Ryan Wayne

Ryan Wayne


Wandering troubadour, introspective poet, prolific songwriter, talented frontman. Depending on what time you catch him, all descriptions fit.


Wandering troubadour, introspective poet, prolific songwriter, talented frontman. Depending on what time you catch him, all descriptions fit. But Ryan Wayne really doesn't mind what you call him.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter has just released his debut album Don't Settle. In the tradition of Bob Dylan and Tom waits and contemporaries like Ryan Adams and Conor Oberst, the record is full of delicate melodies, carefully crafted lyrics, and catchy hooks. Its 10 tracks explore themes of love, life, leaving, and coming home again.

For Ryan, home is Oshawa, Ontario. Born and raised in the blue collar town just east of Toronto, he grew up surrounded by music. His father was a song-writing truck driver, and he spent countless summer nights singing with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents at the the family cabin, which has seen generations of songwriters grace its doors. A multi-instrumentalist - he plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica - Ryan started singing and playing at the age of 13. After high school, he moved to London, Ontario, to study science at the University of Western Ontario. During his time there, he juggled playing on the varsity lacrosse team, bartending to pay the rent, and singing with a revolving cast of London musicians at various coffee shops and smoky bars across the city.

After graduation, he took off to the other side of the world, and spent the next two years in Australia, mixing school and his craft. It was there he wrote and recorded what would become Don't Settle with Australian based, 305 productions. After touring Australia and New Zealand, he packed his bags and came back to Canada.

Now based in Toronto, you can catch him at clubs like Hugh's Room, Mitzi's Sister and the Cameron House, playing alongside some of the city's finest musicians like Dave Celia, Romney Getty, Annalise Noronha, Mike Evin, Dylan Murray and Andrew Penner. Ryan is also part of a band, the Warped 45s, which includes his cousin Dave McEathron. They are currently recording tracks for their debut album.

Ryan Wayne, it’s nice to have you back.

Written by Toronto journalist
Mark Medley


Really Don't Mind

Written By: Ryan Wayne McEathron

That gypsy girl had a lot to say
About love and chance and the end of my days
But she never got down to my underneath
Or maybe she did lets wait and see
You were there at the edge of the wall
Holding out a hand that was just to small
So I guess I seen it coming when I took the fall
If I'm dazzled by love and not blinded at all

If I never really get the answers
Then I really don't mind
If I never really get the answers
Then I really don't mind
Really don't mind

You moved hard like a cannonball
So everybody heard when you had a fall
But I never took cover went you went off
I never took shelter 'till I lost it all
But you were like you were meant to be
Harder on the cover thatn the underneath
You can't turn back once you've seen between
That's just starting to occur to me


If I see you out on a downtown street
In a couple of years just a shakin' your feet
Will you show me the time I never paid to see
Or turn to another who was smarter than me
Will I live alone in a Georgian home
On top of a rock in the dark unknown
Will I fall asleep in my daytime clothes
As my tea turns cold right under my nose


Takes a Toll

Written By: Ryan Wayne McEathron

It takes a toll
when you're leaving
when you're leaving
It takes a toll

I don't know
Where you go to
Where you go to
I don't know

But I sure do miss you when you're gone
As sure as a melody makes a song
So nice to have you back
So nice to have you back

I'm a thousand different faces
It depends what time you catch me
But I've never been anything but those

It takes a toll
When you're leaving
When you're leaving
It takes a toll

I don't know
Where you go to
Where you go to
I don't know

Grandpa Carl Kennedy

Written By: Ryan Wayne McEathron

Great Grandpa Carl

On January 16th, 1920 prohibition officially began in the United States when the Volstead act passed through congress to enforce the 18th Amendment
One reporter was quoted as saying “the U.S. will be as dry as the Mississippi mudflats at low-tide”… Boy was he wrong

Great Grandpa Carl Kennedy, you take those bottles down
Across that Detroit River boy and don’t you make a sound
If the coast guard catches up to you, you set that boat ablaze
And hope to hell that you don’t drown in those freezing Erie waves

Carl made his money fast playing Faro and five card draw
And he pumped all of that money into demon alcohol
They say Al Capone made 100 million dollars each and every year
Selling bootlegged Canadian whisky and his own “Log Cabin” beer
Even Carl had two brand new Buicks the boys back home could only adore
And by ’23 he had a house as big as Henry Ford’s

The purple’s ran that river and everything east of the 31
So don’t you dare go alone out there without a fast boat and a gun
But Carl could earn in a week what a good troller/farmer could earn in a year
So he kept on running that whiskey and he kept on running that beer
It’s just a mile across that water and it’s the same thing coming back
But even Al Capone left that river alone he was smart enough /way to smart for that

The bootleg bathtub barons kept the speak-easies flowing free
And the Detroit mayor turned one blind eye as/ and so did the local police
And I’m reminded of something my grandpa said to me when I was just a kid
He said, “Just b/c someone says something’s wrong doesn’t mean that it always is”
But when the state authority hit the streets to see what they were hiding/ could find
They arrested Mayor John Smith and they arrested Sherriff Stein


Ole Carl was just providing a service-he wasn’t hurting anyone
But Gracey T. would disagree, as she’d lie awake alone
And listen to the speedboats and the bullets and the lies
And dream of Hastings county and the simple country life
So when Carl lost it all in one big deal that went mean
They moved back to Hastings County where the rivers wash you clean

They buried old Carl’s body in 1963
In the yard of the Carlow Township United Presbyterian Cemetery End


Ryan Wayne "Don't Settle" 2007

Ryan Wayne is also a co frontman of the band
The Warped 45's who are set to release their new EP, "Turner's Alley" in spring 2008

Set List

1-3 sets
A typical set may include
1) Takes a Toll
2) Back Home
3) Really Don't Mind
4) Gone For Hire
5) Two Month Old Apologies
6) My Baby the Astronaut
7) Stop On a Dime
8) Turner's Alley
9) Oh My Mariah
10) Steel Beach
11) Garbage Can Drums
12) Candles Busy Dancing