Jim Payne & Fergus O' Byrne
Legendary Tradition Bearers of Newfoundland Music
Two of Newfoundland’s most respected and multi-award winning performers combine instrumental prowess and humorous repartee, to cover a broad spectrum of Newfoundland folk culture, including songs, stories and dance tunes. Their repertoire includes rousing sea shanties and work songs, poignant ballads, comic ditties, folk tales and recitations, and toe-tapping jigs, reels and polkas on a variety of instruments.
A native of Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland, Jim Payne (vocals, accordion, mandola, guitar) is a leading performer, collector and producer of traditional Newfoundland music. He is also one of the province’s most prolific songwriters, as well as being a singer of traditional songs, a storyteller, writer, actor, step dancer and instructor and caller of traditional Newfoundland set and square dances. He has performed extensively on radio and television both in Canada and abroad, and has toured throughout North America, the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
Originally from Ireland, Fergus O’Byrne (vocals, 5 string banjo, guitar, bodhran, concertina) became a familiar voice on radio and television as a member of the renowned folk group, Ryan’s Fancy, with whom he recorded 14 albums. Since then, he has followed a busy solo and freelance career, touring throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia. He can be heard on recordings by Newfoundland artists Great Big Sea, and he has contributed to several anthologies of Newfoundland music. Fergus was a member of the celebrated Newfoundland traditional band Tickle Harbour, whose album Battery Included, besides being an ECMA nominee, won three awards at the 1999 Newfoundland Music Industry Association Awards. In 2001 he produced a Ryan’s Fancy retrospective CD Songs From The Shows, featuring songs from the renowned 1970’s CBC National television series, Ryan’s Fancy and in 2011 he produced the highly acclaimed CD Ryan’s Fancy – What A Time!
"Newfoundland free spirits Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne sang a polished and thoroughly professional set of sailing tunes, original and older shanties, a stirring performance by two of the best folk musicians on the East Coast."
Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle-Herald, The Mail Star, Halifax (Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival,)