John Byrne and his band will play Pastorius Park next Wednesday.

by Joe Tressa

The Pastorius Park Concert Series will continue on Wednesday, June 26, with the Celtic folk music group, The John Byrne Band. The group will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the park.

The John Byrne Band’s style can be described as a mix of American folk and Celtic music. While growing up in Dublin, Byrne was influenced at a young age by the music of Bob Dylan. Ironically, it wasn’t until he moved to America as a teenager that he began to explore Celtic music.

The band has been building its reputation in the Philadelphia area has and has already played several well-received shows at World Café Live. In February of 2011, 500 fans came to the popular Philadelphia club to see Byrne and his band perform. The band has also made two performances on the “10! Show” on NBC 10. The band also has recently released an album, titled “Celtic/Folk” in March.

Before starting the John Byrne Band, Byrne was the lead singer of the two-man-band Patrick’s Head with guitarist Patrick Mansfield the group had a sound that combined punk, folk and rock music and released five CDs during its time together. In 2008, after eight years, Byrne and Mansfield eventually called it quits after the two could not mutually agree on the musical direction of the band.

After the break-up of Patrick’s Head, Byrne began to write material for a solo album called “After the Wake.” This album was eventually released in 2010 and received rave reviews. The Philadelphia Inquirer called Byrne “one of the few musical artists today who truly manage to be traditional and modern at the same time.”

Aside from the front man Byrne, the band consists of Maura Dwyer, Rob Shaffer, and Andrew Keenan. Keenan was also the producer of “After the Wake.”

The rain location for each concert will be at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Lower School Auditorium, Cherokee Campus, 8000 Cherokee Street. Rain statuses will be posted on by 6 p.m. the day of the show.

The concert series is organized and produced by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and made possible by donations from the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital. Further sponsorship is provided by WXPN-FM and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department. Be sure to check back with the Local for previews of each band act the week before each concert.

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