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Jon Byrd (Nashville USA) on Thursday 15th February 2018
MOJO Magazine proclaimed Byrd’s Auto Parts, Jon Byrd’s 2007 debut solo recording, “Americana the way it was and the way it should be.” MAVERICK Magazine declared Byrd’s 2011 follow-up Down At The Well Of Wishes “spellbinding, showcasing a true genius at work.” That same year Jon was a featured vocalist on the Red Beet Records Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs Of Fox Hollow, alongside Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Bobby Bare, and Tom T himself. R2 (Rock and Reel) Magazine described Jon’s next solo recording ROUTE 41 as “underpinned by sublime Country picking… Byrd’s warm, effortless vocals touch the emotional core of all he sings.” Another critic noted “traditional country performer, singer-songwriterJon Byrd is one of the finest exponents of spit and sawdust country coming out of the East Nashville’s scene and beyond. … Hard core (and Americana) country fans need to check this guy out.”
Born in Birmingham, Alabama Jon Byrd grew up among the piney woods of south Alabama before becoming pivotal in Atlanta’s storied Redneck Underground music scene. Always a featured sideman, Jon’s first solo recording didn’t come along until after migrating to Music City over 15 years ago. DIRTY OL’ RIVER is Jon’s fourth solo album and harkens back to his first Auto Parts record: up-tempo country songs, lots of pedal steel, and some really strong country covers. Jon’s originals “I Get Lost” and “If Texas Is So Great” will be heard for years to come.
“The thing about Byrd is that he has a well-worn and rough voice that could draw a comparison to a more countrified Leonard Cohen.” – PopMatters
“Byrd’s an understatedly great singer. And the songwriting… applies a fresh, sharp, Southern vocabulary. He’s understatedly great at the writing part, too.” – The Nashville Scene
“Smooth, affecting, classy country… mature experience to match the vocal finesse.” – Engine145.com
“Full of lovely guitar touches and brimming with clever, mordant songs” – The London Telegraph
“Even in the rootsy arena of country musicians full of reverence for the genre’s past, crafting new music doesn’t have to be a regurgitation of worn clichés… Jon Byrd proves it.”– Georgia Music Magazine
“Mature songwriting is married to some classy playing, whilst Jon’s warm, slightly gruff but very relaxed singing holds the centre. … Though he sings of heartbreak and regret, there’s something enormously reassuring about Jon Byrd’s music, a refuge in troubled times.”– No Depression/Flyinshoes
“A superbly talented songwriter… on a par with other Americana stars like Prine, Snider, Crowell… a fine representation of one of the best songwriters and stylists today.”— Americana Gazette
“A mixture of Americana and country and is spellbinding showcasing a true genius at work.” – Maverick Magazine
�”Americana the way it was and the way it should be.” – MOJO Magazine
“Byrd’s Auto Parts: We don’t rock. Ever.”
Bio: Nashville, TN 2017…
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, JON BYRD lived his formative years in small town America, deep in the piney woods of south Alabama just one county over from the birthplace of legendary country artist Hank Williams. When Jon was just eight years old, his dad was diagnosed with TB and began singing the immortal Jimmie Rogers’ song “TB Blues” all around the house. That same year Jon saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and his obsession with the musical tension between country and rock ‘n’ roll was born. Less than two years later he was conscripted into the drum corps of his tiny high school’s marching band and played Booker T. and the MG’s “Green Onions” while the majorettes held the cymbals and danced. There was no turning back.
After touring nationally with jangle-pop purists Tim Lee and the Windbreakers and Birmingham’s Primitons in the 1980s, the 1990s saw Byrd attempting a Ph.D. in American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta… while becoming a central figure in Atlanta’s storied Redneck Underground music scene as lead guitarist for the seminal and legendary country band Slim Chance and the Convicts (Letters to Mama, 1993, and Twang Peaks, 1996). He also formed the hard country band the Ratchet Set as a musical outlet for his love of old trucking songs and two chord honky-tonk gems.
In 1998, after 7 years of teaching and no diss, Byrd helped country traditionalist Greta Lee record her first full-length record This Ain’t Over Yet. In 2001, he co-produced and again handled lead guitar duties on Lee’s follow-up You Must Be Present to Win. That same year, Byrd relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he quickly made a name for himself in Music City as a singularly authentic country singer and Telecaster slinger recording with such fine artists as the soulful Davis Raines, Texas country singer Buck Jones, folk-rock songwriter Stephen Simmons, and the rockabilly whirlwind Suzette Lawrence.
But the move to Nashville took an unexpected turn. As a sideman, Jon had been long been performing his own compositions, but now he was ready to showcase his singing and songwriting in earnest. In late 2004 he debuted his band Byrd’s Auto Parts, a rambling collective of in-demand players who set about fleshing out Jon’s original material. The recording BYRD’S AUTO PARTS followed in 2007. The music reflected Byrd’s eclectic tastes in country/roots music and his fun-loving performance style. And the critics loved it: “A terrifically accomplished, versatile country singer,” reported No Depression magazine.
Since then, Jon’s songs have appeared on three Red Beet Records compilations. A duet with Amelia White, “Morning Song,” was highlighted on that singer’s 2009 recording, Motorcycle Dream.” In the fall of 2010, Jon’s composition “Silent Night” was the first single from Master Sessions, an Eric Brace and Peter Cooper recording that also featured steel guitar legend Lloyd Green and Dobro hero Mike Auldridge.
After a standing-room-only show in October 2011 at Nashville’s legendary Station Inn, DOWN AT THE WELL OF WISHES was released to radio and he began his first European tour. Over the next two years Jon put together two more international tours. 2012 also saw Jon taking the lead vocal on “How to Talk to a Baby Goat” on the Grammy nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs Of Fox Hollow, a tribute to Hall and that legendary Fox Hollow recording. This recording also included Buddy Miller, Patti Griffin, Jim Lauderdale, Lloyd Green, Duane Eddy, and Bobby Bare, and Tom T. himself!
Though 2014 was a year of full-time touring, Jon also managed to record a new record of 10 songs in the Outlaw tradition of celebrating the great writing of un-sung songwriting hero-pals. Each song on ROUTE 41 is penned by a dear friend.
And now… DIRTY OL’ RIVER, Jon’s fourth solo album, harkens back to his first Auto Parts record: up-tempo country songs, lots of pedal steel, and some really strong country covers. Jon’s originals “I Get Lost” and “If Texas Is So Great” will be heard for years to come. If you’ve been left cold by what passes for country singing and songwriting these days, you’ve found the right guy. Call it country, Americana, roots-rock, folk, or what have you, JON BYRD delivers––honestly. Ultimately, Jon brings music lovers of all stripes out to hear great country songs sung and played with heart and soul. He’s a little more accomplished now, but he’s still that little kid playing for the hometown crowd..
The Fantastic Jon Byrd comes to Edinburgh for a magnificent one night show not to be missed.
Music Genres: Country/Americana
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