The Fallen Stars
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The Fallen Stars

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE

Huntington Beach, California, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock

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We apologize for our extended absence here for a bit but when it comes to things like nasty flu-like viruses they tend to do lovely things to the ability to concentrate on music properly. Which would have meant that our appreciation of a song like "Valentine's Day" on this album, even if it was more timely, would have been muddled. Said song, beautifully sung by bassist Tracy Byrnes, is definitely a treat, as is much of Heart Like Mine, the fourth release by these local country-rock stalwarts.

Brynes and her multi-instrumentalist husband Bobbo, the core of the band, duet at many points, with the occasional solo turns by both adding further variety to the overall sound; that they're a veteran band is something you almost sense by implication at this point. There's everything from an ease and accomplishment in the sequencing -- an hour long, the album often feels like a pitch-perfect setlist -- to the overall performances, where nothing is per se surprising but everything punches the right buttons. Bobbo's solos in particular are often spot-on, a bit of flash without crushing the arrangements.

Ultimately, in their performances, appreciation for classic rock as much as classic country and at times their sense of an America where lights are burning dimly in the midst of cold emptiness, the Fallen Stars at their best here, on songs like "Dam" and "What's His Name," call to mind a bit of a peppier riff on the still underrated Walkabouts, perhaps America's most unfairly obscure roots band. If the Byrnes can bring a little of that majesty to local stages in their particular way -- and they do -- then it's all to the good. Plus, a songtitle like "Tequila & Morphine" is just too perfect -- as is "Part Time Cowboy." - OC Weekly


We apologize for our extended absence here for a bit but when it comes to things like nasty flu-like viruses they tend to do lovely things to the ability to concentrate on music properly. Which would have meant that our appreciation of a song like "Valentine's Day" on this album, even if it was more timely, would have been muddled. Said song, beautifully sung by bassist Tracy Byrnes, is definitely a treat, as is much of Heart Like Mine, the fourth release by these local country-rock stalwarts.

Brynes and her multi-instrumentalist husband Bobbo, the core of the band, duet at many points, with the occasional solo turns by both adding further variety to the overall sound; that they're a veteran band is something you almost sense by implication at this point. There's everything from an ease and accomplishment in the sequencing -- an hour long, the album often feels like a pitch-perfect setlist -- to the overall performances, where nothing is per se surprising but everything punches the right buttons. Bobbo's solos in particular are often spot-on, a bit of flash without crushing the arrangements.

Ultimately, in their performances, appreciation for classic rock as much as classic country and at times their sense of an America where lights are burning dimly in the midst of cold emptiness, the Fallen Stars at their best here, on songs like "Dam" and "What's His Name," call to mind a bit of a peppier riff on the still underrated Walkabouts, perhaps America's most unfairly obscure roots band. If the Byrnes can bring a little of that majesty to local stages in their particular way -- and they do -- then it's all to the good. Plus, a songtitle like "Tequila & Morphine" is just too perfect -- as is "Part Time Cowboy." - OC Weekly


"Two singers lead this ultra-tight quartet-the folk-serious Bobbo and the buoyant Tracy Byrnes-and give it multiple dimensions. Bobbo's outing, the songs "Dam" and "Glad," are strong, particularly the latter with it's thoughtful lyrics, memorable hook and a lead vocal that strides confidently. Tracy's vocals shine with instant vitality, but she deserves way better material than the mundane "All I Want." What really comes through on these recordings is that this road-tested unit have performance chops to the max." - Music Connection Magazine


"Singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes and wife Tracy Byrnes on vocals & bass return to the fold with bandmates Geoff Geib on piano & B3 and Gary O'Yeah on drums with a fine sounding new album of contemporary country rock entitled Heart Like Mine. Formerly from Massachusetts, the couple have called Southern California their home for the last decade, and over the years they've toured most of the country and some of Europe bringing their uptempo brand of Americana to the masses.

On Heart Like Mine the couple not only shares vocal duties but sings in tandem as well as harmonize together with chiming clarity. The songs are full of touching sentiment and are well played by Geib, O'Yeah and Byrnes', but it's the vocals that really put the tunes over the top. Special musical guests Rami Jaffee on B3, Caitlin Cary on violin, Gregg Braught on guitar, Danny Ott on "fancy guitar playing" & lap steel along with backing singers Anna Tutor, Emma Simons-Araya, Heather Stewart & Sue Paine all lend their collective talents to this masterfully produced record. Exceptional tracks aimed for nationwide airplay include the ethereal rocker "Glad," the easy country glide of "Valentine's Day," the epic "Jericho," the two-steppin' hoedown of "What's His Name," the footstompin' thump of "All I Want," the gallop of "Summer Wine," and the Ramones meet Garth Brooks vibe of "Truckin' Song." - Metronome Magazine


"Singer-songwriter-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes and wife Tracy Byrnes on vocals & bass return to the fold with bandmates Geoff Geib on piano & B3 and Gary O'Yeah on drums with a fine sounding new album of contemporary country rock entitled Heart Like Mine. Formerly from Massachusetts, the couple have called Southern California their home for the last decade, and over the years they've toured most of the country and some of Europe bringing their uptempo brand of Americana to the masses.

On Heart Like Mine the couple not only shares vocal duties but sings in tandem as well as harmonize together with chiming clarity. The songs are full of touching sentiment and are well played by Geib, O'Yeah and Byrnes', but it's the vocals that really put the tunes over the top. Special musical guests Rami Jaffee on B3, Caitlin Cary on violin, Gregg Braught on guitar, Danny Ott on "fancy guitar playing" & lap steel along with backing singers Anna Tutor, Emma Simons-Araya, Heather Stewart & Sue Paine all lend their collective talents to this masterfully produced record. Exceptional tracks aimed for nationwide airplay include the ethereal rocker "Glad," the easy country glide of "Valentine's Day," the epic "Jericho," the two-steppin' hoedown of "What's His Name," the footstompin' thump of "All I Want," the gallop of "Summer Wine," and the Ramones meet Garth Brooks vibe of "Truckin' Song." - Metronome Magazine


"The Fallen Stars "Heart Like Mine". Led by Bobbo Byrnes' sizzling guitar, the Fallen Stars prove themselves with their stellar country roots rock. With a tight rhythm section backing him, Byrnes unreels hot licks with thick tone, laying down an album of originals that are catchy and cool." - Vintage Guitar Player Magazine


…And then there was the Fallen Stars who took the stage like seasoned veterans, Bobbo, the lead singer going from one side of the stage to the other making sure no one was left out and not paying attention. Tracy Brynes (sic) on bass and John Vowell on drums keeping everything tight and running like a V8 engine and just powering down the highway. The highlights of their set included Bobbo taking a long intro to tell a story about a broken down car before “Welfare Cadillac” and then Tracy blowing the doors off the building with “Candyland.” With all of this going on (and Bobbo running through the audience) you almost miss Gregg Braught’s tasty lead guitar – it never ceases to amaze the great tone between a Fender guitar and a Fender amp. They ended the show by melding a Springsteen song with a Clash song showing off their obvious influences. This writer was shocked to find out that they were a true independent band with no label. Someone is going to snatch these folks up soon so see them while they’re still small. - Live Magazine


Featuring thirteen songs that highlight both Bobbo's and Tracy's vocal work, the album deals up a potpourri of pop, rock and jangling acoustic offerings. Combining elements of The Rolling Stones and Counting Crows, The Fallen Stars inject their trump card of Tracy Byrnes' vocals into the mix making for a completely original project. Coupled to tight performances by the band and soaring original arrangements. - Metronome Magazine


Featuring thirteen songs that highlight both Bobbo's and Tracy's vocal work, the album deals up a potpourri of pop, rock and jangling acoustic offerings. Combining elements of The Rolling Stones and Counting Crows, The Fallen Stars inject their trump card of Tracy Byrnes' vocals into the mix making for a completely original project. Coupled to tight performances by the band and soaring original arrangements. - Metronome Magazine


Rating: 10 (on a scale of 11)

Holy Crap! This is freakin' good. Bobbo Byrnes, locally known for The Gypsy Mechanics before he and his wife Tracy moved to Cali, has now moved musically as well.

With the opening short "Found," the Fallen Stars debut CD begins a trek through many states- United and emotional - which all revolve around the finding and losing of many things; many of which may be determined only by the listener.

The entire album is crisp. It pops from the earphones/speakers quickly and easily. Whether it's an all-out straight-forward rocker like "We Are Only Young" or a softer ballad like "Ellie," each instrument is perfectly placed in production as well as perfectly played.

"In Reach" has a wonderful piano/guitar harmony while Bobbo laments of the innocence of going to the beach of younger days. And how the strip was "lit up like a Christmas tree on the fourth of July." "Sioux City," one of many that refer to a specific geographic location, has a subtle hook, plenty of guitar plushness, and Tracy's bass and harmonies in full swing. This tune, and some of the others, remind me of latter Lemonheads when Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield began performing together.

I think I prefer the songs that Bobbo leads vocally, but that's not to say Tracy isn't good. She is wonderful, but the texture Bobbo brings has a little more resonance and when Tracy harmonizes with him, it's magical. - Jam Magazine April 2004 Written by William A. Huffman


Rating: 10 (on a scale of 11)

Holy Crap! This is freakin' good. Bobbo Byrnes, locally known for The Gypsy Mechanics before he and his wife Tracy moved to Cali, has now moved musically as well.

With the opening short "Found," the Fallen Stars debut CD begins a trek through many states- United and emotional - which all revolve around the finding and losing of many things; many of which may be determined only by the listener.

The entire album is crisp. It pops from the earphones/speakers quickly and easily. Whether it's an all-out straight-forward rocker like "We Are Only Young" or a softer ballad like "Ellie," each instrument is perfectly placed in production as well as perfectly played.

"In Reach" has a wonderful piano/guitar harmony while Bobbo laments of the innocence of going to the beach of younger days. And how the strip was "lit up like a Christmas tree on the fourth of July." "Sioux City," one of many that refer to a specific geographic location, has a subtle hook, plenty of guitar plushness, and Tracy's bass and harmonies in full swing. This tune, and some of the others, remind me of latter Lemonheads when Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield began performing together.

I think I prefer the songs that Bobbo leads vocally, but that's not to say Tracy isn't good. She is wonderful, but the texture Bobbo brings has a little more resonance and when Tracy harmonizes with him, it's magical. - Jam Magazine April 2004 Written by William A. Huffman


The Fallen Stars definitely know how to put on a show. At a performance at The Coach House in June, the band's onstage chemistry flowed into the audience, mesmerizing them.

The lyrics are universal yet personal, with Bobbo Byrnes seemingly singing to individuals in the audience. Bassist Tracy Byrnes has an energizing smile and she plays bass with ease. The rest of the band, guitarist Gregg Braught and drummer John Vowell, play like they are having the time of their lives.

The Fallen Stars sound like Uncle Tupelo, the founders of alt country rock. "Our sound is a mixture of roots rock, alt country and early '70's rock," Bobbo says, not allowing his music to be classified in one genre.

"We definitely bow to the alter of Joe Strummer, and Keith Richards is our guitar god." says Vowell. Other influences include Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles. "I've been told I sound like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, "Tracy says. "I consider that a compliment, because they are one of our influences."

The current lineup has only been together for a year, but this Huntington Beach-based band has been around for seven years and are signed to Kiss My Squirrel Records.

The Fallen Stars have an album coming out in the next few months. "It's more forward thinking," Bobbo says. "It's about hopefulness. It makes you feel there is something just around the corner. The inspiration for our new album came from life, people telling us stories and friends and family." - 944 Magazine by Karen Curley


Bobbo Byrnes was thrilled when he got the call last week that his band, the Fallen Stars was nominated for three Orange County Music Awards. OK, so it's not the Grammys, but the alternative country quintet from Huntington Beach is honored to be nominated nonetheless.
The group is up for the best album award for its 2008 release "Where the Road Bends," best song for "St. George's Bank," and best country/Americana group at the 2009 OCMAs at the Grove of Anaheim on April 4. It's quite an accomplishment, as a group is the only one within its genre that was able to beat out a slew of rock and indie bands to be nominated in the top two award categories.
Though they're no stranger to awards (Fallen Stars won best live acoustic band at last year's OCMAs) the moderate success isn't going to their heads.
"We've been nominated a handful of times in the past, we've won before, now we're up for three awards and I have absolutely no complaints," Byrnes says.
In 2000, Byrnes, along with his wife Tracy, moved to Orange County from Boston. With the desire for a change of scenery following the tragic and sudden deaths of two loved ones, the Byrnes' decided to hop in the car and head as far west as they could, eventually landing in Huntington Beach.
The duo had always been involved in music. Once settled in their new home, the Byrnes' decided to regroup, start up a band and find quality musicians to play with. The name, the Fallen Stars, came from a song Bobbo wrote called "Find Some Light," in which he sings "I'm just a fallen star that never shown, did you never see the flames that I had thrown."
With Bobbo taking over guitar and vocal duties and Tracy on bass, the line-up was completed with the additions of lead guitarist Gregg Braught, drummer Brian Matteson and keyboardist and mandolin player Geoff Geib.
Music is a true labor of love for this band. Since there's no high-dollar record contract, the group has contributed a lot of their own funds into the project, but they remain hopeful that one day it will all pay off.
"We've had some benevolent people who have donated money and friends and family who have contributed, but we've all had to dip into our own savings as well," Byrnes says.
The Fallen Stars have been hard at work for the last year. They released their fifth album, "Where the Road Bends" in May and embarked on their LA La Tour in October that had the band playing various cities from Los Angeles to Louisiana.
"The final show on that tour was in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Democrats election night party," Byrnes says. "I heard a rumor that we were on CNN that night briefly but I didn't ever see it."
Currently working on a sixth album, which is scheduled to be out in a couple of months, Byrnes says the tracks are sticking to the storytelling style the group is known for, but the content is definitely more positive than it has been in the past. Songs on "Found and Lost," the bands 2004 release, came from watching everyone they knew who had gotten married, suddenly getting divorced.
"It was kind of a breaking up album and after we finished that we didn't want to write anymore songs about that," he says. "On 'Where the Road Bends' and with the new stuff, we just tried to focus more on looking forward instead of looking back."
Though the band sticks with what it does best when it comes to genre, Byrnes says that each member has an extremely eclectic taste in music.
"We are all into so many different things," he says. "Our drummer Brian loves music from easy listening to Swedish death metal. You listen to him play and you wonder, 'How does that work?' We'll ask him what influenced certain parts of music and he'll throw out some bizarre band name that we've never heard of ? but it all sounds good."
So what does the band think really makes them stand out in the scene?
"It sounds so cliché, but people often tell us that we don't sound like the other bands in the area. There's a familiar aspect to our music, but we don't sound like whatever the flavor of the month is. We don't play metal. We just tell stories with our songs. It's an old style of music, but done with our own twist."
- The Orange County Register


Bobbo Byrnes was thrilled when he got the call last week that his band, the Fallen Stars was nominated for three Orange County Music Awards. OK, so it's not the Grammys, but the alternative country quintet from Huntington Beach is honored to be nominated nonetheless.
The group is up for the best album award for its 2008 release "Where the Road Bends," best song for "St. George's Bank," and best country/Americana group at the 2009 OCMAs at the Grove of Anaheim on April 4. It's quite an accomplishment, as a group is the only one within its genre that was able to beat out a slew of rock and indie bands to be nominated in the top two award categories.
Though they're no stranger to awards (Fallen Stars won best live acoustic band at last year's OCMAs) the moderate success isn't going to their heads.
"We've been nominated a handful of times in the past, we've won before, now we're up for three awards and I have absolutely no complaints," Byrnes says.
In 2000, Byrnes, along with his wife Tracy, moved to Orange County from Boston. With the desire for a change of scenery following the tragic and sudden deaths of two loved ones, the Byrnes' decided to hop in the car and head as far west as they could, eventually landing in Huntington Beach.
The duo had always been involved in music. Once settled in their new home, the Byrnes' decided to regroup, start up a band and find quality musicians to play with. The name, the Fallen Stars, came from a song Bobbo wrote called "Find Some Light," in which he sings "I'm just a fallen star that never shown, did you never see the flames that I had thrown."
With Bobbo taking over guitar and vocal duties and Tracy on bass, the line-up was completed with the additions of lead guitarist Gregg Braught, drummer Brian Matteson and keyboardist and mandolin player Geoff Geib.
Music is a true labor of love for this band. Since there's no high-dollar record contract, the group has contributed a lot of their own funds into the project, but they remain hopeful that one day it will all pay off.
"We've had some benevolent people who have donated money and friends and family who have contributed, but we've all had to dip into our own savings as well," Byrnes says.
The Fallen Stars have been hard at work for the last year. They released their fifth album, "Where the Road Bends" in May and embarked on their LA La Tour in October that had the band playing various cities from Los Angeles to Louisiana.
"The final show on that tour was in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Democrats election night party," Byrnes says. "I heard a rumor that we were on CNN that night briefly but I didn't ever see it."
Currently working on a sixth album, which is scheduled to be out in a couple of months, Byrnes says the tracks are sticking to the storytelling style the group is known for, but the content is definitely more positive than it has been in the past. Songs on "Found and Lost," the bands 2004 release, came from watching everyone they knew who had gotten married, suddenly getting divorced.
"It was kind of a breaking up album and after we finished that we didn't want to write anymore songs about that," he says. "On 'Where the Road Bends' and with the new stuff, we just tried to focus more on looking forward instead of looking back."
Though the band sticks with what it does best when it comes to genre, Byrnes says that each member has an extremely eclectic taste in music.
"We are all into so many different things," he says. "Our drummer Brian loves music from easy listening to Swedish death metal. You listen to him play and you wonder, 'How does that work?' We'll ask him what influenced certain parts of music and he'll throw out some bizarre band name that we've never heard of ? but it all sounds good."
So what does the band think really makes them stand out in the scene?
"It sounds so cliché, but people often tell us that we don't sound like the other bands in the area. There's a familiar aspect to our music, but we don't sound like whatever the flavor of the month is. We don't play metal. We just tell stories with our songs. It's an old style of music, but done with our own twist."
- The Orange County Register


Local band The Fallen Stars has found the right mix to impress judges at the Orange County Music Awards as well as audiences.

The Fallen Stars singer-bassist Tracy Byrnes had some trouble suppressing her desire to "rock out" during the Best Live Acoustic Band finals for last year's Orange County Music Awards.

Though the members of the Huntington Beach-based Americana rock band think of themselves more as energetic rock 'n' rollers, their folksy/country/rock sound fares well when unplugged, as they recently earned the Best Live Acoustic Band nomination for the second time, while just missing the cut for Best Live Band.

"I'm not going to say we sabotaged ourselves last year, but we didn't do the best performance for an acoustic setting that we could have," said lead singer and guitarist Bobbo Byrnes. "This year, I think we found a good way to rock and play acoustic."

As described by Tracy Byrnes, who enjoys being the sole woman in the band, their "organic" music sounds like "what you might imagine a cross-country road trip would sound like," with each song telling a distinct story.

In addition to the standard guitar, bass and drum lineup, the band relies on an assortment of instruments — such as a 12-string Rickenbacker, an accordion and a lap steel — to produce original and honest music, and their influences include Bruce Springsteen, The Clash and Bob Dylan.

The band's variety and originality is precisely what impressed Orange County Music Award judges, as well as the clear unity among band members, said the local award show's founder and co-producer Martin Brown.

"Over the last two or three years, The Fallen Stars has improved more than any other band that I've watched," he added.

The band got its start in Billerica, Mass., about 10 years ago, just after Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes wed. After leaving The Gypsy Mechanics, the former was looking for a bassist to accompany his solo work, and the latter was readily available and eager to learn a new instrument.

Although they moved to California in 2000, it wasn't until last year that the pair — who are careful to be strictly band mates when on stage — cemented their group with longtime Huntington Beach resident John Vowell on the drums and Gregg Braught as the lead guitarist, both of whom they met at the Bomb Shelter Recording Studios in Westminster.

Braught, who played for years with cover bands throughout the county, was ecstatic when he was invited to join The Fallen Stars after practicing with them a few times.

"After all these years, it really feels like I've got the right people, and all the factors are there," he said. "It's really cool because we are all into this equally, and we just want get out there, write some songs and have a great time doing it."

Though many of the songs on their last album, 2004's "Found & Lost," concentrated on the misery of lost love, the band promises some new, upbeat tunes for the album they plan to release later this year.

With the working title "Goldenwest" — referring to the local street, both for its proximity to their recording studio and as a path to the ocean — their new disc will feature Louisiana-based saxophonist Duston Erwin and The Wallflowers' keyboardist Rami Jaffee.

Find out if The Fallen Stars are named this year's Best Live Acoustic Band at the Orange County Music Awards at 8 p.m. March 31 at the Grove of Anaheim. Tickets are $22.50 For more information, visit www.orange countymusicawards.com.
- Huntington Beach Independent


Local band The Fallen Stars has found the right mix to impress judges at the Orange County Music Awards as well as audiences.

The Fallen Stars singer-bassist Tracy Byrnes had some trouble suppressing her desire to "rock out" during the Best Live Acoustic Band finals for last year's Orange County Music Awards.

Though the members of the Huntington Beach-based Americana rock band think of themselves more as energetic rock 'n' rollers, their folksy/country/rock sound fares well when unplugged, as they recently earned the Best Live Acoustic Band nomination for the second time, while just missing the cut for Best Live Band.

"I'm not going to say we sabotaged ourselves last year, but we didn't do the best performance for an acoustic setting that we could have," said lead singer and guitarist Bobbo Byrnes. "This year, I think we found a good way to rock and play acoustic."

As described by Tracy Byrnes, who enjoys being the sole woman in the band, their "organic" music sounds like "what you might imagine a cross-country road trip would sound like," with each song telling a distinct story.

In addition to the standard guitar, bass and drum lineup, the band relies on an assortment of instruments — such as a 12-string Rickenbacker, an accordion and a lap steel — to produce original and honest music, and their influences include Bruce Springsteen, The Clash and Bob Dylan.

The band's variety and originality is precisely what impressed Orange County Music Award judges, as well as the clear unity among band members, said the local award show's founder and co-producer Martin Brown.

"Over the last two or three years, The Fallen Stars has improved more than any other band that I've watched," he added.

The band got its start in Billerica, Mass., about 10 years ago, just after Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes wed. After leaving The Gypsy Mechanics, the former was looking for a bassist to accompany his solo work, and the latter was readily available and eager to learn a new instrument.

Although they moved to California in 2000, it wasn't until last year that the pair — who are careful to be strictly band mates when on stage — cemented their group with longtime Huntington Beach resident John Vowell on the drums and Gregg Braught as the lead guitarist, both of whom they met at the Bomb Shelter Recording Studios in Westminster.

Braught, who played for years with cover bands throughout the county, was ecstatic when he was invited to join The Fallen Stars after practicing with them a few times.

"After all these years, it really feels like I've got the right people, and all the factors are there," he said. "It's really cool because we are all into this equally, and we just want get out there, write some songs and have a great time doing it."

Though many of the songs on their last album, 2004's "Found & Lost," concentrated on the misery of lost love, the band promises some new, upbeat tunes for the album they plan to release later this year.

With the working title "Goldenwest" — referring to the local street, both for its proximity to their recording studio and as a path to the ocean — their new disc will feature Louisiana-based saxophonist Duston Erwin and The Wallflowers' keyboardist Rami Jaffee.

Find out if The Fallen Stars are named this year's Best Live Acoustic Band at the Orange County Music Awards at 8 p.m. March 31 at the Grove of Anaheim. Tickets are $22.50 For more information, visit www.orange countymusicawards.com.
- Huntington Beach Independent


"The Fallen Stars play music that hints of America's heartland. John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, and Steve Earle have all made a name for themselves playing this style of Americana and now The Fallen Stars are taking their shot at the brass ring. Singer-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes is the heart and soul behind The Fallen Stars and leads his troupe with heartfelt vocals and jangling guitars. Geoff Geib on mandolin and B3 organ, Gregg Braught on guitar and vocals, John Vowell on drums and Tracy Byrnes on vocals and bass round out the group, giving the Stars a lush, full sound. Radio-friendly songs include "St. George's Bank," the countrified "Diner Door" (featuring the lead vocals of Tracy Byrnes) the lazy swagger of "Millsboro", the dusty twang of "Outlaws & Angels" and the raunchy grit of "Eveline." - Metronome Magazine


"The Fallen Stars play music that hints of America's heartland. John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, and Steve Earle have all made a name for themselves playing this style of Americana and now The Fallen Stars are taking their shot at the brass ring. Singer-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes is the heart and soul behind The Fallen Stars and leads his troupe with heartfelt vocals and jangling guitars. Geoff Geib on mandolin and B3 organ, Gregg Braught on guitar and vocals, John Vowell on drums and Tracy Byrnes on vocals and bass round out the group, giving the Stars a lush, full sound. Radio-friendly songs include "St. George's Bank," the countrified "Diner Door" (featuring the lead vocals of Tracy Byrnes) the lazy swagger of "Millsboro", the dusty twang of "Outlaws & Angels" and the raunchy grit of "Eveline." - Metronome Magazine


The Fallen Stars definitely know how to put on a show. At a performance at The Coach House in June, the band's onstage chemistry flowed into the audience, mesmerizing them.

The lyrics are universal yet personal, with Bobbo Byrnes seemingly singing to individuals in the audience. Bassist Tracy Byrnes has an energizing smile and she plays bass with ease. The rest of the band, guitarist Gregg Braught and drummer John Vowell, play like they are having the time of their lives.

The Fallen Stars sound like Uncle Tupelo, the founders of alt country rock. "Our sound is a mixture of roots rock, alt country and early '70's rock," Bobbo says, not allowing his music to be classified in one genre.

"We definitely bow to the alter of Joe Strummer, and Keith Richards is our guitar god." says Vowell. Other influences include Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles. "I've been told I sound like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, "Tracy says. "I consider that a compliment, because they are one of our influences."

The current lineup has only been together for a year, but this Huntington Beach-based band has been around for seven years and are signed to Kiss My Squirrel Records.

The Fallen Stars have an album coming out in the next few months. "It's more forward thinking," Bobbo says. "It's about hopefulness. It makes you feel there is something just around the corner. The inspiration for our new album came from life, people telling us stories and friends and family." - 944 Magazine


The Fallen Stars definitely know how to put on a show. At a performance at The Coach House in June, the band's onstage chemistry flowed into the audience, mesmerizing them.

The lyrics are universal yet personal, with Bobbo Byrnes seemingly singing to individuals in the audience. Bassist Tracy Byrnes has an energizing smile and she plays bass with ease. The rest of the band, guitarist Gregg Braught and drummer John Vowell, play like they are having the time of their lives.

The Fallen Stars sound like Uncle Tupelo, the founders of alt country rock. "Our sound is a mixture of roots rock, alt country and early '70's rock," Bobbo says, not allowing his music to be classified in one genre.

"We definitely bow to the alter of Joe Strummer, and Keith Richards is our guitar god." says Vowell. Other influences include Bruce Springsteen and the Beatles. "I've been told I sound like Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders, "Tracy says. "I consider that a compliment, because they are one of our influences."

The current lineup has only been together for a year, but this Huntington Beach-based band has been around for seven years and are signed to Kiss My Squirrel Records.

The Fallen Stars have an album coming out in the next few months. "It's more forward thinking," Bobbo says. "It's about hopefulness. It makes you feel there is something just around the corner. The inspiration for our new album came from life, people telling us stories and friends and family." - 944 Magazine


By Robert Kinsler
Special to the Register

Somewhere between the wide-open stretches of Gram Parson's beloved Mojave Desert and the decaying cityscapes frequented by Bruce Springsteen shine the Fallen Stars.

Playing music that is at once as inviting as the Pretenders and as arresting as My Morning Jacket, the Fallen Stars impressed mightily in an hour-long set at the Marlin Bar in Huntington Beach last weekend. Anyone who missed the band's set need not worry. The hard-working Huntington Beach quartet will perform at the Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and be back at the Marlin Bar on Dec. 15.

"We're kings of the dive bar," said singer-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes, whose first name is pronounced Bob-O. The Fallen Stars also feature his wife, Tracy Byrnes (bass, vocals); John Vowell (drums); and Gregg Braught (guitar).

While the Fallen Stars are apt to perform at just about any neighborhood tavern, club or pub, the group's music is not to be dismissed. In fact, Bobbo and Byrnes write deeply affecting material and it is delivered with an authenticity that is exhilarating. Even on disc, the Fallen Stars' blend of roots rock, country, folk and pop is delivered with the wallop of the Clash, notably on the outfit's most recent CD, 2004's astounding "Found & Lost."

Bobbo Byrnes started the band with Tracy Byrnes in 1997. The group then was based in Billerica, Mass.

"We had a rough couple of years. Her (Tracy's) brother Jesse died and our lead guitarist (Jeff Turner, who was best man at the Byrnes' wedding) died," said Bobbo, noting the group's second CD, 2000's "Stan's Garage," features songs focusing on those two lost lives.

The couple decided to leave their home in New England and get as far away as they could without leaving dry land. In 2000, they set down new roots in Huntington Beach.

Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes were welcomed into the Orange County music scene and have worked with a number of talented players. But the current lineup is a strong one and it shows in the Fallen Stars' performances.

"We find ourselves between two genres. In country (venues), we sound rock. In rock crowds, we sound country," Bobbo Byrnes noted. "We're making our own map."

Tracy Byrnes' strengths as a bassist and singer harmonize perfectly in the group.

"We met in 1992, married in '97 and he started to teach me bass in '97. I previously had tried guitar and dropped it. I love bass – plus he needed a bass player," she explained. As for Vowell and Braught, each made decidedly different entrances. "I invited Greg to practice and he kept coming back," Bobbo said of Braught.

Vowell had played on the same bill with the Fallen Stars while in other bands and when onetime drummer Chuck Rogers moved back to Georgia, Vowell called Bobbo Byrnes early one morning and told him he was going to be playing drums for the Fallen Stars. "Bobbo was in a bind. He had shows booked. It wasn't a hard decision for me to make."

The good news for area fans is that the Fallen Stars' first two discs, 1999's "My Affect is Appropriate" and the aforementioned 2000 release "Stan's Garage," will be reissued on the group's own Kiss My Squirrel label. And local audiences can also look forward to the band completing a new collection of material with the current lineup.

"The only thing we have is the realness of what we do," Bobbo said. - OC Register


By Robert Kinsler
Special to the Register

Somewhere between the wide-open stretches of Gram Parson's beloved Mojave Desert and the decaying cityscapes frequented by Bruce Springsteen shine the Fallen Stars.

Playing music that is at once as inviting as the Pretenders and as arresting as My Morning Jacket, the Fallen Stars impressed mightily in an hour-long set at the Marlin Bar in Huntington Beach last weekend. Anyone who missed the band's set need not worry. The hard-working Huntington Beach quartet will perform at the Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and be back at the Marlin Bar on Dec. 15.

"We're kings of the dive bar," said singer-guitarist Bobbo Byrnes, whose first name is pronounced Bob-O. The Fallen Stars also feature his wife, Tracy Byrnes (bass, vocals); John Vowell (drums); and Gregg Braught (guitar).

While the Fallen Stars are apt to perform at just about any neighborhood tavern, club or pub, the group's music is not to be dismissed. In fact, Bobbo and Byrnes write deeply affecting material and it is delivered with an authenticity that is exhilarating. Even on disc, the Fallen Stars' blend of roots rock, country, folk and pop is delivered with the wallop of the Clash, notably on the outfit's most recent CD, 2004's astounding "Found & Lost."

Bobbo Byrnes started the band with Tracy Byrnes in 1997. The group then was based in Billerica, Mass.

"We had a rough couple of years. Her (Tracy's) brother Jesse died and our lead guitarist (Jeff Turner, who was best man at the Byrnes' wedding) died," said Bobbo, noting the group's second CD, 2000's "Stan's Garage," features songs focusing on those two lost lives.

The couple decided to leave their home in New England and get as far away as they could without leaving dry land. In 2000, they set down new roots in Huntington Beach.

Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes were welcomed into the Orange County music scene and have worked with a number of talented players. But the current lineup is a strong one and it shows in the Fallen Stars' performances.

"We find ourselves between two genres. In country (venues), we sound rock. In rock crowds, we sound country," Bobbo Byrnes noted. "We're making our own map."

Tracy Byrnes' strengths as a bassist and singer harmonize perfectly in the group.

"We met in 1992, married in '97 and he started to teach me bass in '97. I previously had tried guitar and dropped it. I love bass – plus he needed a bass player," she explained. As for Vowell and Braught, each made decidedly different entrances. "I invited Greg to practice and he kept coming back," Bobbo said of Braught.

Vowell had played on the same bill with the Fallen Stars while in other bands and when onetime drummer Chuck Rogers moved back to Georgia, Vowell called Bobbo Byrnes early one morning and told him he was going to be playing drums for the Fallen Stars. "Bobbo was in a bind. He had shows booked. It wasn't a hard decision for me to make."

The good news for area fans is that the Fallen Stars' first two discs, 1999's "My Affect is Appropriate" and the aforementioned 2000 release "Stan's Garage," will be reissued on the group's own Kiss My Squirrel label. And local audiences can also look forward to the band completing a new collection of material with the current lineup.

"The only thing we have is the realness of what we do," Bobbo said. - OC Register


The Lowell Sun
by Kathleen Deely

When Bobbo Byrnes and his wife, Tracy, traded Billerica for Los Angeles four years ago, they didn't go to surf. They went to feel normal.

"We needed to get the hell out of Dodge," said Bobbo, 32, frontman for the rock group The Fallen Stars.

"We needed a change of scenery. I once heard someone say 'rock bands don't move to L.A. to be stars; they do it to feel normal,' and I think that's true," he said on the phone from his home in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Together for five years, the versatile group - which features Billerica Memorial High School grads Bobbo, class of '89, and Tracy, class of '92, on lead vocals - found camaraderie on the West Coast they couldn't on the East.

"We've fallen into a group of musicians. There's a great scene going on here," said Bobbo.

A hotbed of rock 'n' roll, L.A. is ground zero for musicians. "There are almost as many bands as there are stores," said Bobbo.

Living in California has helped the band, which includes Chuck Rogers on drums and J. Williams on piano, define its sound. Exposure to seminal groups like Neil Young's Crazy Horse, which Bobbo has toured with, has helped Californicate their sound.

"With so many great musicians out here, every time I go out and see a band it makes me want to come home and write more," he said. His current fixation is The Jukebox Junkies.

By turns ambient and straight-ahead rock, The Fallen Stars will bend all genres when they take the stage at Evos Arts in Lowell tonight.

"We have more extremes in our songs. There are some that rock hard, some that are acoustic, some that cover the whole range in between," said Bobbo.

Their new CD, Found & Lost, is filled with tales that sound like antecedents from Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty. "Sioux City," about playing blackjack on a riverboat has that ragtag "Born to Run" feel.

The last time The Fallen Stars played a show in Lowell, it was at Smithwick's, which is now Evos. "It's a homecoming of sorts," said Bobbo. "We are really, really excited."

It all sounds hunky-dory, but there are times when surf city makes him lonesome for home.

"Oh, yeah. Billerica is a place not like anywhere else. I grew up by the lake. Tracy grew up on the side of Pinehurst. I miss the old band subs and the ckicken cutlet subs at Augusta Market." He also misses Fluffernutters, which apparently you can't buy or make in L.A.

The Fallen Stars play Evos, 98 Middle St., Lowell, tonight at 10:30. Donations will be accepted at the door. Thye also play T.T. the Bears in Cambridge on Monday and live on WUML, the UMass Lowell station, Monday. - The Lowell Sun


The Lowell Sun
by Kathleen Deely

When Bobbo Byrnes and his wife, Tracy, traded Billerica for Los Angeles four years ago, they didn't go to surf. They went to feel normal.

"We needed to get the hell out of Dodge," said Bobbo, 32, frontman for the rock group The Fallen Stars.

"We needed a change of scenery. I once heard someone say 'rock bands don't move to L.A. to be stars; they do it to feel normal,' and I think that's true," he said on the phone from his home in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Together for five years, the versatile group - which features Billerica Memorial High School grads Bobbo, class of '89, and Tracy, class of '92, on lead vocals - found camaraderie on the West Coast they couldn't on the East.

"We've fallen into a group of musicians. There's a great scene going on here," said Bobbo.

A hotbed of rock 'n' roll, L.A. is ground zero for musicians. "There are almost as many bands as there are stores," said Bobbo.

Living in California has helped the band, which includes Chuck Rogers on drums and J. Williams on piano, define its sound. Exposure to seminal groups like Neil Young's Crazy Horse, which Bobbo has toured with, has helped Californicate their sound.

"With so many great musicians out here, every time I go out and see a band it makes me want to come home and write more," he said. His current fixation is The Jukebox Junkies.

By turns ambient and straight-ahead rock, The Fallen Stars will bend all genres when they take the stage at Evos Arts in Lowell tonight.

"We have more extremes in our songs. There are some that rock hard, some that are acoustic, some that cover the whole range in between," said Bobbo.

Their new CD, Found & Lost, is filled with tales that sound like antecedents from Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty. "Sioux City," about playing blackjack on a riverboat has that ragtag "Born to Run" feel.

The last time The Fallen Stars played a show in Lowell, it was at Smithwick's, which is now Evos. "It's a homecoming of sorts," said Bobbo. "We are really, really excited."

It all sounds hunky-dory, but there are times when surf city makes him lonesome for home.

"Oh, yeah. Billerica is a place not like anywhere else. I grew up by the lake. Tracy grew up on the side of Pinehurst. I miss the old band subs and the ckicken cutlet subs at Augusta Market." He also misses Fluffernutters, which apparently you can't buy or make in L.A.

The Fallen Stars play Evos, 98 Middle St., Lowell, tonight at 10:30. Donations will be accepted at the door. Thye also play T.T. the Bears in Cambridge on Monday and live on WUML, the UMass Lowell station, Monday. - The Lowell Sun


Discography

ALBUMS:

Riddle & The Stars "This is Happening" released May 2014
Leaves on the Wind Vol 1: Still Flying, released Sept 2013
Massachusetts - single, released Dec 2012
Heart Like Mine - released September 2011
Where the Road Bends - released May 2008
Vaya Con Queso! (live album) - released May 2008
Found & Lost - released January 2004

"Top Prospect of 2012" ~ Music Connection Magazine

"Top Ten Indie/Unsigned Release of the Year" (for Heart Like Mine) ~ Los Angeles Music Examiner

AWARDS:
Hot Adult Contemporary Artist
Nominee - 2012 Los Angeles Music Awards

Best Male Artist
Nominee - 2011 SoCal Live Music Competition

Best Country/Americana
Nominee - 2012 Orange County Music Awards
Nominee - 2011 Orange County Music Awards
Nominee - 2010 Orange County Music Awards
Winner - 2009 Orange County Music Awards
Nominee - 2008 Orange County Music Awards
Nominee - 2007 Orange County Music Awards

Best Live Rock Band
Winner - 2009 SoCal Live Music Competition

Best Live Acoustic Band
Winner - 2009 SoCal Live Music Competition
Winner - 2008 Orange County Music Awards

Photos

Bio

"Somewhere between the wide-open stretches of Gram Parson's beloved Mojave Desert and the decaying cityscapes frequented by Bruce Springsteen shine the Fallen Stars." ~The Orange County Register

Few musical partnerships are as lucky as Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes. Happily married for over a decade, theyve been writing and performing music together for just as long. In the autumn of 2000 they moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Southern California and shortly thereafter founded one of Orange Countys leading Americana Rock bands, The Fallen Stars. Blending rock and roll energy, country-flavored instrumentation and folk-inspired story-telling, The Fallen Stars have carved out a niche in the Southern California scene all their own.

Their fourth and latest album, Heart Like Mine, features sixteen tracks of "stellar country roots rock" according to Vintage Guitar Player Magazine. "With a tight rhythm section backing him, Byrnes unreels hot licks with thick tone, laying down an album of originals that are catchy and cool." The album includes contributions from a handful of talented musicians, including Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers) on Hammond B3, Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown) on violin and Danny Ott (Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin) on guitar and lap steel. The album has garnered critical praise, including nominations at the Orange County Music Awards for "Best Country/Americana Band," and being named "Top Ten Indie/Unsigned Album of 2011" by LA Music Examiner. Their last album Where the Road Bends was nominated for Album of the Year and Song of the Year in the Orange County Music Awards as well as the song One, two, three (thousand miles back to you) reached #43 on the German radio charts while on tour there.

The band played over 300 shows in a little over two years in 14 different states and 5 different countries entertaing crowds in clubs, bars, outdoor festivals, house concerts anywhere with a stage and few places without a stage!

The Fallen Stars have honed their live show over the years, sharing the bill with bands as diverse as The Church, The Blasters, The Tubes, Ian Hunter, Matthew Sweet, The Motels, Dave Alvin, The Gin Blossoms and Roger Clyne.

In the words of one Fallen Stars fan, Their music is Americana with an edge, it feels like driving on Route 66 with the radio on full blast. Every song has a story, every story has a meaning. The more you listen to it, the more it becomes a part of you.

Band Members