Pat in the press

Pat Byrne, “Into the Light.” One of our Austin360 Artists of the Month back in 2019, Byrne had at that point recently moved here from his native Ireland, a few years after winning his home country’s version of the competitive TV show “The Voice.” His victory included a big-label record deal, but the experience ultimately left Byrne wanting more control over his artistic identity. That desire led him to Austin, where he’s gradually grown from being an interpreter of well-known songs (he sang “What a Wonderful World” and Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” on “The Voice”) into a formidable songwriter. A 2018 EP, “Rituals,” hinted at his budding talent; on this full-length release, Byrne reaches his full potential.”

Peter Blackstock - Austin American Statesman

Ireland and Texas may be geographically distant, but musically, they share introspective lyricism and raw, from-the-heart emotionality, both found in abundance in Pat Byrne’s work. ”

Elmore Magazine

With a jaunty upbeat tune Pat Byrne’s newest single seems full of joy and hope. The Irish singer’s voice is warm and welcoming, but doesn’t downplay the troubles of everyday life. “It’s not security/it’s not stability/I don’t have money/no place or plan” he sings. And yet, the tone of “Capsize” is optimistic, steeped in catchy rhythms, distorted guitar semibreves, and a complex tapestry of instruments that come together to produce a colourful folk song. The harmonies shadow the main melody, injecting passion into every word. “Better than missing every sunrise/trying not to capsize/its better than a compromise/better than nothing at all.” This is a song to smile to.”

— B Sides Badlands

Byrne has just released “Into the Light.” At 31, he’s a little older than many musicians when they put out their debut album. But he took something of an unorthodox path to this recording. And Byrne wanted to make it count. The 11 songs on “Into the Light” reflect a writer of great depth and poetic expression. ”

Andrew Dansby Houston Chronicle

When you combine the transcendent poetry of Bob Dylan with the gritty, real-world rock-n-roll storytelling that Bruce Springsteen made so famous, and then add a dash of the political activism embodied by Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, you’ll have Irish singer-songwriter Pat Byrne”

— Folk Alley at the 30a Songwriters festival, Florida 2019

Bands to Watch: Pat Byrne, an Irish Signer Song writer has had his share of success in his home country and been down the road of signing with a major label. Manager and Irish influencer Louis Walsh, even was quoted as saying, Pat Byrne could “crack America”. “Byrne is clearly on a mission to do just that.  Since he’s been in Austin, he’s drawn comparisons to Shakey Graves and David Ramirez; played SXSW, the Kerrville Folk Festival and AmericanaFest; and, in 2021, released Into the Light, an introspective album marked by raw emotion, where intimate confessionals give way to anthemic, exhilarating rock ’n’ roll. Originally, Into the Light was to begin recording in March 2020, when … well, you know. Still, the lockdown ended up being a silver lining of sorts. It gave Byrne time to reflect, think about what’s important and hone his craft, channeling the frustration into his album while also launching a weekly livestream, now a residency at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck’s Live from Norfolk Street. “Each song was written from a specific perspective with unique characters, ideas and feelings,” Byrne says. “Yet when I look back on the album as a whole, the songs tell a story — about living through dark times and eventually being in a much more hopeful place. Ultimately, this record is about gaining insight and moving forward positively in the world.” Byrne’s aggressive storytelling, gritty vocal style and poignant lyrics are drawing raves from critics, as reviews of Into the Light have been universally favorable. “The raspy melodic soul of Byrne’s voice recalls the emotional spells that late Austin troubadour Jimmy LaFave used to cast,” noted the Austin American-Statesman. “He’s more contemporary than strict traditionalists, yet at times he conjures a deeply old-school feel.” Whether here or abroad, Byrne’s light shines bright.” - Tom Buckley 

— Texas Music Magazine

https://txmusic.com/bands-to-watch-pat-byrne/

 

The results — Irish Americana, by turns rollicking and resonating, that’s driven by his gruff growl of a voice — suggest that he’s one to keep an eye on.” - Stuart Munro

— The Boston Globe

A native of Ireland, singer-songwriter Pat Byrne settled in Texas a few years ago, looking to make inroads in a place where some of his songwriting heroes — guys like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark — came from. His move has been great for Houston because Byrne cycles through town every few months to sing his songs with his soulful, gritty voice, doing originals and a few choice covers that suggest he’s learning from the best………. Byrne is the kind of mesmerizing performer who can warm up those cold days.”

Andrew Dansby Houston Chronicle

The raspy melodic soul of Byrne’s voice recalls the emotional spells the late Austin troubadour Jimmy LaFave used to cast, though Byrne’s songwriting bears a more distinctive Irish stamp. He’s more contemporary than strict traditionalists, putting him more in the league of Glen Hansard or Luka Bloom, perhaps; yet at times he conjures a deeply old-school feel — especially on the spectacular “Hills of Killedmond,” which features Irish legend Kevin Burke on fiddle. ”

Peter Blackstock - Austin American Statesman

An Irishman who’s at least temporarily relocated to Austin this year, Byrne has quickly become an artist that everyone who goes out to hear music regularly in Austin needs to catch. The guess here is that he’ll be playing far larger rooms before long; he’s too good of a songwriter, and singer, to not reach his level.”

Peter Blackstock - Austin American Statesman

Pat Byrne – “Just a venial sin” -I really appreciate the aggressive storytelling of Pat Byrne’s songwriting style. The overall sound draws easy comparisons to modern gritty Americana artists like David Ramirez, Ryan Adams, and Jason Isbell. Byrne deserves to be in that company with his gritty vocal and poignant lyrical style. If this is your first time encountering the track, spend some time really connecting with the lyrics. It goes beyond the typical jam rock style and really makes the listener think about some larger existential questions — in that way that only rock music can do.”

Ear to the Ground Music