Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys

Friday, November 13, 2015

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"So deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own way" - Tom Paxton

"I thought I was listening to a young Doc Watson." -  Jay Moulon, Southeast Performer Magazine

"This Byrd flies." - John Gorka

“Cackalack’s songs are like dirt road visits with your neighbors outside the car window.” - Tim O’Brien

“John Prine's gift for stark little songs that tell big, complex stories, Guy Clark's lean melodicism, Lyle Lovett's wry mischief, and Bill Morrissey's knack for the revealing image.” — Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

“ to say more in two words than most other people can say in a novel. Another one of those cats that qualifies as 'one of the heaviest cats you probably never heard of... a dyed in the wool North Carolinian John Koerner... ” — Midwest Record 

“Jonathan Byrd doesn't sing songs; he sings truth.” — Mare Wakefield, Performing Songwriter

“...a folk singer with the heart of a rock 'n' roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times.



Event Photos

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North Carolina born... a Texas Songwriter

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Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tentrevivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and hell-raising sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain, inspire, and getaudiences involved in the show. Jonathan Byrd is a preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winningsongwriter from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Fifteen years into his music career, Byrd's songs are campfirefavorites at folk festivals. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years."

Covered by Tim O’Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd’s music will seem familiar to any Americana fan. When Jonathan was just beginning his solo career, a tip from a friend led him down to the Kerrville Folk Festival, a dusty ranch where he discovered the rich Texas songwriting culture and made it his own. The word began to spread in 2003, when Jonathan won the festival’s ‘New Folk’ songwriting competition.  Byrd broke the record for CD sales at the festival, and has played there nearly every year since.

Byrd’s 2008 release, The Law and the Lonesome is already a classic - it's what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada’s folk mag Penguin Eggs called The Law and the Lonesome her “album of the decade.” Cackalack, in 2011, is an homage to his home state of North Carolina. Recorded live in a day while on the road, Cackalack hit #1 on Roots Music Reports folk radio chart, #22 on the Americana chart, was the #91 Americana album of 2011, and made John Platt’s “Best of 2011,” along with strong international airplay and a dozen other “best of” lists. The Barn Birds, his masterful 2013 album release of duets with Chris Kokesh, was made right here at Blue Rock Studio. Most recently, Jonathan won a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award (beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks).

Between Jonathan, Johnny, and Paul, they have shared shows with Steve Cropper, Nanci Grifftith, The Blues
Brothers Band, Joe Walsh, John McCutcheon, Joan Jett, Steppenwolf, Hot Rize, Jon Bon Jovi, Steep Canyon
Rangers, Peter Rowan, and many more.


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