Mya Byrne is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, poet, pundit, and producer/engineer. Recently relocated to San Francisco by way of NYC, for many years Mya performed with roots-rock band, The Ramblers, a festival Americana act, opening up for such bands as Levon Helm starting in the late aughts.
In 2012, Mya suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage, leading to the longterm hiatus of the Ramblers, six months of no singing — and two months of no talking due to a new surgical technique that saved and enhanced her voice.
Returning to her folk roots, the day Mya got a clean bill of health she showed up at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, after not seeing her best musician friends for months. In the interim silence, she’d worked on releasing her first acoustic solo record, aptly titled Lucky — it was recorded one week before her vocal injury — and at the festival, met John Platt, an esteemed folk DJ, and gave him a copy. Within two months Mya was on the road and on the radio from coast-to-coast supporting the album, learning how to sing again, and evolving a new career as a traveling troubadour.
Since the fall of 2012, Mya has become a steady figure in the national folk music scene, performing her own music constantly, both solo and with her band of friends. She is also a dedicated member of Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes, a collective project centered around their eponymous leader’s compositions.
Mya spends much time producing music, often accompanying other artists on stage and in studio. She often mentors developing artists and beginning writers. It is fair to say Mya seeks to drive change in her community, both through music and allyship. A proud trans woman, she has a lot to talk about, and is not afraid to speak out for what she believes in.
She just released her second full-length solo record, produced by Neale Eckstein (Brother Sun, Vance Gilbert), and is writing songs for the next one, while continuing to tour and perform. Mya is preparing her first collection of poetry and vignettes, and her opinions have been published by the Advocate, Huffington Post, and other media outlets. She is proud to be a 2015 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, and to have been an official showcase pick for the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in 2014. Her music and poetry have also been featured in such media as SingOut!, The Advocate, Village Voice, New York Magazine, MSNBC, and CBS/Radio.com, with public speaking at institutions including SUNY and the UU.
For gear, Mya favors a homemade Telecaster she built on her 21st birthday, a Gibson SG, a 1952 Supro lap steel, two ancient Guild acoustics, a 1922 Gibson A-2 mandolin, and a 1966-vintage Epiphone mandolin with a P-90 pickup (occasionally played through a Marshall). Her main amps are a 1962 Silvertone 1471 and a modded 1977 Fender Princeton Reverb. She is endorsed by D’Addario Strings.