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In Your Ear Episode 74: Jonathan Byrd and his Pickup Cowboys

Jonathan Byrd and his Pickup Cowboys band
Jonathan Byrd and his Pickup Cowboys (Photo courtesy of JAMinc.)

We first enjoyed the thoughtful story songs of North Carolina son of a preacher man and Gulf War veteran Jonathan Byrd when he played our concert series solo nearly a dozen years ago. He’s spent the last two decades sharing his gift of telling small, simple, human stories in an eloquent and elegant way. And he’s lately been focusing on his role as a teacher of the craft of songwriting to those who aspire to tell their stories through music.

This concert was recorded in November of 2020 during the Covid pause, during a livestreaming Studio A performance with no audience, something he’d been perfecting through his own weekly streams from the Kraken in Chapel Hill. Enjoy these highlights of a magical evening that included his Pickup Cowboys who have since parted ways…the endlessly creative Stratmaster Johnny Waken on guitar and the rhythmically articulate Austin McCall on drums.


JAMinc's In Your Ear concert series presents a wide range of both rising and established artists in an engaging live environment. All the shows were staged and well-recorded in Studio A, until the pandemic prohibited that kind of proximity. Some of this new season of programs were live-streamed for the first time from Studio A with NO audience. You can watch those streams in their entirety here...others were held in Hardywood Brewing's Barrel Room in Scott's Addition. The concert series dates back to 2004 and we're grateful to Carlos Chafin, Andrea Bucheit and Paul Bruski at In Your Ear for their enduring partnership and commitment to live music in our community. We'd also like to thank Catherine Poston and Kevin Willoughby at Hardywood for providing us with such an inviting alternative venue. JAMinc president Tim Timberlake produces and hosts the programs covering a wide range of genres including bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, old time, Celtic, gospel and singer-songwriters of many styles. Concerts are typically held monthly except during the summer...check our website for information and reservations: jaminc.org/events.

Production support for JAMinc Presents In Your Ear is provided by Digital Video Group, Threshold Counsel PC, Fralin Pickups, Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Folklife Program, the Scott Street family, JAMinc founder Wally Thulin, the Robbin  Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music and the members of VPM Music.