Jonathan Byrd’s songs tell stories of everyday folk with a quirky streak – that long-haul trucker who loves his Peterbilt semi, the wild Cherokee barmaid with raven hair, the fisherman who couldn’t hold his liquor. Musician Tim O’Brien says Byrd’s songs are “like dirt road visits with your neighbors outside the car window.” Jonathan Byrd comes to Rochester for a Golden Link concert on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 pm at the Rochester Christian Reformed Church.
Byrd’s music will take you from his native North Carolina to Texas, where he won the Kerrville New Folk award. In fact, a Jonathan Byrd show brings together the Texas songwriting tradition with southern storytelling and hot guitar picking in the line of North Carolina greats Doc Watson and Tony Rice.
“Jonathan Byrd swings from the roots of American music,” says The Independent. “He jumps between gutbucket blues and tender ballads, empathetic work laments and sympathetic character studies.”
Last in Rochester for the 2014 Turtle Hill Folk Festival, Byrd will be joined for this concert by multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken (guitar, mandolin, saw, and more), who has accompanied Byrd since 2009, adding color and dimension to Byrd’s amazing songs. A multi-talented artist, Waken also performed as a puppeteer with the theatre troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention, and wrote and performed many of the troupe's award-winning songs.
Watch a clip of Jonathan Byrd and Johnny Waken performing “May the River Run Dry” live in concert:
For more information about this concert, click here. Please note that cellist Paul Ford was originally scheduled to perform as one of the Pickup Cowboys, but will not be coming due to health issues.
Keep on singing!
– Janice Hanson
Janice Hanson is Concert Chair of the Golden Link Folk Singing Society, which was founded in 1971 to present, promote, and preserve folk music in the Rochester area.
(Photo from 2014 Turtle Hill Folk Festival by Bill Gamble)