After four years of touring the U.S. Barb Ryman is back home to release her fifth CD, Earthbound, co-produced with percussionist, Marc Anderson, and featuring 14 original and diverse songs from unique contemporary ballads to traditional, country gospel & bluegrass. In addition to Ryman’s vocals and guitar, the CD features Peter Ostroushko’s mandolin and fiddle, Adam Granger’s flat picking, Prudence Johnson’s vocal harmonies, and Dirk Freymuth’s electric guitar. Enrique Toussaint’s bass and Anderson’s percussions also grace the album and will be accompanying Ryman at the CD release concert on February 25 at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis. A lyricist of exceptional depth and perception, Ryman’s new songs traverse the Earth, the heart, mysteries of God, politics, women, love, disillusionment, joy, and the whimsical. Included on this release is the title track “Earthbound”, a lively celebration of the creative process, “90 Years 28 Moves”, the melancholic tale of an old woman who can’t settle down, “This Empire Is Falling”, a challenging to the power elite and a call for change, “Song For the Mother’s Gospel,” an archetypal questioning of the fate of God the Mother in the face of praises for God the Father, and, in keeping with her gift for topical humor, “Spam Me”, an adaptation of Roger Miller’s “Dang Me” bemoaning the woes of email spam.
Ryman began her music career when the Minneapolis Star Tribune proclaimed her 1995 CD, Lay Me Open, “a heart on sleeve triumph” and reviews in Dirty Linen and Sing Out acknowledged her emerging talent. While balancing a career as a speech-language pathologist and a single-parent of two children, she managed to perform throughout the Midwest on weekends, and record four CDs, receiving nine nominations for Minnesota Music Awards including Songwriter Of The Year, Recording Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Female Vocalist. Then in 2002, Ryman won the 2002 American Composer’s Forum’s McKnight Fellowship, no small accomplishment for this self-taught, late-start singer-songwriter. The grant was the break she needed and in 2003, Ryman quit her speech therapy career and began full-time national touring. In 2006, she received another break when ABC television bought rights to her satirical song “All American Dysfunctional Family.” The proceeds funded Earthbound, which has been in the making since April.
Barb Ryman continues to tour throughout the U.S. performing in concert series, folk festivals, house concerts, and radio shows. Her previous recordings include, Winds of Good Fortune (1993), Lay Me Open (1995), Like A Tree (1998), and Falling Down to Heaven (2002). Her songs have aired on folk programs across the nation, in Europe and Australia. You can find out more about her music at www.barbryman.com or at www.myspace.com/barbryman.