Tue, Jan 16 6:00 pm
JON BYRD lived his formative years in small-town America, deep in the piney woods of south Alabama, just one county over from the birthplace of legendary country artist Hank Williams. When Jon was just eight years old, his dad was diagnosed with TB and began singing Jimmie Rogers' song "TB Blues" all around the house. That same year Jon saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and his obsession with the musical tension between country and rock was born. The very next year he was conscripted into the drum corps of his tiny school's marching band and played Booker T. and the MG's "Green Onions" while the majorettes held the cymbals and danced. There was no turning back. After touring nationally with jangle-pop purists Tim Lee and the Windbreakers and Birmingham's Primitons in the 1980s, the 1990s saw Byrd attempting a Ph.D. in American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta… and becoming a central figure in Atlanta's infamous Redneck Underground movement as lead guitarist for the seminal and storied country band Slim Chance and the Convicts (Letters to Mama, 1993, and Twang Peaks, 1996). He also formed the hard country band the Ratchet Set as a musical outlet for his love of old trucking songs and two-chord honky-tonk gems. In 1998, after 7 years of teaching and no diss, Byrd, helped country traditionalist Greta Lee record her first full-length cd This Ain't Over Yet.