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In the Pipeline: Fallen Stars are rising

October 12, 2011|By Chris Epting
  • The Falling Stars live in concert.
The Falling Stars live in concert. (Courtesy Falling…)

Fresh back from seeing Huntington Beach's own Avenged Sevenfold and Brandon Saller play in the area last week, I was more than ready to dedicate a column to more local music news. Yes, this place is called Surf City, but let us not forget that this is also one of the most formidable music breeding grounds in the United States.

This week, we start with a look at the Fallen Stars, winners of multiple OC Music Awards and winners of the SoCal Music Live Awards' Best Electric Band and Best Acoustic Band honors. Comprised of lead singer and guitarist Bobbo Byrnes, lead vocalist and bassist Tracy Byrnes, Gary O'Yeah on drums and Geoff Geib on the B3 and piano, the band recently released "Heart Like Mine" — its third studio album (which is available for purchase at iTunes, CD Baby and the band's website, http://www.thefallenstars.com.

As the band describes it, the collection features "Sixteen tracks of Americana rock n' roll in the mold of Bruce Springsteen, the Pretenders, Wilco and Whiskeytown."

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And, I would add, the music is authentic, rootsy and beautifully constructed; it's familiar and fresh all at once.

"Heart Like Mine" also includes contributions from a handful of talented musicians, including Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, the Wallflowers) on Hammond B3, Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown) on violin and Danny Ott (Chris Gaffney, Dave Alvin) on guitar and lap steel.

Recently, they spoke to us about their new album, among other things.

Before releasing "Heart Like Mine," Bobbo said, "[A]nd as we started fine-tuning the album, I knew we were onto something." Can you elaborate on this?

Bobbo: It was sounding better than everything else we had ever done before. We kept writing and playing and ended up with 25 to 30 songs. From there, we cut it down to 18 songs, and finally settled with 16 songs. We liked all of it, and it was really difficult to cut down.

Gary: Compared to the albums in the past, this had a very unique sound.

Geoff: When playing and arranging, we immediately recognized it. We really hit our stride. The energy that was produced during live shows was brought into the rehearsal studio, and it was a step above everything we had done before.

The band and the music both seem to have a very genuine feel. Is creating songs that provide a connection a crucial part of the Fallen Stars' music?

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