This is part of the front page article from today’s Bakersfield Californian. Read the whole feature here.

Over the years, huge numbers of fans have seen Monty Byrom and Big House perform live at venues from Bakersfield to Baton Rouge, Nashville to New York.

But watching the band work on songs in the modest comfort of Byrom’s east Bakersfield living room last weekend provided an intimate glimpse into the pure, unadulterated joy these musicians feel through the act of making music together.

No egos or tensions were in evidence as drummer Tanner Byrom’s train beat chugged beneath “Girl Can’t Help It (Girl can’t help what she’s done to me).”

Lead singer Byrom leaned into the mic as he played with his vocal control like a cat toying with a ball of yarn: making it look effortless — and fun.

You’d be sure to smile when a three-part harmony reached some sort of magical axis. And when an echo of their missing harmonica player, the late Sonny California, found its way into the music — crying, bended notes and all — you might wonder if anything on a Saturday afternoon in Bakersfield could feel this good.

“We’ve never had the harmonies sound so good,” Tanner said.

The Bakersfield-bred band, known for its “soul country” brand of Americana-flavored rhythm and rock, will perform Saturday at the Fox Theater in a one-time show. Truxton Mile will open.


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