by Kevin Callan
The John Byrne Band brings its Celtic-folk music back to the Pastorius Park Concert Series for the second year in a row on Wednesday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m.
The John Byrne Band has regularly toured the East Coast in recent years, performing often in the Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey areas. Front-man and songwriter John Byrne draws influences from both his native home of Dublin and his second home here in the states. Byrne has opened for the likes of Ian Gillan of Deep Purple and is frequently featured on WXPN.
Byrne released five albums as a front man for the band Patrick’s Head from 2001 to 2007. Three of the albums featured original music, and two albums covered Irish folk songs. The band promoted these albums through a series of sold-out shows at the World Café Live in Philadelphia and other live acoustic venues along the East coast.
Since then, Byrne has become independent and released two albums. “After the Wake,” his solo album released in 2010, features beautiful melodies from a wave of different instruments along with deep, heartfelt lyrics from Byrne. “Already Gone” invites listeners to a calm, sing-along about love while “Midnight in Dublin” uses storytelling lyrics and a slow violin accompaniment to let the mind wander to tales of the motherland.
Byrne’s most recent album, “Celtic Folk,” is as self-explanatory as they come; released in 2013, the album features covers of old Irish folk songs. The album ranges from an old captain’s song “Ballad of the Old Black Pearl,” with acoustic guitar and string accompaniment, to songs as simple as “Paddy’s Lament,” a solo vocal piece by Byrne.
The Pastorius Park concert series is produced every year by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital.
If it rains, the concert will be moved to the Lower School Auditorium of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Cherokee Campus. Be sure to check chestnuthill.org, where notice of a rain move will be posted after 6 p.m. the day of the concert.