“It’s increasingly rare to find male traditional singers who are not just good, but GREAT! Matthew is certainly in that truly great category.” — WBGH Boston
Storytelling through song is a fundamental duty of traditional music and Matthew Byrne does this brilliantly with his latest recording, Horizon Lines.
Matthew Byrne released his highly-anticipated third album – Horizon Lines – in August 2017. This newest collection of traditional material explores a unique repertoire of songs from both sides of the Atlantic and continues Byrne’s journey through his own unique musical lineage.
A guest appearance by Matthew’s dad (Joe Byrne) makes for a particularly special moment on this recording. Another highlight is an original ballad by Byrne, penned after discovering a fascinating family connection to a beautiful love story – “a traditional song just waiting to be written”, as he describes it.
Byrne’s ever-evolving creative partnership with producer Billy Sutton shines throughout Horizon Lines with thoughtful interpretations of traditional songs anchored by Byrne’s polished guitar work and commanding voice. Their treatment of the repertoire shows a mutual sense of when to build (with accompaniment from Newfoundland’s finest players) and when to let a melody and story stand alone.
Born into a family of Newfoundland music makers, Matthew’s repertoire is heavily influenced by that unique musical lineage – the weaving of a great story with a beautiful melody – and he supports this tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, and a presence that fills the room. His repertoire transcends time and place and his live performance reminds us how satisfying traditional songs can be when stripped down to their basic elements.
Matthew Byrne’s music has traveled well beyond the rugged shores of his Newfoundland home since his 2010 debut, Ballads. Touring as both a solo artist as well as singer with The Dardanelles, he has graced major festival stages worldwide. With his second album, Hearts & Heroes, receiving Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Byrne has established himself as one of Canada’s most authentic and vital traditional voices.