The Byrne Brothers were originally from Great Paradise. Their family moved to St. John's when they were quite young. Joe and Pat, along with Baxter Wareham, began playing traditional and original Newfoundland songs and music at festivals and the like. This resulted in the production of the album Towards the Sunset.
Joe Byrne moved to North Carolina in the 1960s where his musical tastes were influenced by the country and bluegrass music of the region. Returning to Newfoundland to pursue graduate studies, he became involved with the growing Newfoundland cultural renaissance of the time. Joe went on to work at Memorial University in the English Department and the Registrar's Office.
Pat Byrne is a published poet and songwriter who has performed at numerous folk festivals, as well as on radio and television. He taught in the English Department of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Among numerous other publications dealing with culture and folklore, he co-edited Land, Sea and Time, an anthology of Newfoundland and Labrador texts currently in use in the province's high schools. Pat has also been active in amateur theatre.
Byrne Brothers' Songs
From Towards the Sunset. Pigeon Inlet Productions, 1983.
High Degree.Pat Byrne sings Al Pittman song of a scoundrel seducing the merchant's daughter.
The Silver Dove.Joe Byrne sings about the lovely girl from South East Bight that he'll be keeping. Written by Pat Byrne and Al Pittman.
Towards the Sunset.Pat Byrne wrote and sings about sailing up Placentia Bay in search of yesterday.
The Rocks of Merasheen.Joe Byrne sings of an aging whaler who pines for home and the girl he left behind. Written by Al Pittman, Pat and Joe Byrne.