Bryan Rason is an incredible Canadian solo acoustic fingerstyle guitarist. Drawing influence from such talents as Tommy Emmanuel, Andy Mckee and Chet Atkins, Bryan takes solo acoustic guitar playing to a new level by bringing together multiple genres and styles to create a truly unique and fascinating listening experience for all music fans.
Since the release of his first record "Follow Your Bliss" in 2011, Bryan has been an actively touring musician who has performed in England, throughout Ontario, Canada as well as the United States including Chicago, IL, and New York. "Follow Your Bliss" features totally original material which showcases how melody, harmony, bass lines and percussion (beats) can masterfully emulate a full band experience on a single acoustic guitar.
In addition to the original material spotlighted on Bryan’s album, his repertoire includes a wide variety of cover songs with arrangements of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind", Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger", Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" and everything in between. With over 100 videos on YouTube totaling over 1 million views, he is quickly becoming an online sensation!
Bryan is currently recording two new albums, one of which will include many of his most popular covers coupled with newly penned original tunes. This album entitled "GENRES" will be released June 2013. In response to fan demands, he second scheduled album will be Christmas themed and due for release November 2013.
2012 UK Songwriting Contest Semi-Finalist
2012 Great American Song Contest Finalist
Though born in Toronto, Bryan has grown up and lived in several communities across Ontario. From a young age he was inspired by his father to learn guitar and play country music.
As a teenager, he discovered metal and hard rock and for several years performed in bands across Southern Ontario. Further pursuing his love and fascination with music, he attended and graduated from Trebas Institute as a music engineer. Now in his thirties, Bryan has found his calling in and a true talent for the fingerstyle guitar world.
Currently, Bryan juggles his time teaching private lessons, writing, arranging, recording and playing live.. He has played with fingerstyle greats such as Antoine Dufour and Ewan Dobson and continues to find inspiration in the works of Tommy Emmanuel, Andy Mckee, Lenny Breau and Adam Rafferty.
For more information about Bryan Rason and his music or to book him for performances, please visit his official website at www.bryanrason.ca. There you will also find links to MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts as well as downloadable lessons. Bryan's debut album "Follow Your Bliss" is available now via ITunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and other online stores as well as on his official website.
Bryan Rason - Guitar
Follow Your Bliss (2011)
GENRES - JUNE 2013
Christmas Album - to be released NOV 2013
Featured Artist - Indie&Unsigned
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For any musician that has ever stepped into a recording studio, you know how difficult it can be to ...For any musician that has ever stepped into a recording studio, you know how difficult it can be to nail every part perfectly. Bryan Rason apparently doesn’t have that problem. When I started browsing his YouTube videos, the first thing I noticed was that there wasn’t a mistake or edit anywhere in these videos. Any man who has dedicated enough time to perfect their craft deserves a place as one of our Featured Artists.
Q: You’ve done something a lot of musicians on this side of the pond dream of doing, and toured through Europe. How did it go? How different is the music scene out there? Any advice for those of us looking to make the trek anytime soon?
Well as any musician that has tried to make a living, or still is, they know it takes a bit of time to get the finances in the green. So staying local is the safest bet, but I find too much exposure constantly in one spot isn’t going to work. People get sick of you… haha! So you have to expand, which is where your question comes to hand. Setting up tours… the tour in Europe was a great experience in many ways. I found people were really responsive to the fact that I was playing internationally (from Canada). Europe was beautiful and the people are soooo helpful, including the musicians. I had DJ’s lend me their live equipment just cause they could, people dancing and singing along, it was great. The hardest thing I think about touring is the traveling itself. Make sure you’re very organized. Plan on things going wrong, but don’t worry about it, just be smart about it. For example, make sure your guitar(s) have a solid case cause airports don’t care if it’s expensive. They will be thrown around and they might even loose it on. Ya…. that happens more than it should.
Q: How did you put the tour together? What did you do to handle booking? Funding?
The tour came together in a few different ways. First and foremost my manager helped a lot. She did 90% of the organizing – i.e. paper work, bookings, places to stay, emailing many bars/restaurants. Some shows I put together through friends that I have over there. Ben Powell put one show together in Bath. He advertised. We also had a friend of his, David Mead, open for us (David used to be an editor for “Guitar Techniques”). My manager and I stayed at Ben’s house in Bath, so that saved a lot of money. We also had another artist open for us at a different show (Josh Rider). Most of the time in Europe, we stayed at my manager’s family’s house. So that saved some good money. I find a lot in the finger-style community artists stay well connected and help each other out as much as possible, cause we all know how hard it is to make a living. We also met up with some friends in Germany for a bit, i.e. Adam Rafferty. We were going to do some shows together but I had to get back to Canada.
Q: At the end of last year, you became partners with YouTube. What exactly does that entail?
Being a partner with YouTube gives you the ability to make a little money with advertisements, but I don’t use them cause they just annoy me. TV has enough commercials as it is.
Things have changed so much with YouTube it’s hard to keep track of what’s what, ya know. But I do remember that I wanted to have a banner on my main YouTube page, and being a partner allows you to do that.
Q: You’ve been endorsed by both Stonebridge Guitars and K&K Sound for a while now. Did you approach them, or did they approach you? What tips would you have for anyone talking to a company about an endorsement deal?
I had a lot of videos up already at the time when the endorsement deals started to happen. Roger at Stonebridge Guitars was looking to advertise and get the word out that he was dealing the guitars in North America. He liked what he saw in my playing, so he offered me a deal. At that point I had already done some gigs with Antoine Dufour and some other CandyRat artists… so I guess that helped. I went to Kitchener, Ontario, to his office, and left with a guitar that day. I couldn’t wait! It wasn’t until a year and a half later that I got K&K’s installed in my Stonebridge. These ones I bought before I got the Stonebridge. I had installed K&Ks into my Martin 000-15. As time went on, I got a little more confident, and business smart, so I contacted Dieter at K&K (the owner) and asked if I could make a video for him showing the “Quantum Trinity System” and he agreed to equipment payment (some pre-amps), so I did it.
I’m in the process of doing a song arrangement for his as we speak. If you’re looking for endorsements, have a professional look online and in person. If you take yourself seriously, and have some good content, they will take you seriously. And don’t be afraid of them saying, “No,” cause there are many products out there and it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the future. Just make sure you keep in contact and be really nice. Don’t be rude if you don’t get what you want. It’s a small world, and stuff gets around.
Q: Your new record, Follow Your Bliss, is also available in Tab form. That’s not something you see every day. How has that worked out? What inspired you to offer tabs as well?
The reason why I offer tabs for my songs is cause I wanted as many different mediums as possible to make a living. I really liked what Robert Poland (owner of Candyrat Records) was doing with his presentation of his artists, and I wanted that. So I did the best I could to do that. And I’m still adding things and bettering myself every day. It’s a lot of work, and you need many different minds to treat your art as a business. It’s hard, but very worth it if you can stick it out. The tabs are going well.
Q: What made you forego looking for a record deal and just do everything yourself? Would you ever consider signing? What would you expect of a record deal?
I have been approached by 2 different record companies for a deal, and both of them were very one sided. I for sure could use some help in some areas, but I will not sell my creative control to anyone. The reason why I do music is to help people through their day, and I just love it. I need to be myself, and I can’t be myself when someone is telling me to be someone else, ya know? There are companies out there that I would deal with cause they have great stuff to offer and they are fair and experienced with artists like me.
Q: What words of advice do you have for other independent musicians?
I would tell other artists to make sure you love what you do, cause you will not become rich overnight. No artist does. It takes a good 10 years before you really benefit from your hard work. And you can’t do it alone. Surround yourself with similar artists and learn what to/what not to do. Follow the ideas of the people you look up to, cause they are not established by chance. They put things in place and grew over time. If you believe in something then don’t listen to what other people say. Follow Your Bliss!
K&K Sound Artist of the Month
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Bryan Rason Bryan uses the Trinity System in his guitar: "I have tried a lot of different pick...Bryan Rason
Bryan uses the Trinity System in his guitar:
"I have tried a lot of different pickups but after hearing K&K I almost didn't believe a live acoustic guitar could sound that good..... I've installed the K&K Trinity System into everyone of my live acoustic guitars and never turned back."
Bryan Rason is a Canadian solo acoustic finger-style guitarist. Though born in Toronto, Bryan has lived in several places in Ontario. From a young age he was inspired by his father to learn guitar and play country music.
As a teenager, he discovered metal and hard rock while performing in bands across Southern Ontario for several years. Now 32, Bryan has found a calling in the finger-style guitar world and has just released his debut album "Follow Your Bliss" in 2011.
Currently, Bryan fills his time writing, arranging, teaching private guitar lessons and playing live in support of his new album. He has played with finger-style greats such as Antoine Dufour and Ewan Dobson and continues to be inspired by the likes of Tommy Emmanual, Andy Mckee, Lenny Breau and Adam Rafferty.
For more information about Bryan Rason and his music, please visit his official website at www.bryanrason.ca. There you will also find links to MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts as well as downloadable lessons. Bryan's debut album "Follow Your Bliss" is available now on ITunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and other online stores including his official website.
Bryan Rason CD Release Party
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Local fingerstyle guitar player Bryan Rason performed a wonderful show in celebration of his new CD ...Local fingerstyle guitar player Bryan Rason performed a wonderful show in celebration of his new CD release. Bryan played many of his original songs and also covers of some songs. He even did a little MJ number. The crowd loved him and his music. For more information about Bryan you can visit his website at www.bryanrason.ca and browse his 80+ videos on YouTube. You won't be disappointed!
Bryan Rason @ Rogers TV Durham
This is Bryan's first TV appearance on April 16/10.
Bryan Rason @ Rogers TV (2nd appearance)
Bryan's second feature on Durham Rogers TV Daytime show.
Junior's Cave Music Interview with FingerStyle Guitarist, Bryan Rason Late Winter (January/February 2013) Edition Music Now Spotlight
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Our publication has a special treat for our readers this week with our newest interview from FingerS...Our publication has a special treat for our readers this week with our newest interview from FingerStyle Guitarist Bryan Rason who makes magic every time he plays his guitar. Watching him perform is a real treat and fans of genuine music will fall in love with this music performer. In this spotlight with our publication, we discover the man behind the guitar. Here is what transpired from our online meeting.
Isaac: Thank you for being a part of our weekly music interview spotlights. Let’s get started. The Indie Music Industry is an amazing beast. Many music critics have stated that Indie Music is on the rise with many new performers being discovered each day. Do you believe that indie music artists can rise to the level of stardom that their major music studio counterparts are able to now?
Bryan: Thank you for having me. I think so because everything is for hire. Labels have so much promotion behind them with the best in the industry but all that can be paid for and organized on your own. It takes more than one person to make an artist. No big artist has done it on their own. We all have a team of some sort.... I do for sure.
Isaac: What do you feel has been your biggest contribution you have made to Indie Music Industry thus far in your career?
Bryan: I think being independent and proving you can do it. I feel that I’m on the cutting edge of being creative and keeping the guitar new and interesting.
Isaac: I am interested to know if you could go back and change anything about your own musical career, what would it be and why?
Bryan: I don’t think I would change anything really... maybe somehow been introduced to finger-style at a younger age.....but I like where I am now Isaac: I am curious to know do you feel that the music industry as a whole is surrounded by an endless pool of undiscovered talents or overcrowded with mediocre performers.
Bryan: I feel there is a lot of talent but no business skills... you really need to have a business mindset these days. I think that’s what stops most talent from achieving their goals.
Isaac: Are you currently signed with any of the Indie Music Labels? If not, what are you looking for in any music label that you hope will complement your music?
Bryan: No, I’m totally independent right now. I would love to be involved with a label if we complimented each other.
Isaac: What do you feel has been one of the biggest challenges for you to bring your music to the masses?
Bryan: I would have to say being my true self with all of the back lash you get from the industry. I’m a sensitive guy and take things personally so sometimes it’s hard to listen to people’s views. Promotion is not my strong suit and it is hard to have 10 different minds.
Isaac: One of the best attributes for any performer to possess is tenacity. What is your professional and/or personal drive that has made you continue to make great music over the years?
Bryan: Well first off... I love what I do. I have always seen me playing music even from a young age. I have also had this voice in the back of my head saying I need to be the best and keep striving... so I do my best to do that.
Isaac: How has living in your current city affected the way you look at the music industry?
Bryan: Well living in small towns has taught me you gotta go where the music is.... you can’t make a living hiding out in the middle of nowhere. People are where they are for a reason.
Isaac: We would love to see a music video from you! Do you currently have one that you can let our readers know about?
Bryan: Oh great... I have many on my YouTube channel... I have my entire last record on video... plus I have many covers. Check out my currently featured song “Cancer”. http://www.youtube.com/user/bryanrason?feature=results_main
Isaac: At the end of the day, if you never reached musically to a certain level of fame and fortune, would you be happy that you made music on your own terms?
Bryan: Absolutely Isaac... I think success is in the eye of the beholder.... I mean there is no way I’m going to start pulling out the moon walk.... I can’t dance but I do sing...
Isaac: For those who want to learn more about you and your music, where can fans find you online?
Bryan: Well... I’m all over the place.... just Google my name or you can visit my website (www.bryanrason.ca) , see me on Facebook or YouTube.
Isaac: Finish this sentence for us: “Your music is something that will…”
Bryan: My music is something that I want to keep helping after I’m dead and gone... I want it to make the world that much better... ya know...
UK Songwriting Contest - Semi-Finalist
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Bryan Rason Category: Instrumental Position: Semi-Finalist "Songs that make it into the se...Bryan Rason Category: Instrumental Position: Semi-Finalist
"Songs that make it into the semi finals are awarded a score of 7 or 8 and a semi finalist position and certificate and are considered by the judges to be among the strongest songs in the contest. At this level songs are carefully examined multiple times by multiple judges. A score of 8 indicates that the song was a borderline finalist and almost made it into the finals."
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Who’s Bryan Rason? I am a dedicated solo acoustic fingerstyle guitarist from Toronto, Ontario. Mu...Who’s Bryan Rason?
I am a dedicated solo acoustic fingerstyle guitarist from Toronto, Ontario. Music consumes my life and I spend my time playing, teaching and recording.
How did you get started in the music scene?
I first started playing live in Metal bands at bars and clubs in my teens and into my twenties throughout Southern Ontario. I also attended Trebas Institute in Toronto where I learned a lot about the music business and graduated as a Music Engineer. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I discovered fingerstyle guitar. At that point, my focus shifted to a solo career and I have since released my first full length album of all original material entitled “Follow Your Bliss”.
What are your music influences?
There are many and they range from Garth Brooks to Metallica. Tommy Emmanuel has been a huge influence as well and was my first introduction to fingerstyle guitar.
How was it to share the stage with acts such as Antoine Dufour, Ewan Dobson?
Both Antoine and Ewan have been very supportive and it has been an honour to share the stage with them on multiple occasions. It is always a pleasure to share the bill with other musicians who are driven and in the same mentality. Antoine Dufour actually mastered my album “Follow Your Bliss”.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
The method often changes from song to song. Sometimes inspiration comes instantly and I’ll have a song written in 30 minutes while others can take months. A song may start with a beat or riff that I decide to build a song around. I am always creating beats and melodies in my head and so emulating that sound I hear in my mind on the guitar in a unique way is the creative challenge.
So you are working on a new album. Can you give us some insights/details about it? Any release date, official title in mind?
As a direct response to much positive feedback online via YouTube, Facebook, etc., the new album is going to include some covers along with original tunes. It will still be fingerstyle guitar arrangements, but may include a vocal song or two as well. The goal is to start recording in February/March 2013, with an anticipated release date of June or earlier. The title is still a work in progress.
Are there any more plans for the future?
Absolutely! With the new album set to be released next year, I will be touring as much as possible in support of it. Various dates are already set for Ontario, Chicago, upstate New York and an exciting first string of shows in Tennessee! In addition, I hope to be also be recording a Christmas album to be released winter 2013.
Where can we find more about your music?
My official website is www.bryanrason.ca and there you will find links to purchase “Follow Your Bliss”, guitar tab packages, lessons, and more. The tour section is consistently updated with new dates. You can also connect with me through social media on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and of course YouTube.
Do you feel you are moving on the right direction?
Yes, I think so. The direction may change in time but right now I feel I am doing what I should be. Making music will always be the direction I take.
Foley Entertainment Review
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RATING SCALE "1" Indicates the Lowest Score "5" Indicates The Highest Score Recording Quality/Produc...RATING SCALE "1" Indicates the Lowest Score "5" Indicates The Highest Score Recording Quality/Production: 4.5 Musicianship: 5 Music Composing: 5 Melodies: 5 Song Arrangement: 5 Quality of EPK Content: 4 Overall Delivery: 5 -----------------------------
Dear Bryan, Thanks for submitting the material for the evaluation. I enjoyed the songs very much. Your guitar playing and composing skills are outstanding. The tone is warm and the melodies memorable. To give you insight to the scoring scale above, the majority of artists score in the 2.5 to 3.5 range in the various categories. Whenever an artist sees a 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 or 3.5 as a score in a certain category (or categories) it means that's an area I feel they need to improve and develop. When an artist sees 4, 4.5 or 5 as their score in a category, it's a validation from a professional, confirming that the songs are of the highest level and show strong potential in the ultra-competitive music industry. To really raise the bar, every artist should work hard to earn a 4.5 or 5 in every category. It's a very competitive business and people averaging in the 3's (or less) will probably not get too far without a great deal of improvement and development. I don't give out 4's and 5's easily, so any of those you see, you have earned. Well done!
Gene Foley EugeneFoleyMusic@aol.com www.FoleyEntertainment.com
Chicago Acoustic Underground Podcast
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"Bryan was a joy to record. His fingerstyle technique is mesmerizing, and he’s a hell of a nice..."Bryan was a joy to record. His fingerstyle technique is mesmerizing, and he’s a hell of a nice guy to boot."
Set list varies greatly depending on the set length, location, atmosphere, etc. Originals and Covers are commonly inter-mixed unless it is an original only set. Since almost every song is in a different tuning, the set list is often based around that.
The following are examples from a typical set, keeping in mind the full list of covers is not included.
What Dreams May Come
Coming For You
Mach Of The Angels
Love's Not Alone
Here Comes The Sun - Beatles
If You Could Read My Mind - Gordon Lightfoot
Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf
Four Strong Winds - Ian Tyson
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
You Are Not Alone - Michael Jackson
Those Who Wait - Tommy Emmanuel
Me And You - Kenny Chesney
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Time of Your Life - Green Day
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - Beatles
Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
Arms Wide Open - Creed
Firework - Katy Perry