I found both of these self-produced singer-songwriters at CD Baby. If you haven't browsed through the CDs there, you should set aside some time and check it out. It can be a daunting task! They are the biggest sellers of independant music. Now, not all of it is great. There are plenty of average local artists out there with the resources to burn a CD. But there are also lots of extremely talented folks who rarely get the break they deserve. I'll save my whole "how ClearChannel and the RIAA have stifled good music" rant for some other time. Let's listen to some good musicians and thank CD Baby for giving them an outlet.
Although, originally from Berkshire, MA. Vince Junior is now based in Asheville, North Carolina. He plays an old National Duallian steel-bodied resonator guitar. I used to have one, his looks like it's from the late 1920's or early '30's. In his music you can hear the obvious blues influences, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell, etc. But he has blended that with more contemporary influences such as Ry Cooder, JJ Cale, and Bruce Cockburn. His strong, rich voice, aggressive slide guitar work and his simple and direct songwriting are a winning combination. This cut is from his Better Than a Wheel CD.
from his website: "Jonathan's career started with a contest. In the year 2000, Byrd took grand prize in the North Carolina Songwriter's Co-op Song contest in his hometown of Carrboro, NC. Inspired, he began to tour and recorded his first CD, Wildflowers."
In 2003 he won the New Folk Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
'Sing Out!' magazine says Byrd is, "a songwriter of exceptional talent... with the stark storytelling of the finest traditional balladeers."
You can feel the energy in his recordings. I have not had the chance to see him in person, yet, but I imagine that his live shows are a lot of fun.