Ryan Humbert
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Ryan Humbert

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Dec
30
Ryan Humbert @ www.ryanhumbert.com

For complete list, Ohio, USA

For complete list, Ohio, USA

Dec
29
Ryan Humbert @ The Lime Spider

Akron, Ohio, USA

Akron, Ohio, USA

Nov
18
Ryan Humbert @ Riverfront Coffeemill

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA

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Music

Press


Friday, April 2, 2004 By Dan Kane Repository entertainment editor

Whatever that intangible “it” factor may be that defines musical inspiration, Ryan Humbert has it in spades

Just 23, Humbert has crafted a remarkably assured debut album titled “Nothing to Lose.” His original songs, such as the country lament “Day Late, Dollar Short” and the old-time gospel rouser “Pass Me By,” have the feel of lived-in standards — or could-be Nashville hits.

Pretty amazing to learn then that he’s only been writing songs for two years.

The album falls under the Americana umbrella, melding elements of country, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, folk and even little punk-rock attitude. It comes as no surprise to learn that Humbert’s musical influences include Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Neil Young, Tom Waits and Howlin’ Wolf. They’re all in there.

“I like everything from Patsy Cline to the Ramones,” says Humbert, a 1999 Green High School graduate. He estimates his CD library at 1,500 titles.

Humbert was inspired to start playing guitar after hearing Lucinda Williams’ seminal 1998 album “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.” “Before that, music wasn’t a focus,” he recalls. “But that album was a perfect mix of country, rock, blues and folk. I was blown away. I said, ‘Man, I want to play the guitar.’ ”

For three years, Humbert played bars in Akron and Canton in a band called The Hand-Me-Downs that did covers of the Stones, Dylan, Springsteen, Robert Johnson and others. But Humbert wanted an outlet for his original songs, so he embarked on a solo album project.

“Nothing to Lose,” which has a clear, dynamic sound, was recorded over the course of four months at Moondog Studios in Kent. “I’m really particular about sound,” he says. “I’m just picky.”

Songs include Akron-based singer-songwriters Tracey Thomas and Zach, members of the Whiskeyhounds, musicians from the Akron Symphony Orchestra and other guests. In addition to his strong, soulful and country-tinged lead vocals, Humbert plays acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, harmonica and percussion.

Other instruments lending texture and atmosphere to the album include pedal steel guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, fiddle, organ, piano, accordion, trombone, trumpet, cello and violin.

A standout track is the rousing gospel number, “Pass Me By.” To record it, Humbert recruited four vocalists from Akron church choirs. “I could not stop smiling in the studio,” he says. “It was a song I wrote with a friend on acoustic guitar, and here I was with this big voices singing it back to me.”

For “Alibis,” Humbert sang through a guitar amplifier, which gives his vocals a Tom Wait quality, enhanced by trombone. Humbert’s 73-year-old grandfather, Ron Humbert, sings harmony on the country-western song “Day Late, Dollar Short.”

“The songs came together because I would be in the mood to write something,” Humbert says. “I didn’t really notice the album turning into such a diverse creature until we started recording it.”

Appropriately enough, Humbert works at a musically diverse radio station — Akron’s WAPS-FM 91.3, The Summit. He’s the station’s development director, handling sales, membership and marketing. He also hosts his own Summit radio show, “Ryan Humbert’s Side of the Road,” from 10-11 p.m. Mondays, which features many of the artists mentioned in this story.

Humbert’s CD will go on sale Monday at Borders Books and Music and the Quonset Hut. Much more about him can be found at www.ryanhumbert.com

You can reach Repository writer Dan Kane at (330) 580-8306 or e-mail dan.kane@cantonrep.com - The Canton Repository


Thursday, April 1st, 2004 - By Brian Lisik - West Akron Sun Staff Writer

Beneath Ryan Humbert’s low-key exterior lurks a palpable confidence.

As he recently discussed his new, independently produced CD, “Nothing to Lose”, the WAPS 91.3-FM Development Director followed each nonchalant “aw-shucks” shrug with a determined self-assurance that belied his 23 years.

“I would be a record label marketing person’s worst nightmare,” he said. “It’s getting harder and harder for an artist with diverse tastes to break in.”

Calling Humbert’s musical tastes difficult to classify would be an understatement. “Nothing to Lose” features a slew of styles, from the surf of “Disappoint You” to the traditional country of “Day Late, Dollar Short” and the Tom Waits-inspired “Alibis” – wherein Humbert “plays” a folding chair, tape measure, and a tin can full of nails.

Ironically, the decision to record “Nothing to Lose” was spurred by the break-up of Humbert’s 3-year-old band The Hand-Me-Downs. Creative differences with core members led to Humbert throwing down the gauntlet and insisting on making his own record and not a band album.

The singer-guitarist called on friends, family, and musicians he had met in his two years at WAPS to round out the studio “band.” Members of the Whiskeyhounds, legendary New Wave chanteuse and West Akron native Tracey Thomas, Brecksville-based singer-songwriter Zach Freidhof, Brian Fricky of The Twistoffs, members of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Hand-Me-Downs vocalist Emily Bates,and Humbert’s 73-year-old grandfather Ron Humbert all make appearances.

One of the CD’s most poignant moments came courtesy of Beverly Woolridge – who organized the five-piece “Nothing to Lose” choir to back up Humbert on the gospel-tinged “Pass Me By.” The group members were culled from a variety of area gospel choirs, and many were also Akron Public Schools employees.

But perhaps even more impressive than pulling together a host of busy area musicians to sit in on his recording project, Humbert and company managed to wrap up recording in a mere three months.

“There were times when I was there six days a week,” he said. “I once worked a ten hour shift at the station, then another seven at the studio. I’m a pretty organized person and with that was really helpful. I’m proud of the fact that we put together a pretty big record in a short amount of time.”

Humbert made special note of engineer Dave Sacchini of Moondog Studio in Kent’s contribution. Prior to this project, Humbert had never been inside a recording studio before.

“I can’t say enough about Dave,” he said. “We would get there and WORK. He earned every cent.”

The payoff comes at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Green High School auditorium, 1474 Boettler Road in Green, when Humbert and a 17-piece band will debut “Nothing to Lose” live. Tickets to the concert are $5 and more details are available at www.ryanhumbert.com or by calling 330-854-3930.

Still, Humbert is unsure about where the CD will go following it’s release party. While his singing and songwriting gives “Nothing to Lose” a surprising consistency, Humbert hopes its many musical detours won’t be mistaken as a novelty – a musician showing versatility for versatility’s sake.

“I kind of cringe when describing it to people – it’s rock with a little gospel, blues, folk, and punk,” he said.

Another potential misconception that Humbert hopes to overcome is how his day job figures into the mix. Beyond his duties as the station’s development director, Humbert hosts a weekly roots-rock specialty program called “The Side of the Road.”

Thus far though, he hasn’t been given any special treatment. While Humbert indicated that Program and Music Director Bill Gruber’s favorite song is the achingly beautiful piano/trumpet ballad “Heading South”, it has yet to be added to the stations regular rotation.

“I didn’t want people to think ‘He works at a radio station so that’s why he’s getting played’,” Humbert said. “I only wanted Bill to play something if he liked it.”

Again, Humbert’s un-apologetic and straightforward personality perfectly matches the similar approach he takes to singing and songwriting. A page on his website directing visitors to “Star Pictures” drives the point home.

The somewhat presumptuously titles page leads to photos of Humbert with the likes of Sheryl Crow, his childhood musical heroine Lucinda Williams, and nationally renowned Akron garage-rock phenoms The Black Keys. But in each, Humbert is grinning like an awestruck pre-schooler at Disneyland.

Since it’s hard to deny the appeal of the loveable underdog with a valiant stubborn streak, one gets the feeling that Ryan Humbert’s musical career will find a way to land on it’s feet – 17-piece rock/gospel/blues/punk band and all. - The West Akron Sun


"Nothing to Lose" was named one of the essential CD's of 2004 by The Canton Repository. - The Canton Repository


Thursday, April 1st, 2004 - By Brian Lisik - West Akron Sun Staff Writer

Beneath Ryan Humbert’s low-key exterior lurks a palpable confidence.

As he recently discussed his new, independently produced CD, “Nothing to Lose”, the WAPS 91.3-FM Development Director followed each nonchalant “aw-shucks” shrug with a determined self-assurance that belied his 23 years.

“I would be a record label marketing person’s worst nightmare,” he said. “It’s getting harder and harder for an artist with diverse tastes to break in.”

Calling Humbert’s musical tastes difficult to classify would be an understatement. “Nothing to Lose” features a slew of styles, from the surf of “Disappoint You” to the traditional country of “Day Late, Dollar Short” and the Tom Waits-inspired “Alibis” – wherein Humbert “plays” a folding chair, tape measure, and a tin can full of nails.

Ironically, the decision to record “Nothing to Lose” was spurred by the break-up of Humbert’s 3-year-old band The Hand-Me-Downs. Creative differences with core members led to Humbert throwing down the gauntlet and insisting on making his own record and not a band album.

The singer-guitarist called on friends, family, and musicians he had met in his two years at WAPS to round out the studio “band.” Members of the Whiskeyhounds, legendary New Wave chanteuse and West Akron native Tracey Thomas, Brecksville-based singer-songwriter Zach Freidhof, Brian Fricky of The Twistoffs, members of the Akron Symphony Orchestra, Hand-Me-Downs vocalist Emily Bates,and Humbert’s 73-year-old grandfather Ron Humbert all make appearances.

One of the CD’s most poignant moments came courtesy of Beverly Woolridge – who organized the five-piece “Nothing to Lose” choir to back up Humbert on the gospel-tinged “Pass Me By.” The group members were culled from a variety of area gospel choirs, and many were also Akron Public Schools employees.

But perhaps even more impressive than pulling together a host of busy area musicians to sit in on his recording project, Humbert and company managed to wrap up recording in a mere three months.

“There were times when I was there six days a week,” he said. “I once worked a ten hour shift at the station, then another seven at the studio. I’m a pretty organized person and with that was really helpful. I’m proud of the fact that we put together a pretty big record in a short amount of time.”

Humbert made special note of engineer Dave Sacchini of Moondog Studio in Kent’s contribution. Prior to this project, Humbert had never been inside a recording studio before.

“I can’t say enough about Dave,” he said. “We would get there and WORK. He earned every cent.”

The payoff comes at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Green High School auditorium, 1474 Boettler Road in Green, when Humbert and a 17-piece band will debut “Nothing to Lose” live. Tickets to the concert are $5 and more details are available at www.ryanhumbert.com or by calling 330-854-3930.

Still, Humbert is unsure about where the CD will go following it’s release party. While his singing and songwriting gives “Nothing to Lose” a surprising consistency, Humbert hopes its many musical detours won’t be mistaken as a novelty – a musician showing versatility for versatility’s sake.

“I kind of cringe when describing it to people – it’s rock with a little gospel, blues, folk, and punk,” he said.

Another potential misconception that Humbert hopes to overcome is how his day job figures into the mix. Beyond his duties as the station’s development director, Humbert hosts a weekly roots-rock specialty program called “The Side of the Road.”

Thus far though, he hasn’t been given any special treatment. While Humbert indicated that Program and Music Director Bill Gruber’s favorite song is the achingly beautiful piano/trumpet ballad “Heading South”, it has yet to be added to the stations regular rotation.

“I didn’t want people to think ‘He works at a radio station so that’s why he’s getting played’,” Humbert said. “I only wanted Bill to play something if he liked it.”

Again, Humbert’s un-apologetic and straightforward personality perfectly matches the similar approach he takes to singing and songwriting. A page on his website directing visitors to “Star Pictures” drives the point home.

The somewhat presumptuously titles page leads to photos of Humbert with the likes of Sheryl Crow, his childhood musical heroine Lucinda Williams, and nationally renowned Akron garage-rock phenoms The Black Keys. But in each, Humbert is grinning like an awestruck pre-schooler at Disneyland.

Since it’s hard to deny the appeal of the loveable underdog with a valiant stubborn streak, one gets the feeling that Ryan Humbert’s musical career will find a way to land on it’s feet – 17-piece rock/gospel/blues/punk band and all. - The West Akron Sun


The Cleveland Free Times says about 'Hangman' - "The sophomore CD by Akron-area singer-songwriter-guitarist Ryan Humbert demonstrates a mastery of “Americana” that rivals almost anyone’s. This well-executed self-produced record skillfully blends the diverse strains of roots music that make up this non-genre in memorable songs. He balances urgent infectious rockers like “Alone” with lovely, spacious ballads like “Under a Late Night Sky” that are sweeping without being schmaltzy. “You Never Noticed” and “Another Bad Day” have a comfortable country-folk feel, while “Hangman” creates a deliciously morose atmosphere that’s accented by subtle touches of violin and lap steel. Several songs, including “Redemption,” “Make It Right” and the tambourine-banging, hip-shaking “Can’t Beat the Devil” combine good old rock ‘n’ roll with soul, tossing on gospel-influenced backup vocals to drive them over the top. Humbert’s slightly gritty vocals and unforced delivery mesh comfortably with the evocative but not obscure lyrics to drive a record that has both depth and accessibility. - Anastasia Pantsios - Cleveland Free Times


Ryan Humbert's Hangman starts off like a standard-issue singer-songwriter disc, but immediately gets much more interesting. The Akron native is a DJ for the wonderfully eclectic WAPS-FM 91.3, and his expertise with adult-oriented rock is obvious. Humbert also recruited some big-league talent of his own for his second album. He's backed by Columbus's Andy Carlson, a guitarist-violinist-mandolin-player who has performed on albums by R.E.M., the Cowboy Junkies, and Nanci Griffith.

Hangman plays like an hour of Humbert's radio station, moving through a series of genres that are adjacent to pop, but don't get mass airplay. The lurching "Souvenir" rumbles from surf guitar to rockabilly. "Can't Beat the Devil" is swinging, boogie-woogie country. After the tear-in-your-beer ballad "White Lies," the disc gets loud again with the electric white blues of "Redemption." "When you're staring down the barrel of a gun, you're gonna need redemption," drawls Humbert. After this disc, he has nothing to atone for. - D.X. Ferris
- The Cleveland Scene


The Cleveland Free Times says about 'Hangman' - "The sophomore CD by Akron-area singer-songwriter-guitarist Ryan Humbert demonstrates a mastery of “Americana” that rivals almost anyone’s. This well-executed self-produced record skillfully blends the diverse strains of roots music that make up this non-genre in memorable songs. He balances urgent infectious rockers like “Alone” with lovely, spacious ballads like “Under a Late Night Sky” that are sweeping without being schmaltzy. “You Never Noticed” and “Another Bad Day” have a comfortable country-folk feel, while “Hangman” creates a deliciously morose atmosphere that’s accented by subtle touches of violin and lap steel. Several songs, including “Redemption,” “Make It Right” and the tambourine-banging, hip-shaking “Can’t Beat the Devil” combine good old rock ‘n’ roll with soul, tossing on gospel-influenced backup vocals to drive them over the top. Humbert’s slightly gritty vocals and unforced delivery mesh comfortably with the evocative but not obscure lyrics to drive a record that has both depth and accessibility. - Anastasia Pantsios - Cleveland Free Times


“Humbert is a dynamo...eager and rapid-fire...a catalyst for and enthusiastic supporter of the N.E. Ohio music scene.”
- Cleveland Free Times

“Ryan Humbert may be just 27, but his knowledge of roots music borders on the encyclopedic. Whatever that intangible ‘it’ factor may be that defines musical inspiration, Humbert has it in spades.”
-Canton Repository

“Hangman gets loud again with the electric-white-blues of "Redemption." After this disc, he has nothing to atone for.”
- Cleveland Scene

“The hardest working man in the N.E. Ohio music scene.”
- Mimi‘s Music News

“Akron singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert demonstrates a mastery of ”Americana” that rivals almost anyone’s.”
- Cleveland Free Times

“One Night Only: Acoustic Live finds Humbert hosting a rollicking, unplugged revival surrounded by a choir and four-piece band. (On the covers on the record) Humbert sings as if he owns these tunes. He does, however, own a handful of weary-hearted originals that more than hold their own against the standards.”
— Cleveland Scene - Various


“Humbert is a dynamo...eager and rapid-fire...a catalyst for and enthusiastic supporter of the N.E. Ohio music scene.”
- Cleveland Free Times

“Ryan Humbert may be just 27, but his knowledge of roots music borders on the encyclopedic. Whatever that intangible ‘it’ factor may be that defines musical inspiration, Humbert has it in spades.”
-Canton Repository

“Hangman gets loud again with the electric-white-blues of "Redemption." After this disc, he has nothing to atone for.”
- Cleveland Scene

“The hardest working man in the N.E. Ohio music scene.”
- Mimi‘s Music News

“Akron singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert demonstrates a mastery of ”Americana” that rivals almost anyone’s.”
- Cleveland Free Times

“One Night Only: Acoustic Live finds Humbert hosting a rollicking, unplugged revival surrounded by a choir and four-piece band. (On the covers on the record) Humbert sings as if he owns these tunes. He does, however, own a handful of weary-hearted originals that more than hold their own against the standards.”
— Cleveland Scene - Various


Discography

CD - "Nothing to Lose" - April 2004
CD - "Hangman" - May 2005
CD - "The Well Whatever Demos" - June 2006
CD & DVD - "One Night Only: Acoustic Live" - July 2007
CD - "Before You Leave" - December 2007
CD - "Old Souls, New Shoes" - COMING SOON

Photos

Bio

Akron-Ohio based singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert has a habit of writing catchy songs that defy the boundaries of normal genres. Releasing two studio albums within two years (Nothing to Lose, Hangman) as well as a live CD (One Night Only: Acoustic Live) and two EPs (The Well Whatever Demos, Before You Leave), Humbert has proved he can build powerful albums that span many styles of American music and yet still stay firmly planted in the Pop/Rock world.

Over the past three years Humbert has played over 300 shows, either acoustic or with his band, including opening slots for Third Eye Blind, Pete Yorn, The Zac Brown Band, Chrissie Hynde, Elvis Costello, The Gin Blossoms, Foreigner, Josh Ritter, Dave Mason, Allen Toussaint, Alana Davis, The Push Stars, Raul Malo, The Subdudes, Red Wanting Blue, The Damnwells, Tim Easton, Maia Sharp and John Eddie numerous times and more.

The RHB had the honor of playing for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame�s 2006 American Music Masters Series in honor of Roy Orbison, one of Ryan�s favorite singers. They were the only band from N.E. Ohio asked to perform. More recently, The RHB was the featured band at the ribbon cutting ceremony of VegiTerrenean, the Akron restaurant of Pretenders lead singer Chrisse Hynde. In September 2007, Ryan portrayed Hank Williams in a sold-out five-night run of the Canton Cabaret�s �Hank Williams: The Concert That Never Was� performing 22 Hank Williams songs.

The masses have taken notice too. In 2005 The Canton Repository said "Nothing to Lose" was one of the Essential CDs of the year. In 2006 Ryan was nominated in the "Best New Artist" category for the Cleveland Scene Music Awards. The RHB was also nominated for "Best Americana Band" by the 2007 Cleveland Free Times Music Awards. Recently, Ryan was nominated for the Akron Area Arts Alliance Rising Star Award, which recognizes those who enliven and enrich the Akron area arts and culture community.

Humbert is currently promoting his new record recorded in Nashville, TN working with producer Lij (The Living Things, Glenn Tilbrook, Bonnaroo), "Old Souls, New Shoes" featuring RHB bandmates Emily Bates and Ben Evans as well as Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, Jimmy Page, Dixie Chicks), Steve Bowman (Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind), Roger Alan Nichols (Seal, Rodney Atkins), Daniel Tashian (Josh Rouse, Patty Griffin), Dave Jacques (John Prine, Patty Griffin), Jen Gunderman (The Jayhawks, Last Train Home) and Chris Carmichael (Steve Earle, Toby Keith). The album is being mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Jamie Tate (Taylor Swift, Jack Ingram). The record was recorded at Alex The Great Studios in Nashville. This record finds Ryan stepping away from the Americana world to make a pop/rock record full of hooks that is sure to be a hit.