Putting himself out front is not Byron Zipp’s style. “I’m happy to take my name out of it,” he says of the many bands and musicians with whom he’s played, “It takes the ego out and let’s you do your bliss.”
Zipp’s “bliss” – read “music” – is the joy of countless audiences as well as fellow musicians who are fortunate enough to hear and play with him.
Numerous one-nighters with musicians Gary P. Nunn, Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Frenchy Burke, Mo and Joe Stanley, among others, honed his style. “I learned a lot playing at Fiesta Texas,” he says. He played with rock bands in the ‘80’s and 90’s and found his way to Bandera in 2000, where he’s played at virtually every venue and with musicians of whom he says, “There are no enemies - they’re all friends.”
Zipp heard music from an early age. “My father had a country and western band. I grew up on stage and backstage. When I was fourteen he and I had our own band with another father and son.”
He turned a broken arm in second grade into an opportunity to teach himself how to play the guitar, “. . . because I was laid up.” Over the years he added fiddle, mandolin, accordion, drums, keyboards - all with no formal training. “My ears are my best teachers,” he states.
In addition to musical parents, his grandfather was a fiddle player and it was in his grandfather’s barn that he first began playing the fiddle, the instrument for which he’s best known in Bandera.
Other Bandera musicians use terms like “great ear”, “great technique”, “quick” and “disciplined” to describe Zipp.
“I live for the reaction of the audience,” Zipp says. Despite offers to tour, he happy to stay in Bandera. In 2011, he joined Miller, Ripps, Adams and Livingston in the Bandera Music Hall of Fame in the Musician category.
Rough Cuts Byron Zipp & Johnny Miller - Instrumental