Mon 1/14/2019
@Root Cafe
Lakewood, OH


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About B. Ryan B.

"B" is a stage musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Y'know, that guy who sang "Cleveland is Your Land."

Latest videos

Woodstock 49 playlist, The Fest Alleluia & Offertory.
More details in the Blog below.

B. Ryan Blog

O Holy Night

Mon 12/24/2018

New music video released today! Ever since I was introduced to Jazz A Cappella group Take 6, I've wanted to release an album of songs in that style. It's a lot of work and, with other albums already in the works, it will take a few years.

Still, sometimes, the inspiration grabs me, and I know it's just right. That happened this Advent while I was listening to "O Holy Night" on Tony Pulizzi's solo guitar album of Christmas music. It's such a beautiful arrangement of such a peaceful song. And I don't know about you, but this year, I've needed that kind of peace. I had to cover it A Cappella. Tony kindly agreed.

The music video is here. Pass it on!

A week off

Sun 10/21/2018

Taking two weeks off recording, after some encouraging progress, to get some more inspiration.

Tonight I saw – and met! – Acoustic Alchemy at The Kent Stage. I first discovered their music in the early 1990's, when I spun their albums on WBGU. Tonight: a beatiful stage, dizzying chord progressions masked by lilting melodies. And such precision.

Next week, I drive a refreshingly-short distance to the professional Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) conference and gathering in Grand Rapids. It never fails to kick up my creative juices.

Seven songs down

Tue 10/16/2018

Just got out of a looong recording session. Excited about how the songs sound. I'm itching to share them with you, but as you probably know, the rule is to wait for the big reveal when they're done. (Brisk sigh.)

Just see them

Sun 9/9/2018

If I didn't have a conflict, I'd go see Ani DiFranco & Peter Mulvey at The Kent Stage this Tuesday.

Please, everyone go... and someone, please come back and tell me all about it! I got to hang out over breakfast with Peter at a Folk Alliance conference recently, but only got to see him actually perform a few songs.

Three songs down

Sun 8/26/2018

Just got out of the recording studio, very excited for the year's progress. For my upcoming project, three of my original songs are done! Recorded, mixed, tweaked, and ready to walk out into the world to inspire peace and joy for others.

The titles are "Serenity," "Understanding," and a super-secret one. Also, "Time to Blow" and "Bird Watcher" could be done, except that I'd like to invite some very special guest musicians to contribute their art. More info to come.

Woodstock 49

Sun 8/12/2018

This must be what it's like for my fellow musicians who travel. Yesterday, I drove from home in Ohio to the Woodstock reunion in New York, on the hallowed farm where it all began. Unloaded, played the gig, and started back home that night. Made it back to Cleveland in time for a wedding reception.

That's not what the event, officially called Yasgur Road Reunion, is really all about though. It's a bona fide love-in, a weekend of music, camping, drum circles, and community. My bandmates stayed longer; I wish I could have.

By the way, I would be remiss not to congratulate my Acoustic Joyride bandmates on a job well done. Beautiful music (videos coming), and a lot of patience as a technical glitch shortened our set. Namaste!

Update: the videos are posted. My favorite might be Moondance, but they're all in this YouTube playlist. Our pal Kathleen Cassidy also posted videos here on her Facebook page. All those videos' sound quality doesn't do justice to how fans told us it sounded, and again, the community of overwhelmingly loving people is impossible to represent on film.

The Fest recap

Mon 8/6/2018

OMG, how beautiful! This event deserves so many superlatives. Every year, they pull out all the stops. The choir: over 150 voices, a dozen cantors, another dozen co-celebrants with Bishop Perez, lectors and other liturgical ministers, the huge rock stage, the lights (ha, "Be the...?" "Light!"), video screens, pageantry, ... (gasp)! Stay tuned for videos.

And hey, if you didn't attend this year, then please mark your calendar for next year's Fest on 8/4/2019. Whether I'm there or not, it will again be huge.

Update: Videos are available of me singing the Alleluia (including a verse in the Chamorro language) and the Offertory, where I was actually "speaking in tongues" including phrases in Polish, German, Malay, and Tagalog. The Fest themselves posted a 60-second recap video here. Cleveland's NBC affiliate WKYC Channel 3 posted photos here. Also, if you're on Facebook, my exclusive photos are here. (While you're there, like and follow my page here for more frequent updates.) The diocese posted dozens more photos here.

Cantoring at The Fest

Sat 7/21/2018

I'm honored to again be invited to cantor (lead song) at The Fest mass, in front of the Lord and about 25,000 Christians. No idea which part I'll be singing yet; stay tuned.

I'll tell you a secret. I still get a little stage fright under certain circumstances. I've played in front of large groups before, like Cain Park. Meh, no stage fright. The crowd's relaxed, I'm relaxed. But at church, The Guy Upstairs is watching. It's like singing in front of the biggest producer ever.

Well, anxiety aside, The Fest is always an incredibly moving experience -- the way I kinda wish every worship service could be. So many people volunteer and cooperate to make it huge. And by the way, no one checks your "Christian" membership; the full-day festival, including the music is free to all!

Short solo stint

Thu 6/28/2018

Well, that was fun! Today's was the second show this month where I played a full set of songs, solo, on a night that one of my bands headlined. I could play more often as a soloist, but it's more fun when there are other good singers to harmonize with.

I gotta tell you, today was a scorcher! That corner concrete patio seemed to amplify the summer sun. Luckily, the sun cooled down, and the crowd heated up as we brought out songs for every generation.

Loving your art

Mon 5/21/2018

I get it. You don't like your yearbook and driver's license photos. You don't like making a voice-mail announcement because you don't like how your voice sounds.

The best musicians I know feel the same way. In fact, the better your ear, the higher the standards you set for yourself. Some of us can't stand to listen to our recordings. That's one reason it takes so long to release a CD.

It sure helps to have a good recording engineer like mine: Jim Wall at his Blue Buddha Studio in Parma Heights. (Special shout out to my friend, Cleveland Blues legend Becky Boyd for the referral!) The last few months, my yet-to-be-released songs have gotten a lot of polish from Jim's digital dials. It's exciting!

While I'm doling out credit, and dropping names... Turning over my guitar accompaniment to Tom Gorman was one of the smartest things I've done. Thanks also to Lynne Hoffman-Engel at Baldwin Wallace University for some much-needed vocal coaching.

Following Kat McDowell

Tue 5/15/2018

While taking a little break from recording my own stuff, I gave a listen to recent release by Kat McDowell, who I had the pleasure of sitting in with a couple years ago.

"A Little Rain," (music video here) like much of her other music, is earworm quality, joyous, and uplifting. Props for the video artistry too. If you could use a little joy, watch this, and get her CD.

Remembering New Horizons

Sat 3/17/2018

No musician ever forgets their first time being played on the radio. That's pretty special.

My first time was in the 1990's, on BGSU's student-hosted radio station, WBGU-fm 88.1, one Sunday night.

The program, called New Horizons, was primarily a New Age show, but stretched that definition to include electronic and acoustic music, occasionally featuring (or even debuting) local recording artists such as Tom Gorman, Odd Girl Out, Tony Pulizzi, and me.

Some of the show's playlists have survived, and are now published on this tribute site.

B. Ryan Bio

When B's not taking his own music on the road, he's played bass guitar and other instruments for Northern Ohio-based bands including classic folk rock group The FlipSide, acoustic funk trio the Will Cheshier Tiny Orchestra, prolific folk singer-songwriter Tom Gorman, 80's bar band Blame Willie, and 70's cover band Acoustic Joyride.

In the past, he's sat in with such acts as Anne E. DeChant, Wallace Coleman, Diana Chittester, Brian Henke, Crazy Marvin, Desmond and Molly, the late Rob Cosma, and Kat McDowell.

B can also be found behind-the-scenes, engineering sound and providing other musician support. He has emceed Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) a few times since 2010.