Ryan Shearing

Ryan Shearing

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Ryan Shearing's ragged and honest style of alternative folk ranges from story songs to drinking ballads to country stomps. He is backed by The Ghost of Belle Starr - a band made up of members of Toronto indie band The Dress Whites, who elevate every song with inspired and nuanced arrangements.


While doubling as lead guitarist for Montreal/Toronto indie rock band The Dress Whites, Ryan Shearing has been gaining praise and recognition as a songwriter and solo artist in his own right. He seems to thrive within a stripped-down setting, with his subtle guitar playing complementing his evocative lyrics. Many of his songs move with the feel of short stories, as in “Broken Side Of Town” – in which the isolation of an old man and his pet dogs is lamented with the line “lonely things they die without a sound”.

Musically, Ryan draws on various folk traditions – sometimes a fingerpicked ballad, sometimes a bluegrass stomp. Treading a kind of “alternative-folk” area, Shearing’s music has drawn comparisons to contemporary artists such as Iron & Wine and M. Ward. Still, one could describe his voice as being somewhere in between Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen and early Tom Waits. His ragged vocal delivery ties each song together with heartbreaking melodies.

Ryan's debut album “By The Stairs” is an original 11 track collection of travelling songs and drinking ballads produced by Gern f. of The United Steel Workers of Montreal and recorded at UrbanHanded Works Studio. The album features Ryan on vocals, guitars, mandolin and piano;as well as vocal harmonies from Gern f. & Felicity Hamer (of the United Steel Workers of Montreal); and Scott LeBlanc & Denis Woods (of The Dress Whites). The raw and subtle textures of the record carry the listener through scenes of dusty highways and afterhours alleyways.

"By The Stairs" is currently available online at CD Baby and at Indigo in Montreal.

As he has recently relocated to Toronto, Ryan is now performing at various venues in Toronto and Montreal - both solo and with his backing band The Ghost of Belle Starr.

#5 BEST SINGER/SONGWRITER - Montreal Mirror's Best of Montreal 2007
#9 BEST OVERALL MUSICAL ACT - Montreal Mirror's Best of Montreal 2007

“Songwriting like Townes Van Zandt and a voice like Tom Waits.”

Steve Meyers - Radiofreemontreal

"Every time I hear Ryan's music I stop what I'm doing and just wanna do what he's doing."

Gern f. - The United Steel Workers of Montreal

"A compelling voice and a talented storyteller."

Two Way Monologues


Georgia Rae

Written By: Ryan Shearing

What do you say Miss Georgia Rae?
"Going away from home.
Going away from home" she said
"I'm gonna learn to be alone"

"What do you got?" say all the cops
"I've got the landlord blues.
I've got the landlord blues" I said
"but it's really nothing new"

You're noticing the city getting old
You'll find you will be sleeping in the cold
It's something you were told
Like the trees in the graveyard moaning so low
Are ghosts of the folks who didn't want to go

What do you see Miss Rosa Lee?
"A flood is on the way.
A flood is on the way" she said
"You'd better find a place to stay"

"But what do you do with a busted shoe
And a dog who just won't swim?
My dog he just won't swim, I guess I'd better find a place for him"

You're running through the woods down by the stream
Reflecting light reminds you of a dream
Or something you have seen
Like the girl in the schoolyard running all alone
Messing up the dress with the patch her mom had sewn

So I'm on my way with Georgia Rae
We're going away from home
We're going away from home, I guess we're gonna learn to be alone


"By The Stairs" - full-length album available now at www.cdbaby.com/cd/shearingryan

1. Georgia Rae
2. Blood In The Water
3. Broken Side Of Town
4. Daily News
5. Don't Leave Your Jacket
6. By The Stairs
7. New Orleans
8. Porchlight
9. I'll See You Around
10. One Good Eye
11. The Chill