Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboy

Haw River Ballroom Presents

Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboy

Jess Klein, Violet Bell, A Different Thread, Stan Lewis

Sat, October 27, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:30 pm)

Haw River Ballroom

Saxapahaw, NC

$18 - $20

Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboy
Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboy
“...a folk singer with the heart of a rock 'n' roll band.” — K. Oliver, Free Times

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys are musical gunslingers, vaudevillian hucksters, and old-fashioned tent revivalists. Between heartbreaking ballads and heart-lifting sing-alongs, the Cowboys entertain and get audiences involved in the show.

Byrd is a preacher's son, a Gulf War veteran, and an award-winning songwriter from Chapel Hill, NC, known for literary, outsider songs that have become campfire favorites. The Chicago Tribune called Byrd "one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years."

Joined by vocal powerhouse Kyshona Armstrong on bass, and musical renaissance man Johnny Waken on guitar, saw and mandolin, Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make the world such a big place.

"...one of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years." -- Chicago Tribune
“Jonathan Byrd doesn't sing songs; he sings truth.” — Mare Wakefield, Performing Songwriter

“Jonathan Byrd swings from the roots of American music...He jumps between gutbucket blues and tender ballads, empathetic work laments and sympathetic character studies...Byrd shares the often-missed, always poignant tales of the small people that make this world such a big place.” — Grayson Currin, The Independent
Jess Klein
Jess Klein
Over a career that spans more than a decade and a half and has won her a devoted worldwide fan base, Jess Klein—who possesses what Mojo magazine calls “one of those voices you want to crawl up close to the speakers to listen to” has pursued a remarkable creative evolution that’s seen her dig ever deeper for resonant emotional insights, while continuing to refine her eloquently melodic, effortlessly accessible songcraft. Jon Pareles of The New York Times calls her “a songwriter with a voice of unblinking tenacity…who finds parables in the everyday and also finds humanity behind the archetypal.”

The Rochester, NY native began writing songs as a college student in Kingston, Jamaica, and is known for staking out brave lyrical and musical territory with such albums as Wishes Well Disguised (1998), Draw Them Near (2000), Strawberry Lover (2005), City Garden (2006), Bound to Love (2009), Behind A Veil (2012) and Learning Faith (2014) which Folk Radio UK calls “Unquestionably the finest album of her impressive career.” Jess spent eight years soaking up the live music culture of Austin, TX. Bootleg (2015) Jess’s live, full band album captures the dynamism of Jess onstage, backed by some of Austin’s top players. Jess was named a 2015 Finalist in the highly regarded Kerrville New Folk Competition.

Following a move from Austin to the tiny but vibrant town of Hillsborough, North Carolina, Jess joined forces with Producer Mark Simonsen (The Old Ceremony, Weems/Gerrard Band, film scores: Elephant Sighs, Radiation Veterans and Rareified) and Engineer Thom Canova (Amy Ray, 4 Non-Blondes, Oranj Symphonette) at Studio M in Durham, North Carolina to record a new album entitled "Back to My Green".

On this striking collection of ten new originals, Klein’s incisive lyrics address living in uncertain times and the resilience that carries us through. Songs like “New Thanksgiving Feast”, “Tougher than I Seem”, and “Kid” look through the lens of a world-traveler and granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, to celebrate the human capacity for healing and redemption during dark times. Guest vocalists include Gaelynn Lea and Jonathan Byrd. Simonsen and Canova’s deft production calls on influences including Motown, Classic Rock, Tropicalia and 70's folk and creates a stirring backdrop to Klein’s passionate mezzo soprano on this timely and powerful album. Back to My Green will be released everywhere in early 2019.
Violet Bell
Violet Bell
Violet Bell – Original Americana from Durham, NC

“Violet Bell have toured extensively throughout the country, earning fans with their fiery live performances, thanks in large part to the chemistry between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez.” -The Boot

Folk, country and bluegrass with elements of classical, jazz, blues, and psychedelic flair. The first thing that struck me was the talent that is spilling over the sides. The talent smacks you in the face it is so prominent. All the elements come together perfectly to form something that burns brightly.” – Harry Kaplan, Twangri-La

“Making the best possible use of the atmospheric, captivating vocals of Lizzy Ross, Durham folk duo Violet Bell puts an eerie, vaguely avant-garde twist on traditional roots music, suggesting the lovely but slightly askew early John Cale releases. Garnished with beauty but fraught with an underlying menace, tunes like “Dream the Wheel” under score the interplay between Ross and multi-instrumentalist Omar Ruiz-Lopez.” – Indy Weekly

Violet Bell cites a wide range of influences – from Debussy to Nina Simone, D’angelo to Lou Reed, their unique sound blends folk, soul, bluegrass, blues, and classical. On stage, the energy between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate and intuitive. Since forming in March 2016, Violet Bell has played over 250 shows, earning fans from FL to VT with long stretches on the road.

Violet Bell’s live performance is the heart of their work in the studio. On their 2017 debut Dream the Wheel Ross sings and plays guitar, as Ruiz-Lopez adds violin, viola, cello, keys, guitar and vocal harmonies. The result is alchemical; emotionally evocative music that at times “sounds like a beautiful dream” (IndyWeekly).

The album’s title track, “Dream the Wheel,” speaks to a fearlessly inclusive view of life’s cyclical polarities. “Sing, sing, everything/ Comes and goes and comes again/ Let it out and let it in/ Let it be your medicine.” The album cover, a medicine wheel that Ruiz-Lopez and Ross crafted from local NC flora, speaks to the origins of the music. Violet Bell is rooted in the natural world and the community from which they’ve grown.

Violet Bell’s outreach efforts include teaching workshops to to community and youth orchestras in NC and beyond, and collaborating with youth and community musicians whenever possible. The September 15, 2017 release show for Dream the Wheel featured three students of the Durham nonprofit Kidznotes All-Star string ensemble, whom Ruiz-Lopez has helped to teach since 2011. Violet Bell has worked with the Wake Forest Youth Orchestra, Ocrafolk, and Kidznotes to present workshops to students K-12 as well as older audiences.

In May 2018, Violet Bell recorded a full-length debut album, Honey in my Heart, at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville with Jason Richmond (Dom Flemons, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nneena Freelon, Avett Brothers). Honey in my Heart is set for international release in early 2019 and features 11 original songs.

Prior to forming Violet Bell, Ruiz-Lopez toured with Jonathan Byrd, Crystal Bright, Steph Stewart, and Chocolate Suede, and composed several original pieces for the Durham Symphony Orchestra. Ross has been a two-time Kerrville New Folk finalist and won Floydfest’s On the Rise contest, a Carolina Music Award, and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council.
A Different Thread
A Different Thread
From the rolling hills of Staffordshire to the Appalachian Mountains, A Different Thread’s original songs are inspired by the music that has crisscrossed the Atlantic Ocean over the generations in true folk fashion. Robert Jackson (from Staffordshire, England) and Alicia Best (from North Carolina, USA) first met two years ago while busking in Galway, Ireland. They didn't know each other's names, all they knew was that their voices fit together like missing pieces of the same puzzle. Their chance meeting sparked a musical journey across the UK, Europe, the US and even to Guatemala and back; touring and living on the road while cultivating their own unique blend of country, blues and folk, or as they call it: British-Americana.



After wining first prize in a competition at Shrewsbury Folk Festival in 2017, the band made a UK splash this year performing on one of the festival’s main stages. On their recent US tour they were featured on NPR’s: The State of Things with Frank Stasio (WUNC) and the Blue Plate Special in Knoxville TN. They are about to self-release their debut album: 'On A Whim' produced by North Carolina Native: Jeff Crawford (Mandolin Orange, Mipso, Josh Moore, Skylar Gudasz). The record features session players from the North Carolina 'Triangle' area including Omar Ruiz-Lopez (Violet Bell) and Rusty Smith (Four Tops, The Temptations).



This Fall they are leaping back over the pond for their official release show at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro NC, and what looks to be another sell out show at the Isis Music Hall in Asheville as part of their ‘On A Whim’ tour.



"Nothing short of intoxicating” - Hits In The Sticks



“These guys sound like a mature bottle of wine” - Claire Cavanagh, BBC Radio Bristol



"A heady blend of Folk, Blues and Americana" - FATEA magazine



"It certainly touched my heart” - Sam Bonham, BBC 6 Music
Venue Information:
Haw River Ballroom
1711 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road
Saxapahaw, NC, 27340
http://www.hawriverballroom.com/