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Byrd 'sings from the heart' at Maryland Theatre

May 07, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

For Kim Sigler of Knoxville, Tenn., Tracy Byrd is more than a country singer. He became a source of comfort when she lost her boyfriend in a car accident two years ago.

Dave Sands, 47, was killed Memorial Day weekend 1997, the same day he got tickets to an upcoming Byrd concert at the Frederick County Fair.

Byrd dedicated the song "The Keeper of the Stars" to him during his performance at the fair.

"I didn't think anyone would take a stranger into his heart like that," said Sigler, 41, who has since met the singer and was back to see him Friday night at the Maryland Theatre.

Byrd, in his signature black cowboy hat that matches his dark eyes and hair, played his first of two shows to a sell-out crowd.

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"It's good to be back up this direction. It's been awhile since we've been through these parts," said Byrd, wearing freshly pressed Wrangler jeans, a plaid shirt and cowboy boots.

When Byrd stepped onto the stage, flashbulbs started popping. Fans walked to the stage to get close-up photos and give him flowers.

A white-haired woman stole a kiss while she was giving him a rose.

Byrd's seven-piece band, including violin and steel guitar, warmed up the crowd with his hit song, "Someone to Give My Love To."

Fans at the concert Friday said they appreciate Byrd's down-to-earth style.

"He seems like a normal guy, hunting and fishing. His nose isn't stuck up in the air," said Melvin Kelley, 42, of Williamsport.

Wanda Whipp, 60, of Falling Waters, W.Va., said his love songs come straight from the heart and aren't just about sex appeal.

"I just think he's cute and I like the way he sings," she said.

Marilyn Wollard, 41, of Hagerstown carried a hand-made red and white sign that said "We love you Tracy."

"He's my favorite singer. He talks to the fans and it's just great," said Wollard, who owns the Snow White Grill in Hagerstown.

Rick Duvall, 39, of Mercersburg, Pa., brought his mother and four other women in his family to the concert as a Mother's Day present.

Byrd was to meet fans during the break between his two shows Friday night.

Byrd just added the second show two weeks ago. About 600 of 1,300 tickets had been sold before the show.

Byrd didn't travel light. Behind the theater was a tractor-trailer decorated with the "Outdoor Obsession" tour logo and two luxury motor coaches.

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