Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls
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Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls EP"

Ryan Flannery and the Night Owls’ self-titled EP features five tracks of bubbly alterna-pop goodness in the vein of a caffeinated John Mayer and a modern Billy Joel. Flannery joined forces with John Burgess and Brian Klippel in 2008, after some years as a solo act, and these three turned into the nu-jazz magic that is Ryan Flannery and the Night Owls. Based in Wisconsin (and even winning the 2009 Wisconsin Valley Fair Battle of the Bands), these young chaps have hit the ground running with a distinctive sound and style that incorporates hooks, melody, and a little jazz here and there.

Released in February 2010, the EP opens with “The J Chord,” a decidedly happy, optimistic song with a hook that will have you humming it in the grocery store on a sunny day. The next track, “Midnight Run”, has a jazzier feel, with blaring trumpets and some cool vintage guitar licks paired with a funky piano. About a minute into the song, Stevie Wonder fans will be extremely happy – Ryan Flannery coaxes the funk out of the song with ease, and mixes in a jazzy dissonance with skill that really hasn’t been seen in any artist since Little Stevie.

“Midnight Run” leads into “Stop,” a solidly delicate song that opens with beautiful piano runs and shimmering chord changes that really make this song stand out. The vocal harmonization paired with the effects in the background border on the safe side of psychedelia, giving the listener a sense that Ryan Flannery and the Night Owls are touching a deeper emotional well in this song, in comparison to the easier listening of the previous songs. “Stop” evokes an over-saturated Technicolor world of beautiful sadness and a sparkling lushness that is generally only found in dream worlds and obscure hippie music videos.

“Black Palms” opens in a near-continuation of the lofty trip of “Stop”, but doesn’t stay there for long, as Flannery comes in with a comparatively powerful vocal that brings the song back to the usual Night Owls territory. The last track, “A Whim and A Prayer” brings back the lushness, with glittering instrumental runs and layered sounds, then turns samba-inspired, which gives way to a 1970s-inspired vocal harmony that slowly fades out. While Flannery and crew put most of their efforts into a jazzy, easy-listening, Billy Joel Mach 2 sound, their stand out tracks, “Stop” and “A Whim and a Prayer” are where they move into a more expressive territory and push their song composition into the experimental and unknown. Overall, a solid album with two exceptionally great tracks – 4 guns (out of 4).

- CWG Magazine


"Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls" (EP) - released March 2010



Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls are an indie rock band originating from Wausau, Wisconsin. They are currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The group consists of Ryan Flannery on keys and vocals, John Burgess on drums, and Tom Kallio on guitar. After several years as a solo act, in the fall of 2008, Ryan joined forces with additional musicians to create an energetic sound that still incorporated jazz-based influences. John has been adding his vigorously precise drumming methods since the group’s beginnings, and Tom has been contributing his silky smooth, blues-kissed guitar technique since March 2010.

After just over six months as a band, Ryan Flannery & the Night Owls had already garnered a faithful local fan base, and had also won the 2009 Wisconsin Valley Fair Battle of the Bands. The band continued to progressively move forward, releasing their long-awaited debut EP in February 2010. Combining the lively resonances of modern indie rock with the jazzy, vintage sounds of 70s pop-rock, the self-titled EP is sure to give listeners something that they can truly find musically unique and original.

In addition to the band’s current live instrumentation of piano/vocals, drums, and guitar, the six-track EP includes bass, keys, cello, saxophone, flute, trumpet, clarinet, and additional vocalists, all orchestrated by Flannery.