The Austin-based duo of Byrd & Street seem on a mission to prove that you don't need more sounds, more instruments or more electricity to deliver a solid album of songs. And with this 'less is more' mentality, Byrd & Street came out of the studio with another terrific collection of songs on 'Words And Music'.

The new CD opens with what would turn out to be one of my favorite songs, 'I'm Gonna Swim'. From the outset, Byrd & Street's strengths show with strong, thoughtful lyrics and effortless harmonies, intertwining with terrific playing. I love the solo:

'When I Hear Her Sing' is so sweet and beautiful. I was thinking this song was describing a woman's physical beauty, and then it caught me by surprise (one of the fun things about listening to a song before noting the title). Here's what I mean:

Sweet as the water that runs in the creek
Warm like the sunshine kissing my cheek
Pretty as the Dogwood's bloom in the spring
Fresh as the morning after the rain
It's like falling in love when I hear her sing

'I Need A Small Town' is another of many highlights on 'Words And Music'.

I love 'Old Out Of Tune Guitar'. To me, this song touches on a love for music that so many people have in them, but few have truly tapped. "You'll never hear the songs he plays / Just an old broken down guitar / You can only hear his music / With your heart":

From the opening track, I just feel good about where 'Words And Music' takes me. It took me to the mid-70's, when I would not just listen to - but study - Jim Croce albums with an unhealthy obsession. Byrd & Street's 'Words And Music' is a CD that can be listened to several times, and each time, you can find something new and cool about it.

Tommy Byrd and Kathy Street have been collaborating since 2001. From the open of 'Words And Music', it becomes evident that these two voices belong together. Their harmonies are the highlight of this album, but by no means the only reason that 'Words And Music' is a joy to listen to. This music breathes confidently.

Byrd & Street 'Words And Music' Tracklist:

1.  I'm Gonna Swim
2.  A Rocking Chair And A Memory
3.  The Kid In Me
4.  When I Hear Her Sing
5.  I Need A Small Town
6.  Family Matters
7.  Together Again
8.  Family, Faith, And Friends
9.  Old Out Of Tune Guitar
10.  Higher Ground
11.  You Have Been My Friend