Ryan Bisio
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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Giving it his All"

Giving it his all

By ANDREW GILHOOLEY

Ryan Bisio

THE 411

Ryan Bisio

When 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday

Where Morgan's Coffee and Tea, 498 Washington St., Monterey

Getting in No problem; it's free

Phone 373-5601

Online www.ryanbisio.com

Lines

"He walks alone / and whistles night from above / Crossed the ocean yesterday / in an old white dirty tux" - "Backward Letters" by Ryan Bisio




Even if you haven't heard singer-songwriter Ryan Bisio's music, you might be familiar with his name from the sports pages. Bisio, from Arcata in Humboldt County, is attending California State University, Monterey Bay, on a basketball scholarship and is one of the Otters' star players. He is celebrating the end of a successful season with the release of his debut CD "Sketches" and a weekly Thursday gig at Morgan's Coffee and Tea in Monterey.

Bisio began his music career at age 6 when he received classical piano lessons. However, as he got older, he became increasingly involved in school sports, which eventually led to his college scholarship. "I was always busy with basketball," Bisio said, "but I always knew that I would eventually come back to music."

At age 19, he picked up the guitar for the first time. "I guess it just immediately made sense to me after studying piano when I was younger, and I just started writing songs right away."

Bisio's renewed interest in music led to his attending CSUMB as a music major. He also began looking for places to perform and started to attend open mic sessions. "My first public performance was in Santa Rosa in 2003, and after that I just started going around the coffee shops and open mics," he said. In April of this year, he started playing his own shows. In addition to his weekly Morgan's show, he regularly returns to Humboldt County for weekend engagements. A close friend acts as his manager, and "we're trying to find new places around California for me to play."

Bisio's CD was recorded during his spare time over the course of this academic year. He recorded the album at home on a portable digital multi-track recorder and played most of the instruments himself. "It's a very modest effort," Bisio said modestly, "but I really wanted to make the first (album) solo - a kind of stake in the ground to show where my progress is to date."

The result is, as the title suggests, a 14-track sketchbook of Bisio's songwriting. Studio trickery and lush production are eschewed in favor of a stripped-down sound that highlights both the intensity of his songs and the honesty of his performance. A cut from the album "Backwards Letters" is proving to be a favorite with audiences and also has appeared on a compilation CD, "Unexploded Ordinance," featuring artists from CSUMB.

At his live shows, Bisio plays a mixture of his original songs and covers of music by his favorite artists. "Audiences like familiar music," he said, "so even though I try to play as many original songs as possible, I'll throw in, say, a Dave Matthews cover once in a while to catch their attention."

Bisio is set to graduate from CSUMB in the spring of 2006 and hopes to make music his career.

"I'm going to give it a shot, you know," he said. "I mean, I'm confident that I could work as a basketball coach or something like that, but I want to give the music a try and just see what happens."
- 411 Entertainment


"St. Bernard's Bisio makes return to North Coast"

http://www.ryanbisio.com/images/hugebisiosreturn.jpg - Times Standard


"Bisio hits notes, baskets"

A loud crowd watching you while working is what any graduating college basketball player dreams of.

For CSU Monterey Bay point guard Ryan Bisio, he hopes that eventually those crowds cheer for him in a different way.

The senior jazz music performance major has written and produced his first album, entitled "Sketches." Bisio, who describes the album as having a "folk kind of vibe," has played piano since he was six and learned guitar when he was 18.

"As soon as I started playing acoustic guitar, I started writing songs, just inherently," Bisio said.

In between hitting the books and running fast breaks, he has played a few gigs around the Peninsula. Bisio's album comes out in April after CSUMB's basketball season is over. Until then, the Arcata native is focused on finishing his Otter basketball career on a high note. The final two home games for him and six other seniors come this weekend against CCAA powerhouse Cal State Bakersfield and a tough Cal State L.A team that took the Otters to overtime last month.

At the Kelp Bed
Bisio recently has done some of his best work in front of Kelp Bed crowds, so it makes it the perfect performance venue for him: He has even been coaxed into playing his first national anthem Saturday on senior night against the Golden Eagles. Bisio, who splits point guard duties with fellow senior Jon Lapachet, leads the team in both three point and free-throw percentage. Lapachet is tops on the team in steals. The combination of the two styles gives the Otters a potent two-headed monster in the backcourt.

"Me and Jon play a different style of basketball," said Bisio. "We're two different drummers out there when we are leading the team. I'm more a jazz drummer, a little softer. Jon is like death metal-he's banging bodies, really physical, and plays excellent defense for our team."

Reunions everywhere
The Otters' collection of talent has brought many reunions for Bisio. In high school, Ryan attended a Los Angeles basketball camp for a week with reserve center Carlos Arroyo. And while on a Santa Rosa Junior College team that went to the state finals in 2003, he faced off against Los Medanos College and current teammate Darryl Anderson.

Bisio says he gets in a dig every now and then about those meetings, but he calls Anderson one of his best friends on the team, and is glad they are playing together this season.

"He played on a pretty good team, but it's good to be on the same team now. Through the journey, you see a lot of these guys," Bisio said.

"Down the basketball road, you see people now and again. To have all these guys on the team this year, it's good to end the career off that way."

Contact Embele Awipi at http://www.geocities.com/embeleshow

Originally published February 21, 2005

- The Californian


Discography

"Sketches" May 10th (Debut Release)
"Unexploded Ordinance" April 14th (Monterey Bay Local Compilation)
Music can also be heard at RyanBisio.com (Music page)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The emergence of Ryan Bisio, the Artist, the Guitarist, the Singer, and the Songwriter has been anything but ordinary. Typically garnering praise for his charismatic stage presence and magnetic personality, the distinctive songwriting of Bisio is quite possibly the artist’s finest gift. Paired with a vocal delivery that is soulfully sultry and casually seductive, Bisio’s songs create a mesmerizing live experience for listeners.

At a mere 23 years of age, the innovative minded Bisio is poised for longevity while equipped with his self-produced debut album, “Sketches – The Home Recordings”, boundless energy and a unique passion for music creation.

"...a 14-track sketchbook of Bisio's songwriting. Studio trickery and lush production are eschewed in favor of a stripped-down sound that highlights both the intensity of his songs and the honesty of his performance."

Andrew Gilhooley - 411 Entertainment

Bisio, a Northern California native, writes contemporary compositions blending folk, blues, jazz, rock, and pop. The self-taught singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has been and continues to be strongly influenced by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith and Dave Matthews among others.

Lyrically, Bisio has a keen sense for wordplay and the ability to articulate quirky phrases and inquisitive stories in a way that unites the listener and song. This charismatic element has drawn fans of all types to his music with undeniable magnetism. His innate aptitude of instrumental rhythm appears in various musical forms, but none with more precision than his acoustic guitar play, which is lucidly on exhibit during his solo sets.

Bisio’s musical collages are eclectic by nature with a theme of deftly balanced rhythm, harmony and melody components. The acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica, electric guitar and ukulele mesh with thoughtful arrangements throughout his debut release to create a wide array of music. The impressive collection of songs appropriately titled “Sketches” is spared of any percussion, tactically accentuating the fervor of Ryan Bisio’s earliest recorded musical brain-children.