John Byrne Band - A Shiver In The Sky


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Release Date: 10/24/2019

The John Byrne Band has been part of the thriving Philadelphia music scene for more than a decade. The Irish émigré has recorded three critically acclaimed albums, “After The Wake” in 2011, “Celtic Folk” in 2013 and “The Immigrant And The Orphan” in 2015. The band received rave reviews as a supporting act for artists as disparate as Hothouse Flowers, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillian and  Patti Smith. Their fourth long-player, “A Shiver In The Sky,” has just been released.

The album gets off to a rollicking start  with “Special Place In Hell.”Soaring guitars, plaintive pedal steel, buoyant banjo, and swooping fiddle are tethered to a galloping gait. John’s warm tenor wraps around lyrics that chart the course from friendship to romance.

From the back-porch ramble of “All In All,” the defiant “Hold That Against Me” and the album’s magnum opus, “Easy To Get Stuck Here,” the band tackles hot-button issues like the current politic climate, LGBTQ rights and the debate on immigration.  The catchy Country two-step of “Hard Living Lovers,” puts the spotlight on addiction and depression.

           Of course, there are also some nuanced relationship  songs, like the propulsive “Ghost Of A Chance” and the and the high lonesome salute of “Your Love Is All There Is.” The best tracks, “Just Like You” and “Time Ain’t Changed A Thing In This Town” display a piquant, Big Easy Flavor.”

              John Byrne’s blend of Celtic and Folk makes you remember Emerald Isle antecedents like Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy, and Luka Bloom, and almost allows you to forget Enya’s soothing “Calgon-Take-Me-Away” music as well as the P.T.S.D. that resulted from the frenetic flailing feet of “Riverdance” and “Lord Of The Dance.” 

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