As a part of the sixth annual Porch Stomp season, we're working with Beehive Productions, NYC Ferry and Blue Point Brewery to bring you a series of videos featuring artists spanning the gamut of NYC folk scene (and then some). Check out our blog every month for new videos and interviews with artists, and be sure to follow us on instagram: @porchstomp and Facebook: Porch Stomp
We're so excited that the ever growing daisy chain brings us the talents of Andrew Ryan. While you may know of him through is many collaborations with artists such as Kaia Kater, Jayme Stone's Lomax Project or The Freewheel Trio (also featuring NYC's own Mike Robinson), Andrew comes to us through our friends at Beehive Productions who scooped him into the lineup for our March session. Often, bassists play are left sealing the gaps at the bottom of the sonic spectrum covered by a dense array of other instrumentation. Today, Andrew explores the freedom of solo voice and bass, presenting a weaving and bobbing tapestry of harmonic chordal playing and bass counter melody. Without the facade of dense orchestration, we're left with the simple skin and bones of Andrew's songwriting, and frankly we like what we hear.
Check out Andrew Ryan performing "Third Law" live at the Haylaught, Porch Stomp's home in Brooklyn, NYC. Continue reading for a Q&A with Andrew and be sure to find his music online at the link below.
Tell us about where you came from and how you started making music.
I grew up in Denver, Colorado and started directly on the upright bass from a young age. I’ve always been drawn to the versatility of the instrument, so playing a range of folk music, jazz, and classical music was always really important to me as a player. I’ve leaned into one discipline or another at various points in my life; studying classical music in Europe, playing mostly as a sideman with songwriters now, but I’ve always strived to have a comprehensive understanding of the instrument.
Who are your favorite bass players and why?
My favorite bass players are those I get to interact with and see work closely. Jiří Slavík is a big one, along with my friend Jordan Morton, both of whom are doing incredible and creative work with the bass.
What subject content do you write about the most, and where do you find the most inspiration in day to day life?
I’m still relatively new to writing, so this is a tough one for me. I read a lot, and often find little phrases or words will get caught in my head, and I’ll just chew on it, sometimes for weeks until it unspools into something. I kind of wrote “Third Law” that way on a long run around Prospect Park.
What piece of advice would you offer to bass players looking to expand their understanding of the instrument?
The bass is moving so quickly right now in terms of what’s possible technically, and where it belongs. I guess I’d just encourage anyone not to feel isolated in the back of the band, and reach out to other bass players. It’s a really incredible community to be a part of.
Find more about Andrew at his website here :
Special thanks to Jeff, Sue and Redia of Beehive Productions as well as the fine folks at Blue Point Brewery for making this video possible.