Shawn Byrne

Smoky Mountains Songwtiters Festival, Shawn Byrne, Songwriter, SMSWF, Gatlinburg, TNNashville based singer/songwriter, Shawn Byrne, is no stranger to the scene. With 20 cuts to his name, a SESAC Writer’s Award for “Ol’ Cook Pot” (recorded by The Duhks), television appearances on Good Morning America, Jimmy Fallon, the CMA Awards and many others, it’s no wonder why the Nashville Scene has labeled Byrne, “Nashville’s Best Kept Secret.”

Being born in the 70’s, Shawn’s musical roots were planted deep in his father’s eclectic record collection. With the timeless stylings of Cash, Willie and Waylon to the legendary sounds of The Stones, The Beatles and The Who circulating through his Connecticut home, it’s apparent how the creation of Shawn’s style came to life.

The journey that brought Shawn from Connecticut to Nashville led him through Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music where the self-taught musician learned that formal instruction wasn’t in the cards. Several garage bands, a near death experience and a stretch living and working with special needs kids at the Perkins School for the Blind brought Shawn to the conclusion that if he was to make music his life then he would need to take the plunge and go where music and creativity can permeate an aspiring artist’s life. A place where living masters of their trade share songs and licks in famed clubs such as the Douglas Corner and the Bluebird Cafe.

In fact it was in 2003 that the Bluebird Cafe found their new dishwasher. Shawn scrubbed lightly as to not drown out the songs being shared just beyond the kitchen wall by some of Nashville’s most successful songwriters. During this time Shawn honed his writing and playing skills and not only became one the town’s most sought out guitar slingers but also became an in demand demo singer working on sessions for Mark Knopfler, Mary Gauthier, Gary Louris and Kristen Hall under the guidance of Grammy winning producer Nathan Chapman.

Byrne has a seemingly endless list of accomplishments since scrubbing dishes at the Bluebird. He has shared the stage with some of Country Music’s finest including Rodney Atkins, James Otto, Ashton Shepherd, Kelleigh Bannen, Mark Collie and many others; he has played legendary venues like the Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman, Nissan Stadium during CMA Music Festival; performed in front of former president George W. Bush for his homecoming celebration in Midland, TX and has been a part of countless songwriters festivals.

Shawn is adding to that list with the release of his latest full-length album, “Slow Bullet,” which consists of twelve masterfully written original songs. The title track showcases the flawless skills from musicians such as drummer Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Dwight Yokum) pedal steel player Dan Gaylsh (Rodney Atkins) and Fiddle player Eamon McLoughlin (Josh Turner, Ashley Monroe). Off The Rails gives the listeners an up-close look at Shawn’s diversity vocally and instrumentally and incorporates Jamie Johnson’s (The Grascals) distinctive sound to create one-of-a-kind harmonies. Each song showcases Shawn’s impeccable writing, performance and production skills. “Slow Bullet” proves that this hopeful dishwasher from Connecticut has found his spot in Music City and isn’t giving it up any time soon.