single show

John York (from The Byrds) “Songs of the Sixties & York Does Dylan”

Friday, Apr 5, 2024 / 7:30 pm

Door 6:00 pm for dinner service

Upstairs Lounge, Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee Street, Victoria, BC V8R 5E6

Concert poster

Best known for his work as a member of The Byrds, this guitar and bass playing singer-songwriter was in the midst of some of the timeless music created in the sixties and seventies.

After stints as a session man working with the likes of The Mamas and The PapasJohnny Rivers and the Doug Sahm led-Sir Douglas Quintet, York joined The Byrds when founding bass player Chris Hillman exited the group to form the Flying Burrito Brothers.

York found himself in a legendary group piloted by Byrds founder Roger McGuinn that also included the brilliant guitar player Clarence White and drummer/singer Gene Parsons.

York’s vocal and song-writing contributions to The Byrds were first heard on the Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde album, and then the Ballad of Easy Rider recording. Songs from the two albums included Byrds classics like Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man, This Wheel’s On Fire, Ballad of Easy Rider, Gunga Din, Deportee, and Jesus Is Just Alright as well as the York-penned tunes Fido, and Candy, the latter of which was used in the movie soundtrack of the same name.

At the same time York was knee deep in playing the cream of a deep Byrds catalogue that was eventually issued on the Columbia album Live At The Fillmore. The album showcases what would have been recently released material from Dr. Byrds and its predecessor, the classic Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Early Byrds material like So You Want To Be A Rock ‘N Roll Star, Chimes of Freedom and This Wheel’s On Fire, is also front and centre on the disc.

“We also recorded a fine medley that stitched together Turn, Turn, Turn, with Mr. Tambourine Man, and Eight Miles High,” says York before adding, “that line-up of The Byrds was considered by critics and fans to be an excellent live performing unit.”

Half a century later the songs of The Byrds, some penned by Bob Dylan, have proven to be timeless and some of the most important from the heyday of rock and roll and country-rock music.

York continues to keep these songs alive with his fine singing that finds the emotional essence of what made The Byrds vocals so unique and instantly recognizable.

York also spent a number of years working with his long-time friend Barry McGuire, of Eve of Destruction fame, on a show titled Trippin’ The Sixties. Their touring show was very popular, taking the two around the world, and was captured by PBS for major fundraising campaigns that are still aired today.

“Barry retired before the pandemic, but we both loved playing on the songs we had a hand in creating, as well as covering so many of the classics from that era. I still do at least one Beatles tune in my shows and sometimes I do an entire evening of Dylan songs,” says York with a smile.

Today York can be found performing evenings of Dylan and Byrds tunes with a couple of newer originals thrown in for good measure.

John York continues to deliver great songs, from a great era, with soulful and passionate performances. This very special and rare performance by John York with feature “Songs of the Sixtes” and “York does Dylanl”

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