Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Morning guy at night

Greg Byrne is pretty well known for playing songs _  on the radio, as host of the WSRS-FM morning show, where he spins Top 40 and pop tracks and provides running commentary in between.

But Byrne, pictured at right, is a musician in his own right. Last year he joined the band Shaky Ground as one of its guitarists. Then he and Shaky Ground's other ax slinger, Ron Stacy, put together the acoustic duo Second Base, which they will bring to the Coppertop Friday for an 8 p.m. show.

"With the blues stuff of Shaky Ground, we're playing to one audience, and with the acoustic shows more people are listening for songs they know, so we'll make sure to get in, say, something by Jimmy Buffett, but we can also stretch out a bit and maybe do Simon and Garfunkel too," Byrne says. "The blue-collar rock thing is aimed at getting people to dance and sweat. The duo is aimed at people who want to sit back and listen. I mean, they can dance and sweat if they want."

Those who've heard Byrne on the radio won't be surprised to know he sings in the bass register, which makes him a different vocal partner for Stacy, who typically teams with fellow tenors in his other acoustic settings.

"We can bring in some interesting material, like Johnny Cash songs. Or we have fun with some things. We'll do a Beatles song and where you expect that nice Paul McCartney vocal, I'll come booming in instead," Byrne says.

Byrne's work at WSRS keeps him plugged into the latest popular songs, so Second Base is as apt to tackle a new Coldplay song as a classic cut.

"Oh yeah we cycle in new songs as I notice them," Byrne says. "You gotta hear me sing Adele."

We'll hold off on requesting the basso profondo arrangement of "Someone Like You," but we did have to ask how Byrne manages to play in bands by night when his regular job requires him to be up by 3:30 a.m. and on air by 5.

"Naps are the secret," he shares.

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