE SHORE OF THE SEA.
Returning from the global music hop, Byrd produced Taos Pueblo star, Robert Mirabal’s Grammy-nominated album, IN THE BLOOD. Andy’s music production on this work marries authentic Native American acoustic instruments and vocals with synthesized rhythms, driving guitars and sound effects along with heart-thumping grooves.
Andy Byrd is well-versed in the art of songwriting, music production, publishing, and studio design, but he is also is a pro studio recording engineer. His track engineering and mix engineering on records by Michael Hearne, Jenny Bird, Francesca Ancarola, Antonio Restucci, Stephanie Lee, David Garver and Robert Mirabal has truly made the difference in these projects, taking them to the level needed for radio
play and critical acclaim.
But, that was then, this is now.
Life was good in the old reality. But it turns out, Byrd’s love for musical expression went beyond the bounds of commercial music. As Byrd’s new consciousness soared in the freedom of Taos; his yearning for expression via his own musical output led him on a 6-year journey of study, writing and production for his first album as a solo artist, FUTURE HISTORY.
FUTURE HISTORY is a record full of history and insight, one he hopes will help carry mankind forward into a new age of understanding, and with this album, Byrd sheds his old identity and transforms into Man Full of Holes. In shedding his old skin, MFOH recognizes the multi-dimensional but incomplete human-ness we all experience.
MFOH hopes that, through FUTURE HISTORY, we can all explore the consciousness shift happening today, through prophecy and myth, transforming old and new knowledge into new consciousness music. Man Full of Holes offers this work and humbly hopes it will help propel the spirit of wholeness in everyone who listens.