Thursday, March 26, 2015


ARTIST: Craig Wayne Boyd With Special Guests David Adam Byrnes and Emily Minor
VENUE: Sudan Shriners Auditorium - New Bern, NC
DATE: March 21, 2015
REVIEWER: Jennifer Smith
Follow Jenn on Twitter at @Lovinlyrics

If you've just started catching on to Craig Wayne Boyd because of The Voice, you've been missing one of country's best unknown artists. We started promoting Craig in 2009 while he was making the rounds in Nashville and always seeming to be just out of reach of that much needed break, all I can say is welcome to the year of CWB Y'all!

His break came in a HUGE way, by being chosen for #TeamBlake on NBC's hit vocal talent show, "The Voice" and taking it all the way to the winning title with a couple of near misses including a steal from #TeamGwen and then being stolen again back to #TeamBlake. He's gone from a local fringe wearing honky tonkin' cowboy and now walks the path to country super stardom all in a matter of less than a year. He is only the second artist other than Garth Brooks to debut a single ("My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face") at #1 right out of the gate on the Billboard chart. He started out playing for bar crowds and now he's entertaining an entire worldwide fan base of dedicated, hardcore fans called the "Yallers". If you're on social media, you've seen his name virtually everywhere.

When we arrived at the venue, Craig met us outside the bus with a hug, looking all CWB casual in his Jim Beam t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of sunglasses. He's always been cool but he totally redefines the word now. We stood outside and caught up for a bit and then went inside the bus to attempt our interview for the website. Well that just went to hell between the mob outside screaming for Craig to come out and the interruptions and technical glitches with the camera so we just kinda had to wing it and it turned out to be pretty fun, won't even tell you how much laughing was going on in there. Craig's such a genuine guy, nothing arrogant or standoffish about him at all. He's very humble, honest and appreciative and that has won thousands of hearts. We were mid-interview and I heard this Arkansas accent that could only mean one thing, David Adam Byrnes was in the area. David walks in and all I heard was "Aw hell" and was smothered in a bear hug. Having promoted David about as long as Craig, I knew tonight was gonna be a double doozie of top shelf country music and could not wait for those who hadn't seen either perform to finally get their chance.

The crowd was very good, more than I had expected with New Bern being such a small town and not only was the crowd a good size, they were ALL there for Craig. You could hear rumblings through the crowd about his accomplishments, stories from Yallers that had traveled from other states to be here, and excitement from those who were just anxious to see him in person. David Adam Byrnes was first up and personally, I think he should just be known as David "A-DAYYYUM" Byrnes because this boy represents everything country stands for and more. He's got that twang, the tight fitting jeans and that southern boy charm that no woman, and hell probably no man these days, can resist. He is southern charm wrapped in a good lookin' burrito of vocal talent. From the first note, he has you remembering the days of Garth, sawdust floors, line dancing and huge belt buckles. He got this crowd on their feet and moving to his song "My Kind Of Crowd", his new one that's going out to country radio soon (and y'all better request the crap out of it), "Alcoholiday", a few others and finally wrapping up his set with my favorite, "She Only Wanted Flowers" from his first CD.

Up next was local artist from Wilmington, NC, Emily Minor. I'd heard her name for the past few years around town and through other artists so I was anxious to hear what she had to offer. What a strong voice in a tiny package! She can belt it with the best of them. She performed her own music and there were 3 songs that I liked so much that I went right to iTunes and bought them - "Good Luck Finding Me", "What You Might Say" and "Highway Habit." Great set and well received by the crowd. She's got a new EP coming out soon, be on the look out!

Finally the guys from Thunder Country came out and the crowd went absolutely insane. Not crazy, but insane. You couldn't even hear them finish announcing .. it went something like "Are y'all ready for Craig Wa .. (insert deafening thunder of cheering and "hell yeahs"here)." Man this was gonna be damn good and damn good doesn't even start to describe the level of good to be honest. Good is actually the only 4 letter word I can use that's somewhat friendly enough to use in an article. LOL! Holy Fringenation! I forgot how amazing this guy is live. For someone that's only had 5 days to himself since The Voice ended, who's running on a few hours sleep a night and who's a single dad missing his "Mini-Me", you'd never know any of that from the level of energy Craig puts into a show. As he told me in the bus, "the show must always go on". He may sing about his baby having a smile on her face but tonight, there were smiles plastered across the faces of everyone in this crowd.

His band is top shelf at the very least. I knew Jeff Jenkins from his days of playing guitar for Brian Davis and knew he was a quality musician but wasn't familiar with the rest of his band, they ALL proved they had what it takes to make a show kick ass. Craig's voice was smooth, he interacted with the crowd and was smiling most of the performance. When he performs, you can see that he not only takes his talent seriously, but that he takes the fact that everyone in that room paid for a five star performance seriously. It's obvious that he loves music and that he loves performing for others and man do they love having him do it. He sang his own music like "Blood, Sweat and Beer", the new single, "My Baby's Got A Smile on Her Face", a couple of new songs "Nothing Looks Good on You" and what I hope will be his next single, his auto-biographical song "I'm Still Here", his personalized emotional tribute to his late friend Wayne Mills with "I Walk The Line", incorporated covers like "Tush" by ZZ Top, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore" by Travis Tritt, a fantastic duet of "Dust on the Bottle" and "The Fireman" with David "A-DAYYYUM" Byrnes, "Workin' Man Blues", "You Look So Good In Love" and a few others and ended the night exactly how it should have ended, with a song of appreciation and gratitude, "The Old Rugged Cross", the song that was a huge breakout moment for him on The Voice. There weren't too many dry eyes in the house. I honestly hated to see it end but it had to because he had 5 days off and it was time to get home.

Thank you to Craig, David and Emily for a great night - for keeping it real and keeping it country. If any of these artists are in your area, it's worth your time and money to grab a ticket and hit the show. I don't just recommend it, I'll put a boot in your ass if you don't. So there!

Thank you to Thunder Country and the Shriners for hosting a great night of music and getting to know our community. We appreciate your efforts!

Craig Wayne Boyd

Official Website:
Twitter - @CWBYall
Instagram - @CWBYall
Facebook - @CraigWayneBoyd
Facebook Street Team - @CWBStreetTeam
Twitter Team -  @TeamCWBYall

David Adam Byrnes

Official Website -
Twitter - @DavidAdamByrnes
Facebook - @DavidAdamByrnes
Instagram - @DavidAdamByrnes

Emily Minor

Official Website -
Twitter - @EmilyMinorMusic
Facebook - @EmilyMinorFanpage 
Instagram - @emilyminormusic





Unknown said...

Superb review,Jenn! Thanks for the continued support of CWB. #Yallers truly do love him and his talent, not to mention those amazing band mates as well!!!

Unknown said...

I am with Lisa, Jenn...super article! You article was so reflective of Craig Wayne Boyd. You portrayed him to be the sincere, real, genuine and gifted artist that we all know and love. He continues to push for excellence ... which always leaves his fans wanting more. Great write-up... enjoyed it thoroughly.

Unknown said...

Thanks for writing this great article. I was at the New Bern concert. It was my first time seeing any of the three artists live. They put on a terrific show. It felt great to be amongst all the other Yallers.

janice taylor said...

Craig said he hopes people leave his concerts feeling that they experienced something real. And after reading your review, I feel you are real,too. Your New Bern concert review is great. The extra details you include bring the stars to life.

Lulu CT Yaller said...

Fabulous gig. Every show is magical in a unique way that's Craigs special talent and energy.