Neal Byrne
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Neal Byrne

Band Rock Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"David Newland"

Irish singer-songwriter Neal Byrne is a newcomer to our shores, but he's already making his mark on acoustic stages across the city. Byrne combines the poetic sensiblity of a folk strummer with the raw intensity of a thrash rocker. The heart of his music is lyrics: Byrne enhances emotional storytelling with clever wordplay, braiding his tales into melodies that can be soothing, or searing, as the occasion requires.

A modest man behind the mic, Byrne turns his energy all the way up when he starts to play. He is one of those singers who pours personal experience into every line and note. The honesty of his approach and the depth of his conviction capture the audience quickly, and Byrne's songs don't let go until they're done. He's a welcome addition to the acoustic scene in Toronto, and a performer well worth watching for. - Singer/Songwriter

"Exclaim Magazine"

True to his Irish roots, youthful Dubliner Neal Byrne bristles with sincerity and conviction across his highly charged and personal approach to the craft of songwriting and performance... There’s no mistaking the absolute commitment behind each and every introspection and there’s nothing gentle in the way he approaches any topic. From hearty instrumentals like “Herringbone” to the aggressive fervor with which he delivers black insights like “Dark Inside”, Neal has an ability to mesmerize an audience while, through his impassioned presentation, endearing himself to them at the same time.

- Eric Thom


2 CD's and Me (DJ mix)


Feeling a bit camera shy


From the first moment Neal Byrne picked up a guitar at the tender age of 11, he began writing songs. But the multi-talented Byrne kept music as a passionate sideline until just last year, while he pursued Olympic dreams with Ireland’s rowing team. Well known in his homeland for his athletics, Byrne won two bronze medals at the World Championships, and competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Training three times a day, seven days a week, year after year has given Byrne an unusual focus and intensity, which comes through in his emotionally charged music. Since last March, when he hung up his oars and picked up a microphone, Byrne has been mesmerizing audiences in Dublin and Toronto.

He likes his music naked, stripped down of all pretense. “I want my songs to stir up feelings,” he says. “I believe that through honesty, trust and self-respect, anything can come. My songs are all about having love for yourself and not hurting yourself to make others happy.”

Early musical influences included Mega Death, Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies, until his amp blew up and he was forced to play acoustic. His more recent musical influences include Damien Rice, Jeff Buckley, The Frames, Tori Amos, Alanis Morrisette and Traci Chapman.

In addition to being a singer/songwriter, Byrne is a dance club DJ and a sound engineer.