Since first stepping foot in Nashville, TN (way back in 1998)…Ryan Wotherspoon has always had his eyes, and ears for that matter, on a big sound - and now 15 years later , his album “And Still…” has precisely that.
Yeah, it took him 15 years to refine himself (about eight months to make the record)…but hey, in an age where a 20 second YouTube video puts people to sleep, isn’t it refreshing to know that some art still gets a lifetimes worth of attention? And it really comes as no surprise that so much time, love, sweat, and analyzing (some tears, perhaps, too) went in to creating this album, since Ryan is a trained opera tenor – (it took him years and years to find and hone his opera tone/craft, the same should be true of the amount of years he devoted to finding some satisfaction with his writing craft). So, back to that BIG sound!
Well, if you’ve ever had the lucky pleasure of having Ryan stand in your living room, perhaps at a party, and hearing him belt out one of his opera arias, you’d know that a voice like that can’t just live in any tune…of course Puccini has a few homes where big voices reside, but when it comes to Pop/AC Music, some tweaks need to occur.
Now, keep in mind, making the switch from singing “Vesti la giubba” to Coldplay’s “Fix You”, for most isn’t simply a change of wardrobe…but for Ryan, having been immersed for decades in many vocal genres including Country, Pop, and Rock, it’s as easy as him stepping up to the mic. However, as much as he loves singing opera, he knows it’s a hard sell…so he’s been journeying through his songwriting-craft to find just the right fit of tune and voice. Thankfully for us, with his album “And Still…” that journey, for a little bit, has come to an end - and with 11 new, original songs, all written or co-written by Ryan, “And still…” has all the makings of any timeless record you’ll want to have in your collection.
As witnessed and confirmed by millions, the success of shows such as “The Voice” or “American’s Got Talent”, proves without a doubt that an audience loves variety, and much like Ryan’s tastes in music, he wanted his album “And Still…” to provide the same.
Teaming up with his great friend (drummer, mixing engineer, producer and arranger) the incredibly talented Chris Robinson, Ryan and Chris co-produced/arranged “And Still…” bringing life to these fantastic songs, and providing a “variety” with production values of “Singer-Songwriter”, “Top-40”, “Adult-Contemporary” and “Country”…all in all, this album has a little something for everyone.
Ryan’s inspirational and hopeful ballads (with a sound big enough to make Mutt proud), “I’ll Be Around”, “Lead You Home”, “Hang On” and the title track “And Still…”speak to the heart that is yearning and thankful for life…yet while the honesty of his heartache glares through, his songs “Barricade”, “Lonely Lingers On” and “Every Day”, illustrate with delicate precision, how deeply love can penetrate and seize that heart.
The melody and lyrics of “Life Is Beautiful” make it shine as brightly as any triumphant pop-ballad has in recent decades. Alone, Ryan’s vocals on the track raise the song to realms that will harken the listener back to other powerful, yet sensitive singers such as Freddie Mercury, Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. His uniqueness as a songwriter can be heard through the gentle moments of “Home”, and the quirky up-beat “Hypnotize”, which will have you entranced from beat one. And speaking of beat one…the lead-off track “See Your Face” is everything “Top-40” is made of.
Ryan Wotherspoon’s “And Still…” will quickly become one of your favorites…and really, had it been one year or 15, the sound of THIS big promise stands…you’ll just be happy you found him.