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JONATHAN BYRD is “one of the top 50 songwriters of the last 50 years,” says Rich Warren of WFMT in the Chicago Tribune. Scott Alarik of the Boston Globe says, “This rootsy North Carolinian may be the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom.
“This rootsy North Carolinian may be the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom. He displays 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
“Another one of those cats that qualifies as 'one of the heaviest cats you probably never heard of, Byrd is running hard to be the folkie's folkie. The easiest way to describe him to the uninitiated for quick understanding is that he's like a dyed in the wool North Carolinian John Koerner. Sly, subversive and able to say more in two words than most other people can say in a novel, Byrd is clearly one of the tent poles of contemporary folk music. He sounds like he's straight from the back porch but he's taken a long, hard look at life and knows how to bring it into focus. This...is going to set your ears on fire, even if you aren't a folkie.”
— Midwest Record
It was at an old-time fiddle festival in the mountains of southwest Virginia where his writing began to change. Assimilating the sounds of southern traditional music, Byrd wrote new songs in an ancient style.
After 10 years as a full-time touring songwriter and 7 acclaimed albums, it seems this native of Cackalacky is getting the attention he deserves.
"I started touring full-time in 2000, realizing that I could do it as a solo performer and actually make a living. Of course, that's what every other singer/songwriter in America was doing, too, but I didn't even know what a singer/songwriter was, so that didn't bother me. I thought I was a folk musician. Over time, I realized that folk got cross-dressed and don't mean what it used to mean anymore. I think my friend Aengus Finnan said it better than anybody I've heard yet, "It's a style of presentation." So that's just it, as long as you don't put on the razzle-dazzle and shake your ass in a sequin skirt, you can be a folk musician. Sit there on a stool and play your tuba, tell a story once in a while and wear some Birckenstocks. Everybody will think you're a folk musician.
Texas is a huge influence on my writing. "The Law and the Lonesome" is what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada's venerable folk mag Penguin Eggs called "The Law and the Lonesome" her "album of the decade." Co-produced by the brilliant Chris Bartos in Toronto, "The Law and the Lonesome" features a couple of co-writes with my friend Corin Raymond. We wrote the title track together, which was featured in a songwriting class at Vanderbilt University in Nashville."
“Jonathan's delightful, substantive songs are rich with imagery and textures of influences from Appalachian, country, early American balladry and old timey folk music. A stalwart of modern folk music, Jonathan is constantly evolving in new musical directions and each incarnation has proven to be masterful.”
— Uncle Calvin's Coffeehouse, Dallas, Tx
Toronto songwriter Corin Raymond is a troubadour whose robust veracity appeals to older folks and children alike. Raymond’s songs are covered by Dustin Bentall, The Good Lovelies, The Strumbellas, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and a far flung community of roots musicians and enthusiasts. Raymond's latest JUNO nominated album, Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams (released March 3rd, 2016) is "a hypnotic, literate collection of dark tall tales....
Romantic, immediate, and narcotic." (Acoustic Guitar). Aside from the hilarious triumph of funding his previous project, double-album Paper Nickels, with Canadian Tire money, Raymond enjoys a second career performing his non-musical, one-man shows Bookworm (2011) and The Great Canadian Tire Money Caper (2014), which he has toured extensively to over a dozen Fringe and literary festivals, and to theatres in three countries. "Raymond has impeccable timing, and his performance is at once intimate, openhearted, and evangelical." (The Georgia Straight on Bookworm) "Corin Raymond is a storyteller who by the end of the night you'll have known your whole life." (The Globe and Mail).
“Corin Raymond is a storyteller who by the end of the night you’ll have known all your life”
–Brad Wheeler, The Globe and Mail
“Raymond has a robust and serviceable voice but his true strength is as a songwriter. Within Canadian roots music circles word of that is quickly spreading, as other artists have begun covering his tunes. They’ll find plenty to work with here.”
– Kerry Doole, Exclaim! Magazine
“Corin’s magic appeal comes from a unique blend of vulnerability with a high energy personality. It’s something you see sometimes in comedians, but rarely in musicians.” – The Basement Rug