Don Ryan

Don Ryan

BandFolkAvant-garde

Don Ryan's compositions are a hypnotizing meld of classic Americana and gypsy jazz with a more modern psychedelic-folk sound. This is a brand new spin on old music.

"...the dark circus that Don Ryan brings to life is nothing short of vibrant. In a word: dazzling." --The Aquarian Weekly

Biography

Don Ryan is a singer/songwriter whose compositions are delectable cocktails of ageless beauty and gritty discord -- a hypnotizing blend of classic Americana and gypsy jazz with a more modern, psychedelic-folk sound. This is a brand new spin on old music. Ryan's tableau of jagged sound stands out against the airier tones of the NYC/NJ folk scene in which he thrives; but as dark as his jumbled and oft-foreboding lyrics can be, his melodies are every bit as resonant.

His debut release, Tangle Town, was described by the Aquarian Weekly as a “dark circus” that is “in a word: dazzling”. And while he has been hailed by some as "the next artist ready to carry the torch of Tom Waits to a new generation" (HearHearMusic.com), others have noted his kinship to "the realm of The Civil Wars and Elliott Smith" (Kings of A&R).

Ryan's aggressive approach to his guitar playing has been noted as an "exercise in fretboard mastery" that is presented "with such an ease and nonchalance that it is easy to miss just how clever and crafty his songwriting chops are"(www.JimmyLloyd.com). Such command of the instrument was something Ryan learned in his youth. At age twelve, he was taught to play the guitar by a mortician's son in his town's local funeral home--sometimes learning with bodies only feet away--an experience that undoubtedly fueled his penchant for the dark and rather eccentric.

Backed by some of the finest musicians hailing from the marshlands of New Jersey, Ryan's live shows are displays of unbridled intensity, and are every bit the circus one would imagine. Onstage, the man is a dichotomy on two legs. Quick with a joke or a deeply confessional narration, Ryan is equal parts clown and tightrope walker; lion and tamer. But moreover, he is the charismatic master of ceremonies for one thrilling show.

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"...the dark circus that Don Ryan brings to life is nothing short of vibrant. In a word: dazzling." --The Aquarian Weekly

"Don Ryan takes his musical materials and wrenches them into the shape that best expresses his intentions, with scant regard for precedent or convention. Witty, disturbing lyrics...Excellent stuff." --LiveUnsigned.com

"...all-around musical badass." --Warren Riker, producer (Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Sublime)

"...multi-influenced music mixed together by a mad scientist." --FBFY Monthly Mixtape

"His sound is a throwback to an earlier, simpler time and his live performances are an exercise in fretboard mastery. Ryan commands his guitar with such an ease and nonchalance that it is easy to miss just how clever and crafty his songwriting chops are." --Jimmy Lloyd, television host (Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase, NBC)

"Definitely worth a listen or 10, check him out." --INDMUSIC

"an alluring collection of electrified Folk-Rock that still gets regular play in my Itunes library." --Speak Into My Good Eye

"Ryan never lets us quite hear what we expect...an artist of rare originality." --Oliver di Place blog

"...a fresh and interesting perspective on some old styles of music!" --Indie Rebellion

"...one versatile artist with a wide array of influences and styles he is playing around with like a kid in a candy shop." --Listen Before You Buy

"This is the real thing. Don Ryan is different. This is real music. This is real good music." --A Perfect Mess

Lyrics

This Town

Written By: Don Ryan

As defeat licks the jaws of victory,
The rotten teeth of injury and insult gnaw at me
The local stigmatic handsome gentleman
Detonates, incinerates the town he's living in

This town is burning down
Oh, wake your little ones
This town is burning down
So save your sleeping sons

Only a clown would join this here circus sideshow
Don't you know funhouse mirrors ain't friends?
And soon you'll be on your hands and knees
Dusting off the bones of fallen gods
Who willed to fill such ends

This town is burning down
Oh, wake your little ones
This town is burning down
So save your sleeping sons

Midtown Waiting

Written By: Don Ryan

Midtown waiting and the cadence is slow
Oh no, she's all but ready to go
It's ending after all.

Together we split the color in two
Oh well, we've all but wrecked the view
It happened after all.

So tumble out of the bed we made
Curtains for the sunshine
When our debts ain't nearly paid

Crimson sentiments well on their way today
Came and took her away
It happened after all.

Spent my time entertaining the dregs
Oh well, I knew it all along
It's ending after all.

So tumble out of the bed we made
Curtains for the sunshine
When our debts ain't nearly paid
It's curtains for the sunshine
When our debts ain't nearly paid

Living Avenue

Written By: Don Ryan

He dreams in such ways,
Eating yesterdays and discarded time, biting his tongue
A living avenue pitches and writhes,
So lit up tonight

The nutrition of a wing sings a silent sting,
It's alright to be high
Disembowling the sun, everybody run
The song's already begun

Everybody sing it again,
Everybody walking on the road,
Everybody smiling brightly
Sing that song

How smart are they now?
Starving Rockefellers drown in their own respect.
When good friend electric's gone,
Lonely ants are drawn to the sound of the song

Everybody sing it again,
Everybody walking on the road,
Everybody smiling brightly
Sing that song

Down and Out

Written By: Don Ryan

About a darkest hour ago,
I cut the only cord I knew
When a darkest hour is lasting a lifetime,
There ain't much else to do

A trustfall with no principle
Is more like a deadfall
From an Everest of hurt that makes much worse
The writing on the wall

Stick your head in the clouds now
Tell me what you see
I called off, fought off, but drowned in misery
For heaven's new angel couldn't stay with me

An old woman dusted me off, lent a hand to me
Said, "As open as your heart is,
So too must your eyes be.
For a heart is a blind man squinting to see
His way on through the dark,
Blindly falling so easy, getting up rather hard."

So stick your head in the clouds now
Tell me what you see
I called off, fought off, but drowned in misery
For heaven's new angel couldn't stay with me

Been down and out so I'm out and downing
With the broken-hearted poets at the bar.
They'll cry you a river but can't build you a dam
'Cause they all know what they are.
They'll tell you, "Go for broke until you're broken,
Ferry away your soul with gin,
Spend your night in mourning with us
And tomorrow we'll do it again

Stick your head in the clouds now
Can you see me?
I called off, fought off, but drowned in misery
For heaven's new angel couldn't stay with me

Crystal Star

Written By: Don Ryan

It's coming back, not a ghost of a chance
So drink it away, a fool's romance
Over the line take one more glance
And fuck it away, you know you can't

Oh darling, dear, you know who you are
So make a wish on a falling star
And step in the light, oh come right here
Where we can see it's all so crystal clear

Oh, daddy's girl can't figure out
Such empty head, so full her mouth
All her nights she begs to please
And not to pray on bended knees

Oh darling, dear, you know who you are
So make a wish on your falling star
And step in the light, oh come right here
Where we can see she's all so crystal clear

Oh, he's coming back, not a ghost of a chance
So drink it away, a fool's romance
Over the line take one more glance
And go fuck it away, you know you can't

Oh darling, dear, you know who you are
So make a wish on a falling star
And step in the light, oh come right here
Where we can see you all so crystal clear

It's all so crystal clear
It's all so crystal clear
It's all so crystal clear
It's all so crystal clear

Discography

Tangle Town, Full Length LP -- Available for streaming/download at http://donryanmusic.bandcamp.com/

This Town -- Single -- Video available at http://youtu.be/N7KbJ_t0fRo

Three singles from Tangle Town (This Town, Living Avenue, and Down and Out) have been on college radio rotation in the NYC area on numerous stations, including WPSC, WFDU, WNTI and WSOU.