Ed Ryan

 
singer, songwriter, musician, comedian
   

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Space Junkies Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 10, April 2004
(http://www.spacejunkies.net/kathys_review.html)

Written by Astrid Sutcliff; this article appeared in Space Junkies Magazine, April 2004.

ED RYAN: "Make It So"
by Astrid Sutcliff

I'm sure there's been a time in everyone's lives where they've heard an unsigned artist's music or have seen a local artist perform and were so impressed by their talent that they couldn't stop wondering to themselves, "Why doesn't the rest of the world know about this person?" and "Why isn't their music on the radio?" The answer to the first question usually is a multitude of reasons including lack of funds and contacts and being in the wrong place at wrong time, etc. But one only has to listen to the tripe on mainstream radio to realize the answer to the second question. The reason why "Make it So," the new solo debut release by Long Island native ED RYAN does not receive airplay on mainstream radio is quite simply, because it is far too good for it.

The 16 track CD has enough hooks to make a tin-pan-alley veteran envious and the lyrics are both intelligent and clever. The feel of most of the songs are optimistic, humorous and honest. Judging by his words, Ryan, a veteran of the music scene since the mid 80's, has probably had more than one been-to-hell-and-back period in his life. Many of the songs appear to be musical apologies or thank you's directed toward something, whether it is a person or a spiritual entity, which has helped him through some critical moments. This is not to say the CD sounds like you're reading a self-help book or sitting through a 12-step meeting. On "Angel of Mercy," for instance, there are the words, "I'm touching hope that I could not see. Say the words; I'll do it if it pleases. I'm on my knees and I'm thanking you, Jesus." (That song also happens to have outstanding vocals throughout but especially during the last chorus). Ryan's music is also romantic in nature, yet far from trite or sappy. For example, on "She's Mine All Mine" he sings, "She took me up right into heaven with the sweetest love she's giving. On a good day, she's an eleven, on a bad day, she's a nine."

Ryan's humor is also prevalent throughout. "Mouse in the House," tells the tale of a friendship (or former band-mate, perhaps) that has gone awry. The lyrics contain a Monty Pythonesque taste - "Whack! Did you hear that sound? Another vermin homicide just went down. Now I can feel my life is switching, now there's one less rat in my kitchen." I don't think I'd ever want to be on this guy's bad side.

One of my personal favorites, however, doesn't fall into any of the above categories. "The S.S. Marie" is a song that falls into that rare form of early Dylan story-telling - no repeat chorus or bridge, just verses telling the tale of a conflict between two brothers on a ship named the S.S. Marie. Expertly written and performed, the tune takes the listener's mind on a suspenseful 5:20 film that holds the attention throughout.

As if there wasn't enough things to be impressed with regarding the songwriting and the vocals (a tenor voice with an outstanding range which resonates beautifully in the lower notes and strong and full on the higher ones) all of the instruments and background vocals were performed by Ryan. The quality of the recording is exceptional as well, engineered by Mike Sapone at Sapone Productions in Bethpage, NY.

 

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