One of the best songwriters to come around over the past 10 years is Nashville's Matthew Ryan. Nobody may be more adept at capturing the struggles and feel of the everyman than Ryan, who has flexed his writing prowess with 11 releases in 11 years. We caught Matthew's show the other night at the Living Room in NYC, where he appeared for a stripped down acoustic set. The low key intimate setting of the small room combined with the fact that it was just Ryan on an acoustic guitar accompanied by Molly Thomas on violin and keys, made it easy to soak in the depth and emotion of Ryan's powerful lyrics.
Drawing on his vast catalogue of songs, Ryan mixed the set with old favorites like "Beautiful Fool" from his first release Mayday back in 97', "Me And My Lover" from East Autumn Grin, and even "Cars And History" from his side project, Strays Don't Sleep. Heavier tracks like "American Dirt" off the new album took on new life in the acoustic environment, while current single "Some Streets Lead Nowhere"(to stream click here) which segued into "Caged Bird" seemed tailor made for the room. Other highlights included the standout track "Everybody Always Leaves" and the Pogues cover "Rainy Night in Soho". Sticking with the intimate vibe of the evening, Ryan closed out the set by wandering into the crowd and taking requests, which included a goose bump raising version of one of Ryan's finest new tracks "It Could've Been Worse" off the new album.
To get a taste of Ryan's songwriting you can check out the new album Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State which is available on 2minutes59 in the US and One Little Indian in the UK, or visit his myspace below.
Matthew Ryan on myspace.
Story contributed by Jean-Paul Paraskevas