On a funny, personal note:
People frequently note the size discrepancy between the electric bass and me, a five-foot tall “not my first pick for the basketball team” female. “That bass is bigger than you are!” they exclaim.
Believe it or not, I’ve got a good fifteen inches on most of my instruments, but I certainly appreciate and embrace the humor of seeing someone my size wield a massive gig bag through airports and all around town. It is equal parts hilarious, curious, and mind-boggling.
All kidding aside, I’m used to it. In fact, I never really noticed—I just decided to pick up the instrument and start playing. As the old saying goes, the heart wants what the heart wants, and mine wanted to listen to Motown and play along to Booker T. and the MGs.
Down to business:
With a formidable start and an informal education on the Philadelphia blues scene, Ryan studied Music Business and Communications at New York University. After graduating, she returned to Philly for corned beef sandwiches, Zydeco, water ice, classic R&B, and plenty of rock and roll. A few years and many, many gigs later, she decided to take a leap of faith, throw her gear in the car, and drive to Tennessee.
Since moving to Nashville in 2012, she has had the privilege of working with some of Music City’s most talented artists and producers, including Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Pat McLaughlin, Tenille Arts, Kyshona Armstrong, Alicia Michilli, Nicole Boggs, Fred Mollin, Lamont Dozier, Daphne Willis, and many others.
She is currently touring with guitar virtuoso Robben Ford in support of his new record, Purple House. In addition to local gigs and sessions, she is an avid educator and has taught at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, Gerald Veasley’s Bass Boot Camp, and Musicians Institute: Guitar Craft Academy.
Thanks to good fortune, exciting phone calls, and many hours of practice, she has backed up artists such as Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Marren Morris, and Hanson. Ryan has served as Musical Director for the annual “Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots Million Dollar Show at The Ryman” to benefit St. Jude’s and has made appearances on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th seasons of the hit TV show “Nashville.”
When she’s not performing, you can find her at coffee shops writing columns for the online bass magazine, No Treble.
Robben Ford, “Purple House” (2018)
Alicia Michilli, “Letters From The Edge” (2018)
Amber Rubarth, “Wildflowers in the Graveyard” (2018)
Lamont Dozier, “Reimagination” (2018)
Craig Haller, “Clicking Tocks” (2017)
Kyshona Armstrong, “The Ride, 2.0” (2016)
The Interludes, “The Interludes” (2015)
For the Francophiles out there, check out this feature in Issue 82 of “Bassiste” Magazine!