from our promo for this concert
Jonathan Byrd is a Fayetteville native who grew up singing in the Southern Baptist church where his father preached and his mother played piano. His attendance at a fiddlers convention in the late 1990s changed his life and musical direction. He subsequently won the prestigious Kerr Folk Festival’s best new songwriter competition, and since 2001 he has released seven critically acclaimed CDs.
The Boston Globe recently noted: “This rootsy North Carolinian may be the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom.” He performs at R.A. Fountain either solo or with a band on an annual basis.
Byrd is especially noted for his narrative songs that have been compared to John Prine, Guy Clark, and Lyle Lovett. His guitar picking has drawn comparisons to Doc Watson, and his career has been championed by Tom Paxton.
“We’re fortunate Jonathan lives in Chapel Hill,” said Alex Albright, Fountain General Store proprietor. “If he weren’t so close by, we’d never be able to get a performer of his stature to keep coming back for shows here.”
Joining Byrd on Saturday night’s program are Johnny Waken on guitar, mandolin, saw and harmonica, and Paul Ford on cello.