I’m a seventh generation Carolinian. My granddaddy’s granddaddy’s granddaddy was born in Caswell County in 1795. Maybe we go back further, I don’t know.
On Friday the 13th, November 1970, I was born at the Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina, probably the biggest military town in the country. Fort Bragg alone covers 250 square miles, and the used car dealerships and titty bars are like stars in the sky, grains of sand on the beach. The ground is sandy and the woods are open and piney, with tall loblollies, jack oaks, and the longleaf pine.
The Barn Birds is my latest record, an eleven-song duet with Chris Kokesh. “…negotiations, proclamations, prayers and conversations between lovers… intimate and poetic, passionate and playful.” -Erik Balkey, Hudson Harding Music. Chris and I met in 2007 at the Sisters Folk Festival in Sisters, Oregon. I invited Chris to play with me during my set. The overwhelming popular reception encouraged us to team up and hit the road. After touring cross country, we went back to Oregon to make our first recording in a barn, but we were foiled by the intermittent noises of the barn’s resident birds. We became “The Barn Birds” and did a live re-recording in Texas at Blue Rock Studio. In a day, of course. I still can’t believe we got it mixed by John Keane (REM. Indigo Girls) and mastered by Brent Lambert at The Kitchen. My guitar sounds like it’s on your face.
I’m represented by John Laird at the Americana Agency. Email John Laird or check out the website. Everybody John works with is top-notch.
North Carolina picker, Texas songwriter. “One of the 50 most significant songwriters of the past 50 years.” -Rich Warren, Chicago Tribune blog “One of the tent poles of contemporary folk music.” -Midwest Record
JONATHAN BYRD & THE PICKUP COWBOY
“…a folk singer with the heart of a rock ‘n’ roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times
Jonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd “one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.”
Multi-instrumentalist Johnny Waken cut his teeth on electric guitar in Pittsburgh with rock legend Norm Nardini, opening for The Blues Brothers Band on their Red, Hot & Blue tour in 1992.
On stage and after hours, he jammed with members of Bon Jovi and the legendary Steve Cropper. At the age of 24, Waken left music to pursue primitive skills and through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2000 with an eleven-pound pack.
Returning to music years later Johnny joined theatre troupe Paperhand Puppet Intervention, contributing to scores for nine shows and winning 4 Indy Awards for best original music.
Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboy are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and hell-raising sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show.
“Jonathan Byrd doesn’t sing songs; he sings truth.” — Mare Wakefield, Performing Songwriter
“Jonathan Byrd swings from the roots of American music…He jumps between gutbucket blues and tender ballads, empathetic work laments and sympathetic character studies…Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make this world such a big place.” — Grayson Currin, The Independent
JUN 12 MON
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
JUN 13 TUE
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, United Kingdom
JUN 14 WED
The Biddulph Arms
Stoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom
JUN 15 THU
Bedford, United Kingdom
JUN 16 FRI
Market Rasen, United Kingdom
JUN 17 SAT
Eye, United Kingdom
JUN 19 MON
Leicester, United Kingdom
JUN 20 TUE
Bristol, United Kingdom
JUN 21 WED
The Green Note
London, United Kingdom
JUN 23 FRI
The Live Room
Shipley, United Kingdom