Country music artist Jason Byrd has rummaged through his archives to retrieve an undiscovered gem — his duet recording with the late, great George Jones of a beautifully affecting, straight from the heart pure country song titled “Better Life.” Byrd is releasing the ballad as a single on Nov. 5 as a tribute to Jones, who would have turned 90 this year.
According to Byrd’s website: “Jason Byrd was just 19 years old when he followed in his family’s footsteps and became a fireman. But there was another fire that burned within him, and that was music. In the early nineties, Byrd found himself balancing a career in the fire department with a career in Music City, travelling the 490 miles each way with the determination to make both of his dreams come true.
“Yet, in many ways, it wasn’t until the day that Byrd met the legendary George Jones that the trajectory of his entire career forever changed. Soon, small gigs at local bars and honkytonks turned into major opportunities on stages across the country, opening for powerhouse artists such as Tracy Lawrence, Loretta Lynn and Dierks Bentley.
“In the summer of 2019, Byrd made the decision to retire from his position as the Battalion Chief of the Tallahassee Fire Department. But his musical story was far from through. Byrd recently made the decision to finally resurrect an unreleased song he and Jones had worked on together many years ago…”
“Better Life” will be available Nov. 5 on all digital streaming services. Here is a preview.
“Even as a kid,“ Byrd told C&I, “I can remember being a fan George’s music. I would’ve never imagined that I would get the chance to meet him, let alone have him become my mentor and friend. Having the chance to record a duet with such an amazing artist was one of the biggest highlights of my musical career.
“I’m really happy that it is finally seeing the light of day and hope that his fans enjoy hearing it as much as we enjoyed recording it. I miss my friend and his music and I hope that I am making him proud to see that there’s still some of us out there trying to keep traditional country alive. Thank you Cowboys and Indians for being a part of this special song.”