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Jonathan Byrd


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A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Jonathan grew up singing in the Southern Baptist church, where his father preached and his mother played piano.

After four years in the Navy, he returned to Chapel Hill to play in rock bands in that legendary underground music scene.

A friend of Jonathan’s invited him to 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. One of those first songs was “Velma,” a murder ballad based on the true story of Velma Barfield, the last woman to be executed in North Carolina (in 1984) and the murderer of Jonathan’s own grandfather…

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  • changeable

    Why oh why haven't I listened to Jonathan Byrd before? He has been in my recommended list for ages.

    5 Apr 2011 Reply
  • strajnic

    I am lonely.....Darling, keep me warm...... (Scuppernong)

    23 Feb 2011 Reply
  • strajnic

    Saveall is right, as always!

    23 Feb 2011 Reply
  • silverlage

    You will never find a show quite like Jonathan's. He is a gentleman. If only he could rub off on everyone.

    13 Dec 2009 Reply
  • Saveall

    Sparse, beautiful...breathtaking American gothic, in a quiet kind of way.

    8 Jul 2009 Reply
  • burdell

    Saw J. Byrd last night. Amazing musician. Amazing songwriter. He's hilarious too.

    5 Jul 2008 Reply

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