Celtic artist John Byrne to close Sparta Summer Concerts

Sparta. The Dublin native and his band -- strings, horns, and guitars -- will perform a concert of original music. Byrne’s influences range from Tom Waits to Planxty.

11 Sep 2020 | 12:45

The Sparta Summer Concert Series will conclude Friday, Sept. 11, with Celtic music from The John Byrne Band. They are returning to The Nicholson Pavilion stage after a stunning performance in 2019.

Dublin native Byrne and his band have a new record, “A Shiver in the Sky,” that vibrantly execute ten new originals. Strings, horns and guitars escort Byrne’s vocals through a set of songs about living and pushing forward through negative times. Byrne’s influences range from Tom Waits to Planxty.

Following up “After the Wake” (2011), “Celtic Folk” (2013) and “The Immigrant and the Orphan” (2015), “A Shiver in the Sky” focuses on triumph over trauma.

“Things will happen to you, and they can be immensely painful, but they will pass,” Byrne said. “And if you don’t let them break you there will be a new version of yourself that emerges and has learned the skills to live with this pain. There are cautionary tales, songs about dealing with addiction, about immigration, about relationships of all kinds, about facing prejudice, about leaving things behind. They all ultimately carry a similar message, that living carries with it the possibility of balancing out regret or mistakes that you’ve made with a future that contains something brighter.”

Opening for the John Byrne Band is Adam Jacob, a singer/songwriter who has performed throughout the Northeast, playing solo shows and opening for local, regional and national acts. He currently lives, writes and records from his home studio in Sparta. He spends his free time with his wife and two boys, who are often the subjects of his original folk/rock and country songs, providing an unfiltered and humorous view of modern family life.

Editor’s note: This article was updated to correct the date, which was given incorrectly in one of the references. We regret the error.

Essential information:
What: The John Byrne Band performing at the Sparta Summer Concert Series
When: 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 (rain date is Saturday, Sept. 12)
Where: Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Road, Sparta
How much: Free
Bring lawn chairs, picnics and masks.
Web: spartaarts.org or Sparta Arts @ Facebook
Health protocols for social distancing will be strictly enforced. All attendees are asked to stay with their groups, to wear masks when entering and when walking around for any reason. Each group will be asked to provide contact tracing information.