THE JOHN BYRNE BAND
The John Byrne Band is led by former Patrick's Head front man and Dublin native John Byrne. Their debut album, After the Wake, was released to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic in 2010. With influences ranging from The Chieftains to Planxty to Bob Dylan, John's songwriting honors and expands upon the musical and lyrical traditions of his native and adopted homes. John and the band followed up After the Wake in early 2013 with an album of Celtic and American traditional tunes. The album, Celtic/Folk, released on March 5th 2013, has gotten attention from NPR/WXPN's Gene Shay and is receiving regular airplay on his nationally syndicated Folk Show. Their third release, another collection of John Byrne originals, is set for release in the Spring of 2015
John and the band promoted the albums with a series of sold out shows at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and spent the past two years touring both nationally and internationally. They have sold out World Cafe Live on 5 separate occasions over the past 2-3 years, bring 500 people there in March 2014 for a night of music which pulled from their original and folk albums.
The John Byrne Band, however, is as much at home in a traditional session at a corner bar as it is in larger venues/festivals and opening for national acts. John has toured with and opened up for acts as diverse as The Hothouse Flowers, The Young Dubliners, Ian Gillan (of Deep Purple), Patti Smyth, Gaelic Storm, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, Lunasa, Dervish, The Saw Doctors, The Screaming Orphans, The Greencards and Enter the Haggis. He has also been frequently featured on WXPN, NBC 10 WSTW and local College Radio. In Fall, 2012, John and the Band performed with The Irish Tenors for the Liberty Medal Presentation at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia before President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. John and the band continue to tour the country and play to devoted audiences in the Tri-State area (PA, NJ, DE) as an acoustic 4-piece featuring banjo, fiddle/cello, guitars and bodhran, and as a 7 piece that adds drums, bass and accordion to its lineup.
This year sees the band can be seen performing at Festivals such as the Valley Forge Mid-Winter Fest, The Philadelphia Fleadh, MusikFest (Bethlehem), the Philadelphia Folk Fest, Gorgas Park, FreedomFest, Saltwater Celtic Fest (Maine), The Celtic Classic (PA)and many other local festivals
What the Critics are Saying...
"Up and coming Trad star hits the sweet spot... beautifully played... its Byrne's natural vocal delivery that makes the album stand out from the crowd"
"John Byrne's After The Wake is the sort of album that an artist spends their entire career trying to create. Every once in a while someone actually manages to do it; mix splendid story-telling skills, top-notch musicianship, and a grand creative sense with just the right mix of songs. After The Wake is nothing short of a brilliant collection"
"One of the few musical artists today who truly manage to be traditional and modern at the same time."
"He's good, period, with material that's edgy yet accessible in a Luka Bloom meets Bob Dylan kind of way."
Philadelphia Daily News
"After the Wake is the perfect combination of Celtic and American folk music."
"Amazing tales of life and semi-autobiographical tunes... You'll want to listen over and over again."
"Byrne's songs are rich with the sounds and themes of Irish tradition, one that survives in a modern world... full of "raw strength"... an impressive work throughout... puts me in mind of an Irish Alejandro Escavedo"
For "fans of Celtic music, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and other such lyrically expansive folks."