Jim Payne & Fergus O’Byrne

Newfoundland and Labrador

Two of Newfoundland’s most respected performers, Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne 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. Notre Dame Bay native 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. Fergus O’Byrne (vocals, 5 string banjo, guitar, bodhran, concertina), originally from Ireland, 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. As a duo they’ve been touring nationally and internationally for almost thirty years and have also developed a curriculum-based school presentation that they’ve toured throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond for the last twenty years.

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