Storytelling through song is a fundamental duty of traditional music and Matthew Byrne does this brilliantly. His repertoire has been shaped by his musical upbringing and Byrne supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room.
Byrne is also a student of history whose love of traditional music goes well beyond the words and music. For him, songs are ways of understanding people before him…their lives, work, language, and worldview.
In his own words: “I see songs as sources of the past – windows into my own family history. Traditional music has always been the most important tool for me to understand where I come from and who I am. My live performance is meant to bring audiences on a journey through the lineage of my repertoire and share what these songs have revealed to me.”
“Possibly the finest interpreter of traditional songs in the country, Hearts & Heroes certainly provides ample evidence.”
— Roddy Campbell, Penguin Eggs Magazine
“It’s increasingly rare to find male traditional singers who are not just good, but GREAT! Matthew is certainly in that truly great category.”
— Brian O’Donovan, WGBH, Boston