Sherry Ryan
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Sherry Ryan

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | SELF

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2005
Duo Americana Folk




"New Sherry Ryan album, named for destructive NL winds, could take the roots scene by storm"

At the southern end of the Long Range Mountains in Newfoundland, there is a stretch of land where hurricane force winds known as ‘Wreckhouse winds’ occasionally blow to gusts of 200 km per hour. Award-winning Newfoundland folk/country singer Sherry Ryan takes the title of her latest album, Wreckhouse, from this area of the island notorious for blowing trains right off their tracks.

As an homage to the Wreckhouse area, Sherry co-wrote the song “Stop the Trains” with her father Jim Ryan, who worked for the Newfoundland Railroad. Local St. John’s paper The Overcast describes the song as a “honky-tonk shuffle in the vein of Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams, and it’s got all the hallmarks of a country classic in the making”.

The lyrics reference Lauchie MacDougall, the legendary human wind gauge who could ‘smell the wind’ and worked for the railroad from 1939-1965. There’s no doubt that Sherry knows how to tell a good story, and her instantly recognizable voice radiates on this catchy song.

Hailed as Newfoundland’s “answer to Lucinda Williams” by UP Magazine, Wreckhouse features Sherry’s signature cut-to-the-chase lyrics, rocking country rhythms, and 60’s vibe. The first two singles, “Natural Law” and “I Made it on My Own,” are stellar tunes on an album that would make a great addition to any summer soundtrack.

There may be no trains left on the island of Newfoundland, but Wreckhouse winds remain. With her newest release, Sherry Ryan is proving herself as a force to be reckoned with. Catch her as she breezes through a few cities this month with her songs in tow.

Sherry Ryan in concert:

May 25 – The Burdock, Toronto
May 26 – The Arlington Hotel and Pub, Maynooth (Bancroft), ON
May 29 – Brasserie Beaubien, Montreal
May 30 – Musiikki Cafe, Kingston, ON
May 31 – Artword Theatre, Hamilton, ON
June 1 – House on Queen, Stratford, ON
June 2 – The Windsor Beer Exchange, Windsor, ON
June 6 – Folk Night at the Ship, St. John’s, NL
June 8 – Concert at The WaterShed, Petty Harbour, NL
June 24 – Grate’s Cove Studio, Grate’s Cove, NL
July 12 – Old Cottage Hospital, Norris Point, NL
July 17 – Passing the Time Festival, Trout River, NL
July 25 – Soundbone Summer Music Series, Musgrave Harbour, NL
Aug. 17 – Two Whales Coffee Shop, Port Rexton, NL
Aug. 23 – The Garrick Annex w/ Peter Willie Youngtree, Bonavista, NL - Roots Music Canada

"Sherry Ryan’s Wreckhouse “A Soundtrack To Life’s Heartaches And Hurrahs”"

It’s been 6 years since her last album, Sister of Mine and a lot can happen in the span of 6 years: births, deaths, marriages, divorce, etc. Wreckhouse is Sherry Ryan’s 4th album, and like each previous release, the songs on Wreckhouse are a soundtrack for all of life’s twists and turns, heartaches and hurrahs. Through it all, Ryan’s warm voice blankets you with comfort, even if you want to crawl under that blanket with a bottle of your preferred whiskey.

Ryan has always melded country, folk, and blues together easily. While she doesn’t set out to reinvent herself, Wreckhouse opens big in a way that feels different from previous albums. The first track (and single), “Natural Law,” kicks in with swirling organ, electric guitars, and a steady, driving beat. Sounding a bit like Chrissy Hynde, Ryan steps to the mic and confidently delivers this pop-rock number with the right amount of country swagger.

If you’re a fan of Ryan’s signature heartbreaker ballads though, fear not: there’s heartbreak a plenty to go around. On “Long Awaited Question,” Ryan confesses, “I’m afraid to ask do you feel better without me, I’m afraid the last thing on your mind is me.” “Cool and Clear,” “On Paper,” and “After Whiskey Before Breakfast”; they’re all beautiful, classic Sherry Ryan tearjerkers.

Still, one of my favourite qualities of Ryan’s as a songwriter has always been her sense of humour: never one to wallow facedown, Ryan dusts herself off with cheeky reprieves throughout the album.

“Stop The Trains” is one such moment. Written with her father Jim, for whom the album is dedicated, the song tells the story of working the trains in Wreckhouse, Newfoundland, an infamous stretch of rail where high winds were known to blow trains straight of their tracks.

It’s a toe-tapping, honky-tonk shuffle in the vein of Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams, and it’s got all the hallmarks of a country classic in the making.

On the album’s quieter moments, the decision to record live off the floor works perfectly. Ryan’s rich voice holds so much nuance within it. It’s earnest and even delicate at times, yet equally purposeful and powerful. All of this comes through effortlessly on songs like “Cool and Clear,” and “Paper.” On songs like “Natural Law,” and “Ferry Won’t Wait,” though, the crackling energy of the live band can jockey a bit too much for attention with Ryan’s voice.

Sherry Ryan can pen tunes with the best of them, but it’s that voice that immediately draws you in. Anne Murray, Camera Obscura’s Tracey Anne Campbell, and the inevitable comparisons to Lucinda Williams, all come to mind, but really, Ryan has an arresting voice that’s all her own.

If you’ve been a fan of her’s up to now, Wreckhouse surely won’t disappoint. It’s Sherry Ryan hitting her stride in full, offering you a seat for the ride, through it all, thick and thin. Standout tracks: “Stop The Train,” “I Made It On My Own.” - The Overcast

"Spellbinding release of distinguished quality."

Sherry Ryan

Wonderful Cures



Spellbinding release of distinguished quality.

From Newfoundland with the voice of a spirited Lucinda Williams, this second album by the hugely successful Sherry Ryan proves further evidence to the claim that Bob Harris has of the high number of great artists coming out of the Canadian woodwork right now; Sherry should by all means be counted in that musical camp for certain.

The emotionally provocative Heap of Human Kindness will surely be listed in the top-ten tracks of all time by those who hear it. It has a counterculture feeling about it due to the style of the picking, which it seems at times transports its audience to the not-too-distant past. As with many of the tracks on the album, Take it Anyway effortlessly creates an aura of peace about it which I’m sure Sherry was writing at her happiest. When her childhood home was the tranquil Newfoundland, who can blame this happiness still existing in Sherry and finding itself on such tracks? Downtrodden Hampshire in England somehow doesn’t quite compare with the picturesque Canadian territory. Drown the Blues has the loudest and grooviest sound of the eleven tracks that includes some traditional blues and rock and roll in its mix. It gradually builds up from a musical cocoon until the butterfly of vitality that is this song is truly able to fly from its previous mellow instrumental and harmonic tendencies.

An artist to prove that Canadian music just keeps getting better and better, this album is further proof that life becomes more enjoyable when hearing such tracks and makes living that little bit extra special. RH - MAVERICK

"Sherry Ryan Wonderful Cures"

"Holy Sh..t. and we thought her debut was a beauty...even better. This potent follow-up establishes a new plateau for Sherry Ryan as both a songwriter and vocalist and the band absolutely cooks. Especially Mick Davis (Novaks, Mark Bragg)...his best playing ever. Move over Lucinda, move over Gillian. There's a new peer in town."
Fred's Records - Fred's Records

"Sherry Ryan Sure Thing"

Newfoundland's Sherry Ryan has found heartfelt remedy in song form. She's been healthfully touring her sophomore album 'Wonderful Cures' She shares it with us, along with her friends Joe Belly and Erika Werry, at FRED on July 12.
"The title comes from a book I found at a secondhand bookstore in St. John's about natural remedies from Newfoundland," says Ryan. "I think it's a good name for the collection of songs for this album. There's less hurtin' and more healing.
Produced by Mark Bragg and recorded with Don Ellis, Ryan’s album is a masterpiece that explores old wounds, light and darkness and love and loss. The singer’s 2005 debut ‘Bottom of a Heart’ garnered her female artist of the year award at 2006’s Music Newfoundland awards.
Ryan has the instrumentation of Lucinda Williams, the heart of Gillian Welch, and the potential legacy of Ron Hynes at her feet.
“Most people are saying that I sound more confident both lyrically and vocally.” she says. “Then there are some folks who aren’t so comfortable with the change in my sound. They like the first record better. So it’s definitely different then my first record. That’s what‘s important.”
Ryan’s vocal’s spread from buttery, warm wholesomeness into harrowing sadness and deep-rooted soul. She wanders a personal path of self-discovery throughout her lyrical repertoire, while remaining true to good storytelling. Each song represents another chapter in the chambers of Ryan’s heart.
The album is straight up. It was recorded live with a three-piece band accompanying my guitar and vocals. There is some organ and piano overdubbing and a couple of tracks, but this album is definitely more stripped down that ‘Bottom of a Heart.”
- Shannon Webb-Campbell - The Coast

"Bottom of a Heart"

December 23, 2005: That the human voice is a finite commodity is a truism. That is, until you hear a voice so distinctively different that all the rules are changed. Sherry Ryan is a relative unknown — but only because not enough people have caught wind of her sizeable talents. Weaned on country out of Middle Cove, Newfoundland, Sherry’s musical personality reflects that wondrous blend of Newfoundland influences that kick any kitchen party into overdrive through the wee hours of the morning. The overriding direction on this first release is deep country, her voice powered by the haunting spectre of Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells. Closer in timbre to a darker, huskier version of Margo Timmins, Ryan’s vocals soar above predominantly sombre material interspersed with hints of rockabilly (“Best Kiss Ever”), bluegrass (“Simple Things”) and country (“You Broke My Heart”). “One of Those Amazing Nights” is a slow, disarming number that deserves to be on the radio — falling into that awkward alt-country category, but a good representation of Ryan’s best foot forward. A gifted songwriter, these 14 tracks are her own, and clearly not one to be tied down stylistically, her future looks bright. Her voice is so good — so distinct — it’s absolutely unforgettable. If this is the bottom of her heart, I can only look forward to the top. - Eric Thom, Exclaim


Wreckhouse, LP - 2018

Sister of Mine, LP - 2011

Wonderful Cures, LP - 2007

Bottom of a Heart, LP - 2005



MUSIC NL Female Artist of the Year 2018, 2008 & 2006

For over 10 years Sherry Ryan has been winning hearts across the country as one of Newfoundland’s finest singer-songwriters. Drifting between country, blues, and folk, Sherry’s songs can lead you down a path of heartbreak, hope, and even humour in the space of a single chorus. Her highly anticipated fourth album, Wreckhouse, takes its name from the song ‘Stop The Trains’; a gem of a tune written by Sherry and her father, Jim. Her instantly recognizable voice radiates on this Newfoundland classic in the making, and the rest of Wreckhouse is no exception. Couple 10 heartfelt songs, with rich vocals, and phenomenal live off the floor performances from her band, and you have Sherry Ryan’s best work yet. She’s earned nation-wide attention, extensive radio play, and multiple music awards and nominations. A talent in the truest sense of the word, Sherry Ryan continues to ring out true and clear with her newest release.