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 2011. 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 in March 2013, pushed the band on to the Folk DJ Charts, reaching number 36 in May 2015. Their third release, another collection of John Byrne originals, entitled "The Immigrant and the Orphan", is set for release in September 2015. The album, once again, draws heavily on John's love of Americana and Celtic Folk music and promises to be the band's most accessible album to date.
John and the band have called World Cafe Live in Philadelphia home in recent years, selling it out on 6 separate occasions and bringing 500 people there for nights of music which pulled from their original and folk albums. The band has also spent much of the past four years touring both the US, where they have been covering the MidWest, up and down the East Coast, and Ireland, where they have covered the country and twice sold out the Workman's Club in Dublin on the back of a glowing review from Hot Press Magazine.
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 or opened up for acts as diverse as The Hothouse Flowers, Ian Gillan (of Deep Purple), Patti Smyth, Gaelic Storm, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, The Saw Doctors, The Screaming Orphans, Solas and The Greencards. 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 as an acoustic 4-piece featuring banjo/accordion, fiddle/cello, guitars and horns, and as a 6-7 piece that adds drums and bass to its lineup.
2014/15 saw the band performing at Festivals such as the Valley Forge Mid-Winter Fest, The Philadelphia Fleadh, MusikFest (Bethlehem), the Philadelphia Folk Fest (twice), Gorgas Park, Pastorius Park, FreedomFest(NJ), Saltwater Celtic Fest (Maine), The Celtic Classic (PA), Pipes in the Valley Fest and many other local festivalsWith a new album on the verge of release, 2016 promises to be another massive year for The John Byrne Band
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" Hot Press (Ireland)
"John Byrne's After The Wake is the sort of album that an artist spends their entire career trying to create.... nothing short of a brilliant collection" Wildy's World
"One of the few musical artists today who truly manage to be traditional and modern at the same time." Philadelphia Inquirer
"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." Record-Journal Newspaper
"Amazing tales of life and semi-autobiographical tunes... You'll want to listen over and over again." Reviewer Magazine
"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"
Sing Out Magazine
"For fans of Celtic music, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and other such lyrically expansive folks." Sun Herald