Byrd flies into Cochrane May 24
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 06:00 am
Americana singer/songwriter, Jonathan Byrd, will be coming to Legacy Guitar and Coffee House in trio fashion May 24, joined by vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, Alexa Dirks and Andrina Turenne.
The seventh generation North Carolinian has found tremendous support from his fan bases north of the border, applauded for his country-folk narratives and his variety of traditional acoustic guitar styles.
Last year saw extensive touring for Byrd, touting the album he recorded with folkie songstress, Chris Kokesh, The Barn Birds. This year Byrd is looking to release You Can’t Outrun the Radio later this fall.
The album will be number eight for the songman.
“I was never really great at anything else…I couldn’t figure out what my problem was,” reflected Byrd, who spent four years in the Navy and tried his hand at a number of jobs before reaching enough dead ends that he finally acknowledged, by age 28, that his destiny was to perform for a living.
Raised in a musical household, Byrd learned his first solo on the guitar by age eight. A preacher for a father, Byrd saw his family crumble at a young age, where his father turned to the bottle and left Byrd’s mother to raise her family solo.
Fast forward a number of years, following a series of playing in heavy rock bands that finally led Byrd to a musical path that has seen him tour mostly as a solo singer/songwriter since 2000.
“I’m a North Carolina guitar player and a Texas songwriter – if that makes any sense,” laughed Byrd, adding Emmylou Harris and the late Townes Van Zandt to his lengthy list of songwriting inspirations.
“Texans are in it for the game. They want to write the most amazing songs that will blow people’s minds.”
Of his own writing, Byrd said “the comment I get a lot, especially from people who’ve seen me a lot, is that it’s honest. My persona is very honest on stage.”
Honesty isn’t as easy as it looks, admits Byrd, adding that ego and insecurities have to be cast aside in order to achieve authenticity.
“I think it’s very difficult to be honest on stage…you feel exposed. If you say something foolish, you say it in front of a lot of people. Maybe that’s why some people create a persona to protect themselves.”
Anchored by a supportive wife and his four-year-old son, Rowan, Byrd still calls Fayetteville County, N.C. home while spending nearly half his time touring throughout North America.
His upcoming album features a transportation and travel theme — the vehicles that carry people as they deal with their own struggles and daily battles.
One track that stands out for Byrd right now is “Pale Rider”, inspired by a trip he took with his wife to Bali, where he came upon a Hindu colour wheel — he took this to the next level by corresponding each verse in the song with a colour, and a chord for each colour.
Another track, “Working Off Shore” tells the story of one man’s stint on an offshore oil rig in the late 1950s.
“One of my favourite things is when people come up to me and tell me what my songs mean and what they mean to them…music has a value beyond the money you spend on it.”
Learn more at jonathanbyrd.com
Tickets to the Legacy show are available at legacyguitarhouse.com.