Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina flatpicker and a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher’s son, and an award-winning songwriter whose songs you’ve probably heard, even if you haven’t heard Byrd sing them. 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.
Byrd quit the rock bands of his youth and hit the road solo in 2000, flatpicking and singing new songs in an old style. 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, a milestone for Americana’s most influential artists: Steve Earle. Lucinda Williams. Nanci Griffith. Lyle Lovett. 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 the fruit of this interstate cross-pollination, 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” is the newest Jonathan Byrd release, an homage to his home state. 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.
Most recently, Jonathan won a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks from The Band of Heathens. “One of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years.” -Chicago Tribune.
Jonathan will be sharing the stage with Sally Barris:
Sally Barris is an A-list Nashville songwriter who has had songs covered by such top-level artists as Kathy Mattea, Martina McBride, and Lee Ann Womack. Her song “Let The Wind Chase You”, recorded by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban, received a Grammy nomination for vocal collaboration in 2009.
While her writing credits mightily impress, fans and peers are most captivated by her bright spirit and expressive mountain soprano. Dirty Linen says “Barris knows how to write lyrics that are as forthright as a stream of clear water and how to support them with melodies that share that quality”.
When Sally is not touring solo, she is known as “Sister Waymore” in the power trio; The Waymores with Tom Kimmel and Don Henry.
In the last 3 years, the Minnesota native has performed Mountain Stage, New Bedford Summer Fest, The Wildflower Festival and The Kerrville Folk Festival. Sally is currently touring with her new cd “Wilder Girl”.
“At first, Minnesota-native Barris appears to be a delicate meringue, an evanescent angel keening for her lost love in a voice of snowflake crystal— though a closer listen to her lyrics reveals a resolute independence, Her tunes are industry favorites, covered time and again by some of the biggest names on country radio— the latest CD “Wilder Girl” showcases her stellar skills at their best.” – Keith Harrelson founder of Moonlight on the Mountain music venue, August 2012
“Sally Barris has a voice like sparkling crystal. You could have knocked me over with a feather the first time I heard her. Her writing is from a deep, yet innocent, place and her point of view is just a bit off center. I am excited for her, she is standing at the beginning of her journey in this town, with all of it ahead of her. It reminds me of the first time I heard Beth Nielson-Chapman or Nanci Griffith. It’s going to be fun to watch.” – Kathy Mattea
“What an amazing voice! Sally Barris has an excruciatingly beautiful voice.” – Pierce Pettis
“The singer/songwriter/guitarists sweet voice and intriguing melodies will draw you in, and then her thoughtful and emotional lyrics will make you listen over and over again with growing admiration.” – Jessica Marshall
“…progressive folk sensibility with a storyteller’s command, a strong backbone, and a confectioner’s dusting of country blues…Barris is somehow able to wield a highly individualized sense of melody and song shape into tunes you can imagine other top vocalists covering. In a sea of fair to middling singer/songwriter albums, this comes highly recommended.” – Craig Havighurst The Tennessean (review of Reluctant Daughter)
To purchase tickets, please go here.