Jonathan Byrd & the McMaken Bros.

Location: R.A. Fountain

From the February 28, 2008 FAD:

Jonathan Byrd and the McMaken Brothers return to Fountain General Store on Friday night for a concert of Austin City Limits-style country music

Byrd, based out of Chapel Hill, performs original alt-country and contemporary folk music: “The Ballad of Velma Barfield,” for example, is the story of his notorious aunt, the infamous North Carolina murderer. 

For this evening’s show, Byrd will be accompanied by his two good friends, Rob and Ryan McMaken, who will travel from Athens, Georgia for this special concert. 

Byrd won the 2003 Kerrville, Texas “New Folk Artist” competition, which boasts as previous winners Nancy Griffith, Lyle Lovett, and Steve Earle. He has released three critically acclaimed CDs, including his latest, This Is the New That.

Folk legend Tom Paxton has been a promoter of Byrd’s work and has said of him, “What a treat to hear someone so rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way.” The Boston Globe says “this rootsy North Carolinian may be the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom.”

“This was one of our top ten shows of 2007,” said Fountain General proprietor Alex Albright. “Lightnin’ Wells was the only person I knew who’d heard Jon Byrd. He said we’d have a terrific show, and he was right.”

Byrd and the Carolina Chocolate Drops share agents, Albright added, “and both are Triangle-based acts that are breaking out nationally.”

The McMaken Brothers have been mainstays on the Athens, Georgia music scene for over a decade. Rob McMaken, one of the founders of the world music group Dromedary is an accomplished mandolinist who also performs on a variety of stringed instruments from various ethnic cultures. His brother Bryan plays bass.

Jonathan Byrd and the McMaken Brothers’ February 29 concert begins at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $7.50.

Tags: alt country, alt-Americana, country, original