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I love a rocket launch. Every one is audacious and hopeful, an apical expression of human curiosity and ingenuity, another step in the ultimate adventure. Looked at another way, we are all made from the same stuff as the planets and stars, so maybe we are only returning home to find ourselves.


This is a Delta IV Heavy rocket with the Parker Solar Probe, headed for the Sun. It’s not easy to get to the Sun, as evidenced by every object that has had five billion years to fall into it and hasn’t, including us. Orbital mechanics aside, my phone doesn’t work if I leave it in my truck on a hot day. How do you get the world’s most sensitive instruments to function in the corona of the Sun?


A solar probe was one of NASA’s founding missions in 1958 and it just launched yesterday. My son’s name is on a memory chip inside it. We watched the launch together and it occurred to me that we probably don’t have 60 years to work on something together. We’ll have to do the best we can with what we’ve got.


Raising a child is another exercise in audacity and hope, and every birth is like a rocket launch- they happen all the time yet they never seem ordinary. The forces involved are tremendous and intoxicating. I have to say, a rocket launch is somewhat less exciting than the birth of my child but it is an intoxicant that I can share with this miracle who looks like me.


Simply posting this little musing is part of my dream to write and connect with people who enjoy my writing. After eighteen years of touring, it still gives me a thrill to hit the return key.


What are you doing that is audacious today? Do you remember what you wanted to do when you first began to dream? Is it still important to you?


<return>


****************


P.S. I’m leading two weekends of the Online Songwriting Retreat- August 17-19 and 24-26. Sign up today at onlinesongwritingretreat.com and let’s write like we dreamed we would!


Your fan,


JByrd


(Image credit: NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

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The Online Songwriting Retreat

Are you a songwriter? Would you like to write a song? Would you like to donate towards a scholarship? The Online Songwriting Retreat starts up again in two weeks! I'm hosting two weekends this month, August 17-19 and August 24-26. Sign up and donate at onlinesongwritingretreat.com. There are fifteen slots left.

We’ll meet online on a Friday evening and write together all weekend. Everyone will have one-on-one time with me. Sign up at onlinesongwritingretreat.com, or donate to provide a scholarship to a working artist. Thank you! Your fan,

JByrd

________________________________

We play a little roadhouse called The Kraken every Wednesday, 7-10pm. It's on Hwy 54 West outside Carrboro, North Carolina. We'll start traveling again next month:


Sep 7 Fri
Sue E Trotter Black Box Theater
Athens, TN - with Kyshona Armstrong!

Sep 15 Sat
Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center
Franklin, NC

Sep 22 Sat
Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival
Bristol, TN - with Kyshona Armstrong!

Sep 23 Sun
Windfield Farm Concerts
Pfafftown, NC - with Kyshona Armstrong!

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Dog Days

Sirius A, known as the Dog Star, is the brightest star in Earth's night sky, found in in ancient astronomical records of every culture on Earth. “Dog days" refers to the period in mid-summer when Sirius rises with the sun.

Sirius A is so massive that its companion star, Sirius B, is ten thousand times dimmer and yet nearly the mass of our Sun. Even though Sirius A was known to the ancients, Sirius B was hidden by its companion’s light and was only discovered in 1862.

To find Sirius, use the three stars in the belt of Orion. They point downward and to the left toward Sirius.

To find us, just point your GPS to these fine venues. Siriusly.

***************************

JUL 18 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC

JUL 21 SAT
The Crimson Moon
Dahlonega GA

JUL 22 SUN
Isis Music Hall
Asheville NC

JUL 25 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC

JUL 27 FRI
Doodad Farm
Greensboro NC

JUL 28 SAT
Saturdays in Saxapahaw
Saxapahaw NC

 photo by John Respess

photo by John Respess

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Yellow Balloon

yellow heart balloon 

in an airport skylight

balloon and sky  

ever out of reach

******************** 

We’re happy to be home and ready to rock! 

 

JUL 11 WED

The Kraken

Chapel Hill NC


JUL 18 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC


JUL 21 SAT
The Crimson Moon
Dahlonega GA


JUL 22 SUN
Isis Music Hall
Asheville NC


JUL 25 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC


JUL 27 FRI
Doodad Farm
Greensboro NC


JUL 28 SAT
Saturdays in Saxapahaw

Saxapahaw NC

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Send Coffee

Johnny and I are into our second week of this summer’s UK tour. The weather has been perfect for this southern boy, but a bit hot and sunny for the natives.

 

I hiked to the top of a Cumbrian mountain and looked over the Isle of Man while Johnny sat in the shade of an English oak in the company of some very hardy looking sheep. We walked by William Wordsworth’s birthplace in the gloaming of a northern midnight. We bought stock in Marks & Spencer.


The people are lovely. The gardens are stunning. The coffee is terrible. The fuel is expensive. Driving is exciting. There are no Japanese beetles. History is ever-present.


You are our best advertisement. Please forward these dates to friends in the UK. We’ll try to bring some northern summer home.

.

TONIGHT! /The Beambridge Inn/Wellington, UK

.

JUL 4 WED /Kitchen Garden Cafe/Birmingham, UK

.

JUL 5 THU /Green Note/London, UK

.

JUL 6 FRI /The Maverick Festival/Suffolk Hill, UK

.

JUL 7 SAT /Festival Hall/Market Rasen, UK

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Long Live the King

We’re taking over this country. Don’t worry, we’ll leave in a couple of weeks. Until then, everyone speaks Welsh and has a lot more fun. Especially if you come to a show: 

 

JUN 26 TUE

The Royal Oak
Stafford, UK

JUN 27 WED
Stables 2
Wavendon, UK

JUN 28 THU
Norden Arts Centre
Maiden Head, UK

JUN 29 FRI
Haile Village Hall
Egremont, UK

JUN 30 SAT
Wild Zucchinis Bistro
Cockermouth, UK
SOLD OUT


JUL 1 SUN
The Wightman Theatre
Shrewsbury, UK

JUL 2 MON
The Musician
Leicester, UK

JUL 3 TUE
The Beambridge Inn
Wellington, UK

JUL 4 WED
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, UK

JUL 5 THU
Green Note
London, UK

JUL 6 FRI
The Maverick Festival
Suffolk Hill, UK

JUL 7 SAT
Festival Hall
Market Rasen, UK

 

Your fan  (and King), 

 

JByrd

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  Lord of Raglan Castle

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Get some art!

I'm always excited to put things in the mail and send them to a good home. On the online store, I have a book of poetry that says things like:

we are in heaven
the sky is an illusion
like any border

You can order that book of beautiful things right here: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-store/youve-changed-1

Our latest CD is called "Trio," and it's the first album with Johnny Waken and Kyshona Armstrong on it. It's the only record with Johnny's saw playing and electric guitar wizardry. That's right here: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-store/trio-cd

I also put my best-selling record on the store. 'Cackalack' has often-requested songs like 'I Was an Oak Tree' 'Wild Ponies' 'Chicken Wire' and 'Fathers Day.' You can get that right here: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-store/cackalack

I'll autograph every purchase from our online store and mail it myself. 

Another great resource for music is our bandcamp page. We have live shows and other things not available anywhere else, in addition to my entire official discography. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/

Thank you! Let me know if you're looking for something and can't find it. Your fan,

JByrd

 Sippin' lemonade in the snow. West Germany, nineteen-seventy-something

Sippin' lemonade in the snow. West Germany, nineteen-seventy-something

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Taking Paradise on the road

My students and I had a powerful weekend in the first Online Songwriting Retreat. Great writing, and great teaching is empowering. “It wasn’t your critique that drove the experience, it was each of us being allowed to place ourselves in the chair of the writer being critiqued and say out loud how we felt the work could be stronger.”

I’m excited to host another Online Songwriting Retreat. I’m taking this weekend off to rest up for our big Texas/UK tour.

*************

Jun 15 Fri
Fort Worth Live
Fort Worth, TX

Jun 16 Sat
Fischer Haus
Fischer, TX

Jun 17 Sun
Gruene Hall
New Braunfels, TX

Jun 24 Sun
Jubilee Town Hall
Kirton In Lindsey, England

Jun 25 Mon
The Mackintosh Sports Club
Cardiff, Wales

Jun 26 Tue
The Royal Oak
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England

Jun 27 Wed
Stables 2
Wavendon, England

Jun 28 Th
Norden Arts Centre
Maidenhead, England

Jun 29 Fri
Haile Village Hall
Egremont, England

Jun 30 Sat
Wild Zucchinis Bistro
Cockermouth, England - sold out!-

Jul 1 Sun
The Wightman Theatre
Shrewsbury, England

Jul 2 Mon
The Musician
Leicester, England

Jul 3 Tue
The Beambridge Inn
Wellington, England

Jul 4 Wed
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, England

Jul 5 Thu
The Green Note
London, England

Jul 6 Fri
The Maverick Festival
Suffolk Coastal, England

Jul 7 Sat
Festival Hall
Market Rasen, England

 

Your fan,

 

JByrd

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Eight-Legged Summer

The first tick check is cause for celebration. We found one lone-star tick, a carrier of Mammalian Meat Allergy, on our clothes. That particular critter is now carrying MMA to the underworld. 

 

Yall take care of each other, and come to a show. We don’t bite much. Your fan, 

 

JByrd

______________________

 

We play every week atThe Kraken from 7 to 10pm. We're stepping out on the road again soon:

May 19 Sat
Basin Park Bandshell
Eureka Springs, AR

Jun 15 Fri
Fort Worth Live
Fort Worth, TX

Jun 16 Sat
Fischer Haus
Fischer, TX

Jun 17 Sun
Gruene Hall
New Braunfels, TX

We have an amazing UK tour lined up:

Jun 24 Sun
Jubilee Town Hall
Kirton In Lindsey, England

Jun 25 Mon
The Mackintosh Sports Club
Cardiff, Wales

Jun 26 Tue
The Royal Oak
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England

Jun 27 Wed
Stables 2
Wavendon, England

Jun 28 Th
Norden Arts Centre
Maidenhead, England

Jun 29 Fri
Haile Village Hall
Egremont, England

Jun 30 Sat
Wild Zucchinis Bistro
Cockermouth, England

Jul 1 Sun
The Wightman Theatre
Shrewsbury, England

Jul 2 Mon
The Musician
Leicester, England

Jul 3 Tue
The Beambridge Inn
Wellington, England

Jul 4 Wed
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, England

Jul 5 Thu
The Green Note
London, England

Jul 6 Fri
The Maverick Festival
Suffolk Coastal, England

Jul 7 Sat
Festival Hall
Market Rasen, England

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Sugar Mama

This week on The Byrd Word podcast, I interview Iraqi-Canadian songwriter Noosa al-Sarraj, known by her "honky-tonk name" Winona Wilde. We talk about family dynamics around art, the politics of personal power, and the difference between crossing the Canadian border going south or north. Noosa is coming from Peterborough, Ontario to be our special guest this week at The Kraken, a little roadhouse outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Check out the whole episode at

http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-byrd-word/2018/5/8/sugar-mama

You can also look for "The Byrd Word" on your Apple podcast app, Stitcher, Google Play, and more.

___________________________

We play every week at The Kraken from 7 to 10pm. We're stepping out on the road again soon:

May 19 Sat
Basin Park Bandshell
Eureka Springs, AR

Jun 15 Fri
Fort Worth Live
Fort Worth, TX

Jun 16 Sat
Fischer Haus
Fischer, TX

Jun 17 Sun
Gruene Hall
New Braunfels, TX

We have an amazing UK tour lined up:

Jun 24 Sun
Jubilee Town Hall
Kirton In Lindsey, England

Jun 25 Mon
The Mackintosh Sports Club
Cardiff, Wales

Jun 26 Tue
The Royal Oak
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England

Jun 27 Wed
Stables 2
Wavendon, England

Jun 28 Th
Norden Arts Centre
Maidenhead, England

Jun 29 Fri
Haile Village Hall
Egremont, England

Jun 30 Sat
Wild Zucchinis Bistro
Cockermouth, England

Jul 1 Sun
The Wightman Theatre
Shrewsbury, England

Jul 2 Mon
The Musician
Leicester, England

Jul 3 Tue
The Beambridge Inn
Wellington, England

Jul 4 Wed
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, England

Jul 5 Thu
The Green Note
London, England

Jul 6 Fri
The Maverick Festival
Suffolk Coastal, England

Jul 7 Sat
Festival Hall
Market Rasen, England

_____________________________

Thanks for reading and listening! Your fan,

JByrd

Noosa al-Sarraj.jpg

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Planting Flowers

Big changes are happening in my life. Stormy weather. Sickness. Separation. Growth.

The spring season seems perfectly suited. Young chickens fill you with hope, then you find half of one in the woods. Spring has its dark side.

Our agent of many years, John Laird of the Americana Agency, retired and closed the agency. We've started working with David Salada of The Sparrow Agency. In the transitional time, we lost a lot of ground for spring bookings. I ran down to our local roadhouse, The Kraken, and asked for a Wednesday night residency, and it immediately became one of the most successful things I've ever done. I watched my mother hoe her tulip beds while I mowed her lawn. I studied the night sky from a single place for months and learned the names of stars. Pollux. Mirfak. Bellatrix.

I love a meme that started going around in 2017. A little creature, sweating with anxiety, bags under its eyes, asks her friend:

 

"Why are you so optimistic about this year? What do you think it will bring?"

"I think it will bring flowers."

"Yes? How come?"

"Because I am planting flowers."

 

Plant flowers. Your fan,

JByrd

_______________________________

We play every Wednesday 7-10pm at The Kraken in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


May 19 Sat
Basin Park Bandshell
Eureka Springs, AR

Jun 15 Fri
Fort Worth Live
Fort Worth, TX

Jun 16 Sat
Fischer Haus
Fischer, TX

Jun 17 Sun
Gruene Hall
New Braunfels, TX

We have an amazing UK tour lined up:

Jun 24 Sun
Jubilee Town Hall
Kirton In Lindsey, England

Jun 25 Mon
The Mackintosh Sports Club
Cardiff, Wales

Jun 26 Tue
The Royal Oak
Eccleshall, Staffordshire, England

Jun 27 Wed
Stables 2
Wavendon, England

Jun 28 Thu
Norden Arts Centre
Maidenhead, England

Jun 29 Fri
Haile Village Hall
Egremont, England

Jun 30 Sat
Wild Zucchinis Bistro
Cockermouth, England

Jul 1 Sun
The Wightman Theatre
Shrewsbury, England

Jul 2 Mon
The Musician
Leicester, England

Jul 3 Tue
The Beambridge Inn
Wellington, England

Jul 4 Wed
Kitchen Garden Cafe
Birmingham, England

Jul 5 Thu
The Green Note
London, England

Jul 6 Fri
The Maverick Festival
Suffolk Coastal, England

Jul 7 Sat
Festival Hall
Market Rasen, England

 

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My Offering

This rain! Making music on the new leaves, beading the bearded iris, it plays like vinyl on this Roberta Flack morning. I stuck my nose in a flower outside the bank and people walked by to count their money. Some goes in. Some comes out. I made a withdrawal of fragrance without ever making a deposit. Am I the only one who knows about this program? The Earth is your mother and she’s filthy rich.

We feel wealthy this morning. Johnny is car shopping and starting a health savings account to manage his recovery from last week’s accident. This weekend, we met some of you up close in Lexington, Asheville, and Dahlonega. Thanks for your shining faces.

This week, we’ll have A Different Thread with us at The Kraken. The next three weeks, it’ll be just us, making three hours worth of music. We’re working up some songs we’ve never played on stage.

This is also making me feel wealthy, this richness of experience, offering myself like a flower outside the bank. A lot of people will walk by, but you’re the weirdo aren’t you? If not, I hope you can be the weirdo sometime. Sometimes it’s lonely, but as Mary Oliver says, “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination.”

APR 25 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC
special guests A Different Thread

MAY 2 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC

MAY 9 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC

MAY 16 WED
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC


Your fan,

JByrd

______________________________

I offer this to you, two of my best rainy-day records:

The Law and the Lonesome, my dark side. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/album/the-law-and-the-lonesome

The Sea and the Sky, my slightly less dark side. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/album/the-sea-and-the-sky

You don’t have to buy them. You can stream them right there. Enjoy.

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YES

It's spring! Technically. If you live north of me, I offer you this vision of your future:


The One and Holy Word

 

One morning in the spring I heard a hissing

I walked out to the garden and stood listening

It seemed as if there was some sort of magnet

a circuit humming coming through the planet

 

The Sun was streaming creaming in the blossoms

The tongues of bees repeating in devotion

the anthem of the budding and the buzzes

the one and Holy Word of God and Goddess

 

YES YES YES YES YES


This week is going to be a lot of fun for us. Violet Bell will join us at The Kraken. Watch their awesomeness here: https://youtu.be/wDCnRF7DQvg . We're going back to High Rock Outfitters in Lexington- it's been too long since we were there with Butch Morgan- and Isis Music Hall in beautiful Asheville. Johnny is teaching his first saw-playing workshop at Bear on the Square in Dahlonega GA.

 

APR 18 WED (and every Wednesday)

The Kraken

Chapel Hill NC

special guests Violet Bell

 

APR 20 FRI

High Rock Outfitters

Lexington NC

 

APR 21 SAT

Isis Music Hall

Asheville NC

 

APR 22 SUN

Bear on the Square

Dahlonega GA


Your fan,

JByrd

Byrd_in_flight.jpg

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New song 'Dying to Go to Heaven' and an interview

I'm excited to share a song with you today. It's been a while. Today, it's in the context of a novel I read called 'Over the Plain Houses.'

My band is playing this week, and every Wednesday at 7pm, at The Kraken, a little roadhouse outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My special guest this week will be writer, vocalist, and producer Martha Bassett.

Thursday, April 5th, we're excited to play my birthplace, Fayetteville North Carolina, at The Cameo Arthouse Theater. It's at 225 Hay St, Fayetteville, NC. Buy tickets here. Get more info at www.cameoarthouse.com or call (910)486-6633.

April 21 SAT / Isis Music Hall / Asheville NC / buy tickets

April 22 SUN / Bear on the Square / Dahlonega GA / mainstage schedule

Yesterday, I released The Byrd Word podcast with Julia Franks, author of Over the Plain Houses, a novel that NPR calls "A spellbinding story of witchcraft and disobedience." Over the Plain Houses is an NPR Book of the Year, Winner of the 2016 Southern Book Prize, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award 2017, and more. Julia Franks lives in Atlanta, where she runs loosecanon.com, a web service that fosters free-choice reading in the classroom. Learn more about Julia at http://www.juliafranks.com/ and more about Loose Canon at https://loosecanon.com/

I end the podcast with an unreleased song, 'Dying to Go to Heaven.' I wrote it for a project by Shari Smith called Trio, which included the novel Over the Plain Houses, this song, and a work of visual art. You can find out more about Shari Smith and her Trio project at shari-smith.com/

You can listen on almost any podcast app, just look for The Byrd Word, or head over to http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-byrd-word/2018/4/2/over-the-plain-houses . Subscribe to the podcast and leave us a review.

Most of all, I hope you can come to a live show soon. It's our favorite part of what we do. We have Texas and UK tours coming up soon. You can always check the full list of tour dates at http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/schedule/

Thanks for reading, and for listening. Your fan,

JByrd

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Lemonade

I love the TSA! They always leave a free bookmark in my guitar case. Shoutout to my people in secondary inspection

 

Every Wednesday at The Kraken

Chapel Hil NC

 

april 5

Cameo Theater

Fayetteville NC

 

april 21

Isis Music Hall

Asheville NC

 

april 22

Bear on the Square Festival

Dahlonega GA

 

look for for an upcoming Byrd Word podcast with author Julia Franks! I had a wonderful time speaking with her this morning.  

Your fan,  

 

JByrd

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Stuff and Things

I’ve never wanted to own a thing in my life. If there was an Enterprise Rent-a-Guitar I might never own a guitar again. Guitars are the objects I care most about, so it’s all downhill from there.

I have a disorganized pile of CDs I never listen to. Every now and then I recycle a bunch of them. Spotify perfectly fits my mission of owning as little as possible. I can listen to most of the recorded music in human history on whichever device I can find.

I love the idea of having a record player, but UGH. You pay for the objects and they take up space in your life? You have to clean them? Organize? I guess that’s why I go to the trouble of owning a guitar.

I have some books. I give them away when they start to act like they own me. Except for Their Eyes Were Watching God. That book has owned me since I opened it. Sometimes I have to give it away, because I love it so much, but I always get another copy. If Their Eyes Were Watching God called me drunk at 3am, I’d let it come over.

My phone is the only reason I have photos. I don’t keep pictures in my wallet. I don’t have a wallet. Sometimes people give me pictures of myself. I have no idea what to do with those.

I love all the gifts I get. I don’t keep them forever. I look at them, read them, wear them, and feel the love in them. One day, they feel a little heavier. They move on.

I love walking in my front door and seeing the backyard. I love the echo of an empty room. I love going to other people’s houses and seeing all their great stuff. I love touching, reading, playing, and listening to all the things in other people’s houses. I love leaving it all there.

I don’t have a television, a stereo, a couch, a boat, or a Netflix account. If I wasn’t in the music business, I wouldn’t own a computer. Maybe then I’d have to get a stereo.  

What do I get for all this silence and space? I don’t know. Silence and space, I guess. I sleep at night. I make stuff and sell it. I listen to the birds. I talk to people at the grocery store.

It’s not for everybody. I am in awe of people who take pleasure in owning, organizing, and maintaining things. I have friends who own houses worth millions. They have more wine than a grocery store. They are like rockstar astronauts to me. They have ownership skills that are beyond my comprehension. I think sharing it keeps them sane. I don’t have much stuff, but I do have a lot of thoughts. Sharing them definitely keeps me sane. Maybe owning stuff is like that too.

When I share my music with you, it’s all I’ve got. You are welcome to it. I have so much I don’t know what else to do with it. I fly from town to town giving it away. In return, people give me compliments, show me around, invite me into their beautiful homes and tell me their stories. That’s perfect because I can keep a good story my whole life. I have plenty of story-age space.

WED MAR 21
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC

FRI MAR 23
Red Bicycle Hall
Madison, IN

MAR 24 SAT
Princeton Coffeehouse
Princeton, IL

WED MAR 28 AND APR 4
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC

APR 5
Cameo Theater
Fayetteville, NC

Your fan,

JByrd

 photo by Tyler Quackenbush

photo by Tyler Quackenbush

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New podcast! New baby!

The Byrd Word podcast is finding its groove. Thanks for listening. This week we talk with Eric Bannan, who found faith, community, and a home for his music at our local Unitarian church. His latest album, "You Are Welcome Here," is currently #15 on the Folk charts. You can listen here, on your Apple podcast app, Stitcher, Google Play, and more. Just look for "The Byrd Word."

 

Welcome to our family Aeroh Wynn McCall, a beautiful little baby girl, daughter of our drummer Austin McCall. Austin missed a world-record of one gig for his child's birth. He did look a little sleepy last week, but his playing just gets better all the time. Now when Johnny and I hit the road without Austin, we miss him onstage and off. I gave Austin one piece of advice; when the baby sleeps, you sleep.

 

Your fan,  

 

JByrd

 

 our new roadie...

our new roadie...

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Paul Ford, poetry reading, and tea with Melissa Greener

I'm playing tomorrow night with my band at The Kraken, a little roadhouse outside Chapel Hill, NC, and we're having a birthday party for the late Paul Ford, who was our cellist in the band and a good friend. We’ll celebrate Paul’s life by playing, in its entirety, an as yet unreleased album that we made with Paul days before he was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma. It’s a miracle that we were able to make that record (that we’ll be releasing this fall!) and it’s going to be a lot of fun to celebrate Paul’s birthday tomorrow night by playing it for our, and Paul’s, fans.  

Come to my first public full-length reading from my new book of poetry ‘You’ve Changed,’ this Friday, March 2nd at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough NC. Johnny Waken will be there too and we'll weave songs into the performance.

Today I released another episode of The Byrd Word podcast. I have a great conversation with singer, songwriter, guitarist, poet, and mental health advocate Melissa Greener. Melissa is about to release an album and mental health advocacy project called 'The Fallow Year.' Melissa reads her poem “Tea, Mint from Your Garden” which is up on her patreon page, https://www.patreon.com/melissagreener . I read my poem "Painting of The Baptism" to Melissa (I'll print the text below). Finally, we'll hear a sneak preview track from 'The Fallow Year.'

Check it out over at http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-byrd-word/2018/2/27/tea-with-melissa-greener
Your fan,

Jonathan Byrd

 

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Starlings and Toilets

It's spring break for my 8-year-old and I'm hanging with him all week. We watched a murmuration of starlings for about an hour this morning and now we're building a prototype toilet. Good times. 

Speaking of good times, come see us live and check out The Byrd Word podcast. This week, I'll be reading a bunch of poetry from my new book 'You've Changed,' in preparation for March 2nd, my first public, ticketed reading show at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough NC.

We also have a handful of shows in the midwest in March. The dates:

 

WED FEB 21 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - special guest Eno River Rats

WED FEB 28 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - a special night in memory of Paul Ford

FRI MAR 2 - St. Matthews Episcopal Church - Faith & Arts Series - Hillsborough NC - a full-length reading show featuring poems from my new book 'You've Changed'

WED MAR 7 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - special guest Eric Bannan

WED MAR 14 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - special guest Kyshona Armstrong

FRI MAR 16 - Journey Church - Nisswa, MN

SAT MAR 17 - The Warming House - Minneapolis, MN

WED MAR 21 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - special guest Jim Watson

FRI MAR 23 - Red Bicycle Hall - Madison, IN

SAT MAR 24 - Open Prairie Church (Princeton Coffeehouse) - Princeton, IL

 

Your fan,

 

JByrd

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Wild Ponies and live shows

This week, my son Rowan asked if we could talk about my song Wild Ponies, so we made a podcast about it. Check it out http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/the-byrd-word/2018/2/13/wild-ponies-with-rowan We listen to an early demo version of the song and break down the lyrics, which I'll share below.

We'll be on WCOM, Carrboro's local radio station, at 10am tomorrow. Tune in to https://wcomfm.org/ and listen live. Catch a show this month:

WED FEB 14 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - Valentines Day!

THURS FEB 15 - Carolina Theater - Durham NC - opening for The Earls Of Leicester

WED FEB 21 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - special guest Eno River Rats

WED FEB 28 - The Kraken - Chapel Hill NC - a special night in memory of Paul Ford

FRI MAR 2 - St. Matthews Episcopal Church - Faith & Arts Series - Hillsborough NC - a full-length reading show featuring poems from my new book 'You've Changed'

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Wild Ponies

She had legs like daggers and eyes like oceans
and her heart locked up in a hard combination.
I took her to the island, to see the wild ponies.

See, I had a friend who had a concrete boat, -
it don't take as much as you might think to float-
and he lived out on the island with the wild ponies.

We made a fire in the live oak trees,
and listened to the pirate breeze blowing.
And wondered how a man could be
so far from home, and still know where he's going.

She drifted down from a shipwrecked town
and landed here on the Pamlico sound.
She'd heard out on the islands, there were wild ponies.

I gave all I could give to her:
a chance to see what she had heard
and a night out on the island with the wild ponies.

But she didn't stay here, like she didn't stay there,
always looking for somewhere a little greener.
Every time I see the ponies run-
scared and hungry, wild and young- I see her.

I heard somebody say she died
drinking one night on the ocean side,
swimming to freedom, like a wild pony.

I wish her well. I wish her peace.
It's got to be lonely to be so free,
always running, like a wild pony,
living your life like a wild pony.

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Wild Ponies is on an album called Cackalack, available from the store.

Your fan,

JByrd

wild ponies.jpg

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