Ryan Purcell
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Ryan Purcell

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock

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Jul
06
Ryan Purcell @ Choockokam Music and Arts festival

LAngley, None, USA

LAngley, None, USA

Jun
01
Ryan Purcell @ Bob’s Java Jive

TAcoma, None, USA

TAcoma, None, USA

May
25
Ryan Purcell @ Columbia City Theater

Seattle, Washington, USA

Seattle, Washington, USA

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Music

Press


Ryan Purcell and the Last Round reminds me of Paul Westerberg's The Replacements with an added Kenny Loggins feel ... something. I don't know. I do know this band equals a fun night - The Weekly Volcano


Seattle country-rock troubadour Ryan Purcell clearly worships at the altar of cantankerous cowboy Townes Van Zandt and his protégé Steve Earle, but in a Pacific Northwesterner's voice. The intro to "Enough" brings "Ohio" to mind; it's a strong, woody country number that burns like a neat double bourbon. Not all the songs on Purcell's album Kick the Dirt have quite the same, ah, kick, but even in its weakest moments, it sticks in the craw like a hunk of dry biscuit. - Seattle Weekly


Ryan Purcell plants the flag on the very first
song on Kick the Dirt, demanding what are we
supposed to do with a President who “won’t admit
he did some blow?” That would be on the song
“Guantanamo,” the first of an entire album of
thoughtfully clever, funny, and teeny-bit-sarcastic
lyrics. Purcell delivers these with a bar rocker’s
shout over a grungy-country combo of acoustic
guitars, drums, pedal steel, and honky tonk piano,
the latter giving the whole sound an antique-y
edge. The record was recorded with a deliberate
roughness, too, for an urgent, immediate, no-frills
live sound. Comes in a “brown bag” cardboard
cover, too – see, the man’s a thinker. Not that it
interferes with his badboy sensibility, that deftly
evokes the Party Country of Hank Jr & Rowdy
Friends. “When Was the Last Time the Bottle Let
You Down?” Purcell cracks on one typical track,
putting a slightly unbalanced spin on the usual
country fare. He’s got the pick-up, the good ol’
buddies and the ex-girlfriends, too, but we’ve not
heard of them quite this way before. Now, at the
end of the CD he gets back to politics with “The
Decider,” which is as blunt as “Guantanamo” was
artful, and which also eschews the dusty twang for
full-on thrash metal, radio-unsafe lyrics and all.
You’re warned. All in all, though, Ryan Purcell
is an impressive talent we look to hearing more
from. (Tom Petersen) - Victory Music Review


This might sound stupid but when I go to a bar I want to hear songs about a bar. I want to hear whiskey and beer and screwin’ around with dangerous women. I want a soundtrack, really. On Kick The Dirt Ryan Purcell manages to give me some of that wrapped up in a lengthy nine tracks. Like I said, Purcell only gives me some of that. Half of these songs are about drinkin’ and women, the other half about politics.

The first song, “Guantanamo”, nearly put me off because of the sarcastic nature of the lyrics but I stuck around for the rest because of Purcell’s gravelly voice (nearly every singer I like sounds like emphysema amplified) and I’m glad I did. The second and third song here are sweaty, drunk, country blues bar band music. I swear I thought Faces were playing when I first heard “Palmer’s Pickup Blues”. Purcell himself even sounds like Rod Stewart momentarily. Another one I really enjoy, “Enough”, continues in the same vein with a little Neil Young influence. If I knew dick about chords and notes I could probably figure out if he was ripping off “Alabama” or not.

I prefer Purcell’s drinkin songs to the political stuff although the final track, “The Decider”, is a politically charged punk song straight out of left field about the goings on right now in our government. Normally I avoid music and politics but the final lines sum up exactly how I feel about the hypocritical dissent going on in America right now. People seem to forget who they voted for. [Interestingly, I think you wrote this before the recent election, and yet, the above is no less true.-Cric][It was written during Bush's tenure, yes.--Mick]

The gruff voice is the charm for me but musically these songs are solid numbers with this sort of melancholic-but-functionally-drunk thought process. After looking at his MySpace, Purcell is a parallel to John Eddie in a way. A proficiently capable rock’n'roller in his forties, singin’ about things dissatisfied guys sing about. From Purcell’s own site, “here’s a collection of songs that make you wonder why it is you’re drinking and if you are then why the hell aren’t you at the very least drinking with friends.”

Yep.

[I fucking love the political songs here. Purcell is from my neck of the woods, so maybe we are all just really folk singing hippies on the West Coast, who knows. Also, speaking for the ladies, Purcell's voice is kind of honky tonk sex. Makes you think of waking up in strange room, hearing the shower, noticing cowboy boots that aren't yours tumbled on the floor and instantly regretting what you don't remember about the night before.--Cricket] - HARDCORE TROUBADORS


Craggy, lanky, rock-tinged twang with curious, cranky lyrics and solid musicianship. My attention was drawn this Seattle-based band by the presence of Jim Sangster, a founding member of the fabled Young Fresh Fellows, one of the most musically accomplished indie rock bands around, and certainly the rangy Mr. Purcell shares some of the YFF's aggressive eclectic vibe. I'm also reminded of a bunch of '70s hippiebilly obscuros, folks like Ed Sanders, The Band, Terry Allen... or more recently, the work of the late Jim Luther Dickinson, whose records aren't terribly accessible to a mainstream audience, but sure can shed a lot of light on attentive, committed listeners. This album is bookended by a couple of anti-George Dubya Bush anthems ("Guantanamo" and "The Decider") but it's more of a dusty-trucks-and-leaning-shacks, hard-drinking Americana album than a big lefty political screed. I'm not sure how much of this I'd come back to listen to recreationally, but I found this to be a consistently engaging, unusual album, with musical strength and thematic depth... Worth checking out! - Joe SIxpacks county music guide


Ryan Purcell grew up in so many places that it’s hard to put them all on a list! Amongst The Netherlands and Germany, he also hanged out in Chicago, North Dakota, Iowa and many other places. There where two constants is his live! Music and the knowledge he would move again, in the future! Although the music was ever evolving, the basic of it all was the folk inspired music his father used to play.

Opening the album is an alt.country tune Guantanamo Bay. A tune against the Bush administration, a subject that became fashionable in the genre the last couple of years! While the subject lacks inspiration it shows the craftsmanship of Mr Purcell and of course his rather unique voice. Luckily he leaves the beaten path quickly to perform some great tunes. “Enough” is reminiscent to mid seventies Neil Young tunes while “Hitparade” throws in some pop/rock influences. The latter is not that surprising knowing that the album is produced by Johnny Sangster (Ex Young Fresh Fellows). Helping Ryan out on drums is nobody else but Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees, Niko Case), while his brother Evan takes on slide and lead guitar. More great songs can be heard in “Palmer’s Pick up blues” and the closing song “The decider”, all of which are self-penned tunes.

On many occasions you can hear his folk roots and the influences of that fifties songbook they thought him at home. But besides that “Kick the dirt” throws in some good rocking tunes and it’s the combination of those styles and genres that makes of Kick the Dirt a quite enjoyable album with an almost punk rock attitude. - Billybop reviews


Booze and hatin' on the President, is anything more American than that? According to Ryan Purcell, who is joined by ex-members of Young Fresh Fellows and Screaming Trees, no. With titles like "The Decider" and "Guantanamo," following the tradition of songwriters like Steve Earle and Johnny Cash, Purcell's battle-scarred vocals lead the singalongs on topics like whiskey, gambling, Alabama, marijuana, beer, Jesus, mud, lying to himself, politics, being forty-four years old, gin, sweat, gunpowder, blood and just flat out anti-war rants. - 75 words or less




There’s much to like about Ryan Purcell – his politics for a start. Some of the songs offered here tick all the right boxes for a left leaning website such as our own: “Guantanamo” means what it says and “The Decider”, coded in a rollicking bar room sing-a-longa-rock, positively spits bile in ‘The (U.S.) Governments’ face. Elsewhere there are songs about drinking; “Palmer’s Pick Up Blues” and “When Was The Last Time The Bottle Let You Down” which will also appeal to many. There are songs of social conscience and songs about love to mix the themes up a bit. All good stuff and all couched in a blue-collar down to earth Americana that takes in vaudeville, steel guitar balladry, the odd guitar fuzziness, hoe-downish country and clip-clop paced story telling. Purcell’s voice holds the whole thing together and if Mojo Nixon rawness is your thing then you’ll like what you hear from Purcell. The stand out track is “Enough” - the young middle aged man’s search for reason in a strange old world (apparently it uses the guitar figure form The Archies “Sugar Sugar” which is reason alone to consider it a work of some merit). Kudos also for recognising the English past-time of getting drunk (or tight as he puts it). Should bring a smile to many faces (the website is well worth a look too). - Americana UK


Discography

PICK ME UP - 2012 - “A perfect country rock record. The title track shimmers.’ The Seattle Weekly.

KICK THE DIRT - 2008

Airplay on:
KEXP 90.3, WNCW 88.7, 96.5 innerFM (Australia) KSER 90.7, KAOS 89.3, KBCS 91.3 and many others.

Reached number 12 on the Euro Americana charts forJuly 2008.
Best of 2008 96.5 IinnerFM

Photos

Bio

The unique sound of two brothers singing together has fueled many a great band and when Ryan Purcell asked his brother Evan to join him playing and singing on "Kick the Dirt," something special was started. With their high energy live shows they channel punk rock aggression and a love of 70's classic rock. They throw in some folk, some blues, soul and country honky tonk - and blend it all into a sound that is a vital evolution of the genre.

Their new recording Pick Me Up was called “A perfect country rock record.’ by the Seattle Weekly.