Mya Byrne is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor, 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 and Americana music scenes on both coasts, performing her own music, both solo acoustic and electric with her band of friends, as Mya Byrne and the Something Extra.
Mya spends much time producing music, often accompanying other artists on stage and in studio, including her role as the bassist and co-writer for SF’s The Homobiles, featuring Lynn Breedlove (Tribe 8, Sister Spit) and Fureigh (The Shondes). Mya’s work can also be found on new releases by acclaimed queer artists Lavender Country, Copyslut, Secret Emchy Society, and Paisley Fields.
She often mentors developing artists and beginning writers, hosting workshops and lecturing as well. 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. Post-transition, she made her acting debut at NYC’s Dixon Place in 2014 and has continued doing so, appearing on various stages including Berkeley Rep, and on film with the Honest Accomplice Theatre in New York and Periwinkle Cinema in San Francisco. She is currently in post-production for her directorial debut, a short film about trans pioneer Lou Sullivan.
In 2015, her second full-length solo record, produced by Neale Eckstein (Brother Sun, Vance Gilbert), was released to great acclaim, garnering airplay all over the world and rotation on official Spotify playlists. Not one to stop, Mya’s been releasing some singles and a live record, while continuing to tour and perform. Mya writes new songs every Monday, which can be found on her Patreon (www.patreon.com/myabyrnemusic). She is also writing a novel and getting ready to cut her next album.
Mya is proud to have been featured at the 2019 San Francisco Dyke March (the first trans woman to do so as a solo performer), 2018 and 2019 Folsom Street Fair, 2017 San Francisco Trans March, and is a 2016 Philadelphia Folk Festival Showcase Artist, 2015 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, a First Place Award winner in the 2015 Great American Song Contest, and an official showcase pick for the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance in 2014. Her music and poetry has been featured in such media as SingOut!, Time Out London, Time Out New York, CountryQueer.com, The Advocate, Village Voice, New York Magazine, MSNBC, and CBS/Radio.com, with public speaking at institutions including SUNY, the Pacific School of Religion, the UCC, UC Berkeley, and the UU.
For gear, Mya favors a homemade Telecaster she built on her 21st birthday, a 1986 Gibson SG, a 1952 Supro lap steel, two ancient Guild acoustics, a 1922 Gibson A-2 mandolin, a $20 Strat she brought back to life, 1973 Guild JS-II and 1985 Fender Precision basses, and a 1966 Epiphone mandolin with a P-90 pickup (occasionally played through a Marshall). Her main amps are a 1962 Silvertone 1471, a Vox AC4, a Fender Rumble, and a modded 1977 Fender Princeton Reverb. She is endorsed by D’Addario.