Ryan Carr
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Ryan Carr

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Roots


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"Review "Progress" - Ryan Carr"

With two mandolins, five guitars and a stunning 26 harmonicas to his name, it seems like Toronto musician Ryan Carr is quite the collector. But for someone who obviously deals in quantity, the sometimes busker has opted for quality when it comes to his debut EP and Progress rolls in at a mere three songs.

Carr lists plenty of influences, including four years at jazz school, a two-year bluegrass binge, three years touring with a gypsy pop band and, somewhere in there, a three-year stint in London, England filled with playing, writing, recording and working with other musicians. It’s the kind of mixed-bag repertoire that keeps each track on Progress from blending in with the rest—and keeps Carr from blending in with the rest as well. There are jazz flourishes, storytelling verses and a new genre with every song change, as though Carr truly set out to create a sampler of his work up to this point.

“Tall, Tall Grass” is a bouncing, dance-worthy indie number that opens the EP, punching through the trilling notes being rung out as Carr playfully sings along. At the same time, he sets up and then undermines the story he’s telling—upending the typical expectations the first verse would have set up in any other song and giving just a taste of his satirical writing.

There’s more of that in “You Can’t Stop Progress” as Carr sings, “You can bitch, you can moan, you can whinge, you can whine, ain’t no one going to listen to all your crying,” while describing trying to settle into a modern life. It’s bluegrass social commentary at its finest—quirky, funny and fantastically literal. And while it doesn’t have the immediate appeal of the other two songs on the EP, it’s got enough personality to win you over to its downtrodden side after only a couple of plays.

“The Healer” smoothens some of the twang from “You Can’t Stop Progress,” moving away from the storytelling quality of the first two tracks with a folk/country twist. Carr’s vocals tap into something powerful as he lowers his voice in for the hymn-like song. The chorus’ call of “Oh healer, lay your hands on me” also happens to be a catchy one—a clever way to end the EP as the final lines repeat inside your head and spur you into going back to sample the brief, rich wares yet again.

Top Track: “You Can’t Stop Progress”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) - Grayowl Point

"Floormusic Friday ll Progress EP by Ryan Carr"

Sweet bluegrass roots tunes flowing through the speakers to greet your ears and fill your soul is what you get when you take a listen to Progress, Ryan Carr’s recently released EP. The three track EP brings you on a journey through time, to a place of a summertime that has passed. The songs are great for a laid back afternoon of easy listening. The opening track “Tall, Tall Grass” brings you right into the world of foot stomping and knee tapping. In a previous interview with Carr, he had stated that the track “Healer” was a “gospel in nature”, a notion that resonates through the song. “You Can’t Stop the Progress” has a grainy and earthy element to it, that is very Jeremy Bug-esque. Give “Progress” a listen and enjoy the sweet transformative sounds it offers you.

You can check out our interview and unplugged session where Ryan plays two of the songs from the EP here! - Here, Here & Here


2013 - Progess

2014 - Lullabies for City Life



At the age of 15 Ryan's dad bought
him a guitar and said "If you learn to play it, it's yours. If you
don't, it's mine." More than a decade later he has one mandolin, five
guitars, twenty-six harmonicas and two EP’s - Progress and Lullbies for City Life.

Ryan writes and performs his own music,
a blend of blues, country, and pop while the lyrics lean toward the
absurdity of modern life and political satire. You can find him gigging at
pubs, bars, clubs and the occasional street corner in and around Toronto.  

He's toured all over Europe and the United States
with the popular Norwegian artist Eric Ness. He co-wrote Eric Ness’ entire
debut album Blah, Blah, Blah, which quickly reached #13 on Norway’s iTunes
most downloaded list. The band was featured on BBC radio and RBB
(National German TV).

Ryan's continuing on the nebulous path
of a singer-songwriter in an industry that even the insiders don't seem to
understand. And it feels good. 


Band Members