Like the other members of Celtic Thunder, Paul Byrom didn’t have to be part of a group.
The classically trained Irish tenor was doing just fine in his own career, having released albums since he was 14 — the latest, “Velvet” — came out in 2005 and selling out concerts around the country. But he was all ears when Phil Coulter approached Byrom to be part of the ensemble the songwriter was forming with producer Sharon Browne.
“What they said to me was, ‘We’re not putting together a boy band or a new rock band,’” Byrom, 29, recalls. “This was very much a show rather than a band or a group. The appeal was I got to stay true to my style of singing but as part of something that could appeal to a larger audience, so I jumped at that chance.”
Since forming in 2007, Celtic Thunder has released two CDs (the first of which debuted atop the Billboard World Music chart) and a PBS concert special has aired more than 1,200 times to an audience of more than 5 million. The group maintains a heavy tour schedule, and Byrom, whose version of the Moody Blues’ “Knights in White Satin” is featured on Celtic Thunder’s new “Act Two,” predicts it won’t be long before a new album, show and TV program surfaces.
“Sharon Browne doesn’t sit on her laurels too long,” says Byrom, who’s also booked to star in an upcoming stage adaptation of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” in London’s West End. “She’s already looking at locations to film (the next special). And Phil is coming up with ideas about where to go from here.
“The ball is rolling, and it’s important to build on it. We don’t want to be a show that travels around for two or three years with the same show. We want to keep building and visiting places we’ve never been before and keep the audience coming back to see something new and fresh. That’s our priority.”
Celtic Thunder performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 14) the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $37.50-$57.50. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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