"What a treat to hear someone so deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way." -Tom Paxton
After winning the NC Songwriter's Co-op song contest in 2000, Jonathan Byrd recorded and released "Wildflowers," his debut CD. Evoking the ghosts of traditional southern music, Byrd served up hard-time mountain hollers like "Velma," a true story of murder in his own family. Soon after "Wildflowers" was released, Jack Lawrence (Doc Watson's right-hand man), was taken with Jonathan's music and included "Velma" on his latest release, "I Don't Need the Whiskey Anymore."
Born in Fayetteville, NC, Jonathan learned to sing in the Southern Baptist church where his father preached and his mother played piano. At home, his brother taught him how to play the guitar and Jonathan made tapes to send out to other family members. After high school and four years in the Navy, he began to explore Ireland and the southern Appalachians in a search for his musical roots.
Instead of reinterpreting folk classics, though, Jonathan has penned songs that sound as if they were pulled from a long-lost ballad collection. Tom Druckenmiller of 'Sing Out!' magazine called Byrd, "A songwriter of exceptional talent... with the stark storytelling of the finest traditional balladeers."
Now, Jonathan Byrd is releasing "The Waitress," an album of more contemporary lyrical pictures- late night diners, jewel thieves, ignored and lonely war veterans- with the same mountain style of ages past.