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Marblehead's me&thee to present Jonathan Byrd and Anthony daCosta

Posted by Susannah Blair  February 13, 2012 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the me&thee coffeehouse:

On Friday, March 9, the me&thee coffeehouse present a co-bill featuring Jonathan Byrd (above) and Anthony daCosta. Byrd is the son of a Baptist preacher, a US Navy veteran, and a Piedmont flatpicker from seven generations of North Carolinians. He is a 2003 Kerrville New Folk winner and a riveting songwriter and storyteller. Anthony daCosta turned 21 last month.  Don’t let his youth fool you; he is an amazingly talented performer with an output that would put many performers twice his age to shame. Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show at the me&thee coffeehouse which is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.

Jonathan Byrd started touring full-time in 2000, realizing that he could do it as a solo performer and actually make a living. He says, “Of course, that’s what every other singer/songwriter in America was doing, too, but I didn’t even know what a singer/songwriter was, so that didn’t bother me. I thought I was a folk musician.” In 2002, he went to the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, where there are lots of these folk musicians, only mostly songwriters. It ended up being an amazing and inspiring experience. At the 2003 festival, he won the New Folk competition and got hired on as a performer for the next three years. Byrd released his first CD, Wildflowers, in late 2001. With spare production, these simple tales of love and death seemed to be a hundred years old or more. Folk legend Tom Paxton discovered Byrd's music online and wrote, "What a treat to hear someone so deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way." By 2003, Byrd had gotten the attention of writers like Scott Alarik (from the Boston Globe), who called Jonathan "the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom." Having recently made WFMT “Midnight Special” host Rich Warren’s “50 Most Significant Songwriters of the Past 50 Years,” a list which includes giants like Bob Dylan, John Prine, and Joni Mitchell, he continues to record absolute gems.  His 2011 CD, "Cackalack," is perhaps his best work to date: The CD is full of “lived-in songs, recorded live by an all acoustic cast.  

"Seeing Anthony da Costa on stage is a perfect storm — talent, intensity, humor, passion, intelligence and charm — all bouncing off the walls of the room he is playing" (Court House Concerts). Anthony's music combines folk, rock, Americana and pop, plus what it's like to be "a very young man with a very old soul" (legendary New York DJ, Pete Fornatale). Now 21 and a junior at Columbia University, in 2009, Anthony was named an MSNBC.com "Top 5 Up-&-Coming Young Singer" and a "WFUV-FM New Artist To Watch". In 2008, he released two, critically-acclaimed albums and was a Folk Alliance "Emerging Artist of the Year" nominee. In 2007, at 16, he became the youngest winner ever at the Falcon Ridge and Kerrville Folk Festivals. Anthony has played major festivals, including Kerrville, Falcon Ridge, Philadelphia and Tonder (Denmark); showcased at SXSW and Tin Pan South; opened for music icons, like Loretta Lynn, Judy Collins, and Dan Bern; and, with one foot in folk, and the other foot loose and wandering into various other genres, released his eighth record in 2009, Not Afraid of Nothing, which "has the lyrical quality of a John Prine album" (Twangville). He recently completed his latest album, a rock/americana effort called Secret Handshake. It was recorded in Brooklyn, NY and features a slew of wonderful NYC musicians.

Tickets for the performance by Jonathan Byrd and Anthony daCosta are $18 in advance and $21 at the door.  Tickets are available online at www.meanthee.org and can be purchased in person in Marblehead at either the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore or the Arnould Gallery As at all me & thee coffeehouse events, refreshments are available, including homemade pastries, coffee, and teas.  The me & thee has a handicapped-accessible entrance and an accessible bathroom, is a smoke-free environment, and is easily reached by MBTA bus.  The me & thee is the oldest continually running acoustic coffeehouse in New England, and probably the country.   The me & thee has been and will always be a volunteer, non-profit organization sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead.  For information and directions, call 781-631-8987 or check the website www.meandthee.org.

Next concert:  March 16, 2012 – Session Americana with Rose Polenzani opening


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