Ryan Lee Crosby

Ryan Lee Crosby

BandPop

"Ryan Lee Crosby has turned his story, once sad and seemingly doomed, into a tale of redemption and freedom found through music. His voice, haunting and lithe, is at the forefront with threadbare honesty." (James Reed, Boston Globe)

Biography

RYAN LEE CROSBY
By Ted Drozdowski

Honesty can be ferocious. Shocking, really, in our culture of perpetual hype, viral marketing and endless spin. That’s why a pure openhearted statement like Ryan Lee Crosby’s debut "There is no Music" has the power of a silent canon blast.

The young singer-songwriter with a warm, natural voice and extensive sonic guitar vocabulary doesn’t want to sell you on anything — not an image, not a stylized musical approach, not manufactured cool.

Crosby’s beautiful melodies and dynamic singing, coupled with his perceptive and often highly personal lyrics, are an immediate notice that the music business machine doesn’t have its cogs buried in his heart. If anything, Crosby’s message is to believe—in ourselves, in the power and strength of the human spirit, and in music’s capacity for healing and joy—even if that requires bucking all the odds.

"There is no Music," which won Crosby the award for Best Singer/Songwriter in the prestigious 2006 Boston Phoenix/WFNX Radio Best Music Poll, sparks such little epiphanies. They ignite from the soft patter of acoustic guitar that’s the album’s backbone, and in the wild electric excursions of lead guitar. Fused with his emotionally raw lyrics, the album is a trip through the highs and lows in Crosby’s own heart and mind that becomes something broader in the narration.

Crosby began writing these songs after besting an addiction to tranquilizers that was compounded by habitual drinking. He was also in an estranged relationship with his father that was complicated further by guilt when the elder Crosby contracted cancer. Add to that the fall-out from the break-up of his previous band, Cancer to the Stars, which had lived in the territory between trip-hop, punk and sleek modern Anglo pop.

Crosby says, "I had to make a clean break with my past. After I stopped abusing tranquilizers and anti-psychotic medication, I began to feel the need to communicate, which developed into a rabid interest in folk and popular music. I was obsessed with its potential for connecting people."

Crosby’s autobiographical tales of struggle amount to a larger investigation of what it means to be human — to feel pain, confusion, need, delight and hope at fever pitches, as peaks in the valleys of routine that make up our daily lives.

(Ted Drozdowski is a musician and freelance journalist. His writing has appeared in the Boston Phoenix, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Guitar World,
Musician and countless other publications across the globe. He is the leader and slide guitarist of the internationally touring Mississippi hill country influenced cutting edge juke joint band Scissormen.)

Lyrics

Obey Me

Written By: Ryan Lee Crosby

Please do that trick where you throw your arms around me!
Do that little thing
where you show me I am free.
Free from the world
and responsibilities...
I want to be completely disarmed.

Understand exactly how I feel
Tell me things that make the world seem real.

When I was alone,
I didn't want to know
A better way to live.
I was too sensitive.
Completely disarmed.

Maybe it will be ok when I
Lose it all and do not have to try.
Baby can you make me
free from harm?

The axe inside my head
makes me as good as dead!
With the ways that I behave
Pretending to be true to you.

Show me it will be ok when I
Take my time
and do not have to lie.
Awful things in my past I have done
to everyone...

Please do that trick where you throw your arms around me!
Do that little thing
where you show me I am free.
Free from the world and responsibilities...
I wanna be completely disarmed.

Show me it will be ok when I
Take my time
and do not have to lie.
All the things in my past
I have done...

In a Little While (Everything Will Be Alright)

Written By: Ryan Lee Crosby

Everything will be alright
If I tell you it just might
Everything will be alright
In a little while.

Somewhere out there
an ambulance screams for you.
Somewhere out there
lights spin and shine for you...
Doing what you asked them to.

Everything will be alright
You and I don't have to fight
Everything will be alright
In a little while.

Maybe it was not our fault.
I know you and I
have been through it all,
With our backs against the wall.

Everything will be alright
If you and I survive the night
Everything will be alright
In a little while.

Everything will be alright
If I tell you it just might
Everything will be alright
In a little while.

Somewhere out there
lights spin and shine for you.

Discography

"There is no Music" by Ryan Lee & the Mindless (Solari Records)

Single "Obey Me" from "There is no Music" included on the WFNX/Newbury Comics compilation "Wicked Good Boston Bands 2."

"Split Cassette" by Ryan Lee Crosby b/w the Instances (Sort Of Records)

"Factory Heart" CD Single by Cancer to the Stars (Black Dirt Records)

"Return of the Invisible Man" (Last Day Left Records)

"Every Day Escape" by Cancer to the Stars (Last Day Left Records)

Songs streaming at www.myspace.com/ryanleemusic

Set List

40 minutes of original music and covers of such artists as Nico, Bad Brains, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Daniel Johnston, Big Star, Iggy Pop and Leonard Cohen.