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Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboy Ignite Audiences With Folk-Rock Energy

Jonathan Byrd
Jonathan Byrd with The Pickup Cowboy

Growing up in Chapel Hill, Jonathan Byrd never thought he could make a career out of playing music. But some soul-searching after a stint in the U.S. Navy and a series of disappointing jobs led him to question why he was forcing himself into doing things he wasn’t good at and didn’t love. Jonathan began touring and performing his original songs, folksy ballads infused with bluegrass-style flat-picking and classic rock foundations. With “Pickup Cowboy” Johnny Waken, the duo aims first and foremost to put on a great show that will energize the audience. 

Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboy will play a free concert at 6 p.m. at Durham Central Park on Friday July 28, and are the featured band at Saturdays at Saxapahaw on the 29th. They play at White Horse Black Mountain in Black Mountain on Friday, August 11, at the Sertoma Amphitheater at Bond Park in Cary on Saturday, August 12, and at the Listen Speakeasy in Greensboro on Sunday, August 13.

Host Anita Rao speaks with Jonathan Byrd and Johnny Waken about their sound and how they try to inspire their audiences.

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Jennifer Brookland is the American Homefront Project Veterans Reporting Fellow. She covers stories about the military and veterans as well as issues affecting the people and places of North Carolina.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.