Charlotte Folk Society Gathering Sept 9th: The Jonathan Byrd Duo

photo of Jonathan Byrd Duo

The Charlotte Folk Society’s (CFS) Monthly Gathering is Friday, September 9th, and the Jonathan Byrd Duo is set to perform at 7:30pm.

Jonathan Byrd is a seventh generation North Carolinian, a Baptist preacher’s son, a Gulf War veteran, and a Kerrville New Folk award winner. A Jonathan Byrd show brings together the Texas songwriting tradition, Southern storytelling, and hot guitar picking. A stalwart of modern folk music, Byrd has released six solo albums with a surprising variety of musical directions, as well as recording collaborations with American world music band Dromedary, and fellow songwriters Diana Jones and Chris Kokesh.

Byrd played guitar throughout his four years on a Naval tank landing ship touring the Mediterranean. A civilian again, he played in a Virginia Beach heavy rock band. Returning home to Carrboro, he connected with people playing acoustic music. Friends told Byrd about an old-time fiddler’s convention in Buena Vista, Virginia. He went and hung out with them, and recalls, “It changed my life and it changed my music… Whatever these people had a hold of, I wanted some of it. It shot straight down into my veins like lightning and made my hair stand up on end. The music was intense, lyrically cut down to the bone…” Byrd started going to Clifftop and Mt. Airy and joining in local old-time jams. He added Celtic music and the DADGAD guitar tuning to his repertoire. Before long, he tried his hand at writing songs and started touring full-time in 2000. At the 2003 Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, Jonathan Byrd won the New Folk competition and was hired as a performer for the next eight years.

Joining Jonathan Byrd on stage is Johnny Waken, aka “Showtime,” who has performed with him since 2010. An entertainer and multi-instrumentalist, Waken is mostly known for squeezing magical tones from his ’70 Stratocaster and drawing ethereal melodies from his 36″ crosscut saw.“He’s got more rock ‘n ‘roll in his mustache than most major cities. He’s made out of wood shavings, bear grease, and Russian vacuum tubes.”Jonathan Byrd

Originally from Pittsburgh, Waken began his career in the late eighties playing blues clubs along the East Coast. In 1991 he engineered and co-produced Norman Nardini’s original blues rock record, This Old Train. This led to a tour of Germany opening for The Blues Brothers in 3,000 seat halls with the likes of Steve Cropper, “Duck” Dunn, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and Eddie Floyd.CFS website

Charlotte Folk Society ImagePlease join us at the Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Avenue, on the edge of Uptown Charlotte. The music gets underway in the beautiful listening room at 7:30pm. Doors open at 7pm. Free parking is available in the 4th Street Mecklenburg County parking deck, between Kings Drive and McDowell Street. Enter from the Stella Center parking lot or from 4th Street. Accessible entry and an elevator are available through the ground floor door on the parking lot side of the building. A CFS volunteer is available to assist guests who are dropped off by their drivers.

All CFS Gatherings are family-friendly and free; donations are appreciated and this concert is presented in partnership with Charlotte Community Radio.

Charlotte Folk Society Gatherings are made possible, in part, with funding from Arts & Science Council, the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

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