Kevin Ryan
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Kevin Ryan

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | INDIE

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | INDIE
Band Country Singer/Songwriter

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Apr
30
Kevin Ryan @ Delta Bow Valley

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Apr
25
Kevin Ryan @ Original Joe's - Kensington

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Apr
24
Kevin Ryan @ CGGVeritas (Private Function)

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Music

Press


"Kevin Ryan is one of the best musical storytellers on PEI. He's a young man with a wealth of experience, and his songs resonate long after the music has stopped." Matt Rainnie, host - CBC Mainstreet
- CBC Radio


Kevin Ryan — Follow The Signs (Indie)

Like generations of Maritimers before him, Kevin Ryan has relied on his resourcefulness to keep one step ahead of the game. The PEI-raised musician has rough-necked in the oilfields, dealt cards in a casino, taught English in Asia, built houses and run the family herb farm.
Through the myriad twists in the road, Ryan has gathered an insightful songwriter’s perspective on life and love and crafted an impressive catalogue of rootsy songs.

On his latest recording, Follow The Signs, Ryan gives his music a well-polished treatment and delivers a strong and very listenable album. Produced by Brad Davidge and recorded at Ferguson Music in Dartmouth, the album is a mature folk-pop effort from a young but quickly maturing songwriter.

Ryan uprooted from the family farm in PEI for a couple of weeks, and set up at Scott Ferguson’s studio to lay down the tracks. Bringing in East Coast veterans Kim Dunn on keys, drummer Chris Munro and Joe Butcher on bass assured a solid musical bedrock for his built-tough songs.

The variety of music among the ten tracks is refreshing, a reflection of the far-reaching influences Ryan has soaked up over the years of travel and writing.

He makes a savvy choice in enlisting Davidge to produce. For years, Davidge served as musical director and guitarist in Natalie MacMaster’s excellent touring band, while working his own pop-rock solo career on the side. He’s one of the finest guitarists in the region, and puts his own musical cache of styles to work here — searing rock solos, pretty Latin-flavoured gutstring (Sea Of Gray) and mandolin and other stringed gems throughout.

Ryan wears his influences on his sleeve. There’s certainly elements of the great Texas writers Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt (who gets a name-check in Can’t Find A Song, a clever confessional country tune about the frustrations of trying to write when inspiration is eluding the writer.)

” I can’t find the songs, and no song is finding me. My masterpiece is locked in side and I can’t find the key.” What songwriter hasn’t been mired in that barren place.

Pretty Thoughts sounds like a gorgeous Rodney Crowell outtake, with Davidge’s electric guitar shimmering over the dark rhythmic groove. Ryan is at his best here, setting up a simple but luscious melody that beautifully frames his supple, world-weary voice.

The music gets kicked up a few Dbs for the angry Ivory Tower, with the electric guitar winding out over the rocking rhythm section in this tale of unbridled passion.

My favourite track is Glass Houses, a great passionate vocal that builds from the lone accompaniment of a stark electric guitar to a roaring intensity, fueled by Kim Dunn on the swirling organ and Joe Butcher’s rock-steady bass.

The album wraps with the lovely I’ll Carry You, with an irresistible chorus and Ryan singing his heart out. The tasteful acoustic arrangement with sparkling acoustic guitars and mandolin over Dunn’s organ pads builds to a soaring finale with a choir of voices bound to bring a smile of joy to a toughest day.

Ryan himself is an intriguing character, setting his own indie-folker path, often under the radar of the music industry. He’s showcased at the recent Canadian Country Music Awards and played shows across western Canada. Temporarily hunkered down in Alberta, Ryan is still following the signs on his own winding road.

This album deserves to be heard and shine a light on this under-appreciated East Coast artist.


— Sandy MacDonald - 2006 East Coast Music Association Media Person of the Year


- Sandy MacDonald


Kevin Ryan’s lovely new 'homely' album: Come on in, take off your boots, and have a nice cup of tea

Canadian-based Kevin Ryan’s new album, “Follow the Signs”, is a bit of a mixed bag. The seeming chirpiness, and occasional Middle of the Road sounds often belies Ryan’s contemplative and sometimes moving lyrics. Kevin Ryan wears his heart on his sleeve in a highly unapologetic manner, and the album is all the better for it.

Although the songs aren’t massively challenging, they are friendly, homely, and very, very likable. This is definitely an album to bang on while you’re cooking, and relaxing in the kitchen. If slick production and catchy hooks, coupled with intelligent song-craftsmanship float your boat, then check this album out, it could be a winner.


Date review added: Saturday, October 28, 2006
Reviewer: Sian Claire Owen

- Americana UK


More often than not, CDs are simply collections of songs…the word “Album” is not used as frequently as it once was…for good reason. Albums once existed to take listeners on a journey from beginning to end. “Born to Run” and “Blood on the Tracks” were more than just collections of songs, they were albums. Kevin Ryan’s “Follow the Signs” is an album. This album starts by looking for direction and guidance and ends by offering it, along the way dealing with love and relationships both lost and found, looking at the world and people in it, showing no fear at looking inward, and even taking a humorous look at his own writer’s block. Kevin’s songs are written from the heart and for his voice, which conveys that these aren’t just words, but feelings and emotions. There isn’t anything on this album that doesn’t feel real. This is exactly what an Album should be. - Todd MacEwen, program director, C102 Summerside and host of "Due East"
- C102FM Summerside


Atlantic Seabreeze gives this CD a five star rating on is rating lists. A great listening to album with real down-to-earth vocals by Kevin. This album is going to be an award winning one in every sense of the word. - www.atlanticseabreeze.com


Discography

Follow The Signs
Duality
The Way

Photos

Bio

The Artist

"Kevin Ryan is one of the best musical storytellers on PEI. He's a young man with a wealth of experience, and his songs resonate long after the music has stopped." Matt Rainnie, host - CBC Mainstreet

Kevin Ryan is known by pockets of loyal fans across the country as a songwriter whose music strikes an immediate rapport with listeners with its down-to-earth warmth, honesty, and insight. His thought provoking lyrics and tasteful hooks have touched a wide range of audiences over the years. Kevin is equally known as a high energy, up-tempo entertainer who combines an intense emotional delivery with a keen, good-natured sense of humour in his interactive live shows, including his very recent showcase at the 2007 Canadian Country Music Award conference in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Through the myriad twists in the road, Ryan has gathered an insightful songwriters perspective on life and love and crafted an impressive catalogue of rootsy songs. Sandy MacDonald, 2006 East Coast Music Association Media Person of the Year

Kevin Ryan has led a colourful life and the songs speak of a depth of character and a realistic optimism possessed by the writer. Kevin's songwriting draws on the broad range of experiences he has acquired while working as a casino dealer, oil patch worker, English teacher, farmer, actor, and construction worker, living in six provinces and two countries. He is most at home on the stage making a memorable connection with the audience, song after song, show after show.

Follow the Signs

This album deserves to be heard and shine a light on this under-appreciated East Coast artist. - Sandy MacDonald

Kevin Ryan's highly anticipated third album, Follow the Signs, is winning him a new fan per first listen. Kevin enlisted Brad Davidge to produce the breakthrough sound contained on the ten tracks. Davidge, the musical director and guitar player for Grammy Award nominee Natalie MacMaster and ECMA Nominee for Pop Artist of the Year, recruited an all-star cast to capture the energy on Follow the Signs, including Joe Butcher on bass (George Canyon), Kim Dunn on organ and keyboards (Gordie Sampson), Scott Ferguson on percussion (The Rankins), and Chris Munroe on drums (Terry Kelly). The result, recorded in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at Ferguson Music Productions by Scott Ferguson, has been creating a significant buzz on the East Coast scene. Follow the Signs provides a perfect presentation of Kevin's beautifully written songs with a sincere and emotional vocal performance. The folk/rock offering is bound to make an impact nationally and propel Kevin Ryan's name to the forefront of the Canadian scene.

If slick production and catchy hooks, coupled with intelligent song-craftsmanship float your boat, then check this album out, it could be a winner. Americana UK

Kevin has released two previous albums. The Way, recorded in Nashville in 1994 produced by Gilles Godard, and Duality in 2000 produced by Davidge and Ryan.

Venues Played

Kevin recently showcased at the 2007 Canadian Country Music awards in Regina in the Songwriters Caf alongside Charlie Major, Gary Fjellgaard, Brad Johner, Gord Bamford, and Jesse Farrell. His performance was noted for its original and genuine presentation.

Kevin Ryan has shared the stage over the years with the likes of Lennie Gallant, Nathan Wiley, Catherine MacLellan, John MacPhee (Chucky Danger Band), Steve MacDougall (Slowcoaster), Carmen Townsend, and Frank Trainor. He has also spearheaded his own songwriters series entitled Best Kept Sectrets.

Kevin has played most provinces in Canada as well as in the United States, South Korea, and Ireland. He continues to criss-cross the nation, creating special live moments and leaving the footprints of Follow the Signs wherever and whenever he is heard and seen.