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Music Review - `A Shiver in the Sky` by John Byrne Band (jm)

John Byrne Band- A Shiver in the Sky (click on image to watch video)

 31 October 2019



At the core of the John Byrne Band’s fourth LP, A Shiver In The Sky is a mix of traditional and modern folk. But it’s what Byrne and his band manage to build onto that base that makes this offering so compelling. An Irish transplant now living in Philly, like on his earlier efforts, there are hints of Byrne’s native Irish roots that are layered throughout, thanks to the liberal use of strings and banjo. But he and his band also bring in New Orleans-style horns on songs like “Just Like You,” and “Time Ain’t Changed A Thing In This Town” and powerful guitars and drums throughout.

Elsewhere, thanks to his still-ever present brogue and the lyrics that call back the Emerald Isle and England, songs like “Easy To Get Stuck Here” sound like traditional Irish folk songs. The same can be said about the album closer, “As The Crow Flies,” a melancholy track that is a bit of an anomaly for the album that tends to hue closer to more upbeat rhythms. 

The last two songs aside, the bulk of the record is a surprisingly optimistic collection of songs considering the theme of trauma and getting past it. “A Specials Place In Hell,” title aside, is a convincing ode to love, as is “All in All,” with the darkly romantic line “we share a match and then one day we share a casket.” It’s lyrics like that that make Byrne stand above most of the other modern folkies putting out music today. His voice is solid, the music is adventurous, but above all else, it’s Byrnes knack for writing succinctly sharp and relatable lyrics that make A Shiver In The Sky such a triumph.            


Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here






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