Home » Music

Formidable songwriter Ryan Driver offers another taste of the eclectic

[ 16 July 2011 | Print This Post ]
16 July 2011

Ryan Driver is a quietly torrential flow of music, that has been coming out of Toronto, Ontario for a number of years now. He’s been a key member of a number of the most interesting ensembles in the city. He’s worked with Sandro Perri , Eric Chenaux and Jennifer Castle and he has his own mutant jazz standards group, The Ryan Driver Quartet. He plays guitar and sings, but while he’s recognised as an accomplished improviser he has also just made the greatest soul record of the decade.

Sounding like JJ Cale, Joao Gilberto and John Martyn; soft, powerful and precise, it’s achingly fleeting, poignant and underpinned by incredible song writing.

If you’ve had the pleasure of spending time in Mr. Driver’s company or attended one of his shows in any one of his many bands – the Silt, the Reveries, Blah Blah 666 and his own Ryan Driver Quartet, too name a few – you will know that what he brings to the table is something implacable, even enigmatic, and although his genre of music spans a slew of old-time and contemporary moods – from folk to free jazz, bombast to balladry – Ryan’s presence is always assured.

With his new album ‘Who’s Breathing?’,- the follow up to his 2009 debut ‘Feeler Of Pure Joy’, Ryan showcases some of his new songs which, are both eclectic and sweetly intoxicating. The first half is a top-heavy, bleary-eyed amble through the metaphysical country moves made familiar through his work in The Silt. Central to these songs is Ryan’s heady, almost surrealist lyrics, which traipse commonplace folk themes on the slant and uneven ground of a funhouse.

The second half assumes the mentalist lounge approach, that particular sound not unfamiliar to those who have heard the Ryan Driver Quartet. On piano, Ryan is accompanied primarily by bass, drums, and Martin Arnold’s intuitive guitar playing. Teeming double-meanings and verbal loopholes, excavating the alien and quietly phosphorescent landscape of the soul the album defines Driver’s original sound and formidable talent as a songwriter.

Haven’t heard any of Ryan’s tracks? Click here and enjoy…


© 2010- Unshredded.net All Rights Reserved