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The John Byrne Band is led by Dublin native and Philadelphia-based John Byrne. Their debut album, After the Wake, was released to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011. With influences ranging from Tom Waits to Planxty, John’s songwriting honors and expands upon the musical and lyrical traditions of his native and adopted homes.
John and the band followed up After the Wake in early 2013 with an album
of Celtic and American traditional tunes. The album, Celtic/Folk, pushed the
band on to the FolkDJ Charts, reaching number 36 in May 2015. Their third
release, another collection of John Byrne originals, entitled “The Immigrant
and the Orphan”, was released in Sept 2015. The album, once again, draws
heavily on John’s love of Americana and Celtic Folk music. Critics have
called it “..a powerful, deeply moving work that will stay with you long after
you have heard it” (Michael Tearson-Sing Out); “The Vibe of it (The
Immigrant and the Orphan) is, at once, as rough as rock and as elegant as a
calm ocean..each song on this album carries an honesty, integrity and quiet
passion that will draw you into its world for years to come” (Terry Roland – No Depression); “If any element of Celtic, Americana or Indie-Folk is your thing, then this album is an absolute yes” (Beehive Candy); “It’s a gorgeous,
nostalgic record filled with themes of loss, hope, history and lost loves;
everything that tugs at your soul and spills your blood and guts…The Immigrant and the Orphan scorches the earth and emerges tough as nails” (Jane Roser –That Music Mag)
John has toured with or opened up for acts as diverse as
The Hothouse Flowers, Ian Gillan (of Deep Purple), Patti Smyth, Gaelic Storm, Murder by Death, Finbar Furey, Luka Bloom, The Saw Doctors, The Screaming Orphans, Solas, Sharon Shannon, The Young Dubliners and The Greencards.
In Fall, 2012, John and the Band performed with The Irish Tenors for the Liberty Medal Presentation at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia before President Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
In 2017 John returned to Dublin to record an album of folk songs with his father, John Snr. The resulting record, John J. Byrne and the Twangmen was honored by the National Folk Music Assoc of Ireland and included in their collection.
Recent Festival appearances include the Valley Forge Mid-Winter Fest, The
Philadelphia Fleadh, MusikFest (Bethlehem), the Philadelphia Folk Fest, Gorgas Park, Pastorius Park, Erie Irish Festival, FreedomFest (NJ), Saltwater Celtic Fest (Maine), The Celtic Classic (PA)and many others.
Their new album, The Rag and Bone Man, is scheduled for release in Spring 2019.