MATTHEW BYRNE - HORIZON LINES (2017)
Storytelling through song is a fundamental duty of traditional music and Matthew Byrne does this brilliantly with his latest recording, Horizon Lines.
Byrne's newest collection of traditional material explores a unique repertoire of songs from both sides of the Atlantic and continues Byrne’s journey through his rich 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 called Adelaide, 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.
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.
“Possibly the finest interpreter of traditional songs in the country.” - PENGUIN EGGS MAGAZINE
“His reverence and respect for his material, along with his unabashed exploration of new songs and his staggeringly beautiful voice, makes for the rarest and most vital type of folk performer." - TOM POWER, CBC MUSIC
“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
“Matt’s interpretation of traditional songs is somehow fresh and ancient at the same time. And his voice is friggin’ perfect.” - ALAN DOYLE
“A voice as true as a compass needle.” - JAMES KEELAGHAN