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.”
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.
He plays regularly around Chapel Hill and Carrboro, where he has lived for several years.