For several years, Elaine Ryan has been hustling to write her songs and get them out in the world, playing across the globe from Vancouver to Montreal & Austin, Spain & Switzerland to Maui. Her seventh year of trying proved particularly lucky, with a generous fan and patron supporting her upcoming release, Sunsets & Twilights. The funding enabled her to collaborate with respected Vancouver producer Winston Hauschild, and engineer and mixing wizard Shawn Cole to create the type of top-notch, quality recording which in the past was the preserve of artists signed to a larger label.
Ryan first served notice of her creative potential with the 2007 release of a six-song EP, Sisters. It earned a warm response and college, community and CBC Radio play, while club gigs in her Vancouver hometown showcased her prowess as a natural performer. Her song “Dream of Peace” won an award for best soundtrack in a local film competition and was placed on the L.A.-based Dream On! charity compilation, in support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
In 2010 she followed up with a full-length self-produced album, Songs From the River, which garnered positive reviews on tour and in local media. Her song “Kiss Me With That Poem” was picked up by North Carolina’s Backyard Records, and recorded on Holly McCormack’s 2012 album So Far From Reality.
Ryan has organized three successful tours, including a cross-Canada tour with Melissa Bandura and a BC/Alberta tour with fellow Lilith Fair contest runners-up, Aspen Switzer and Genevieve Rainey. As well as placing in the top-ten of a contest to perform at Lilith Fair, she placed in the Shore Song Search’s top 20 in its first year.
The stars aligned for Ryan one summer evening in 2011 as she performed at a tiny venue in White Rock, BC. A fan, who had bought and enjoyed her previous work, indicated an interest in helping her to make a fuller, more-produced recording that could help move her along in her career. After several meetings and discussions, she began looking into producers and engineers. The proud result is there for all to hear on Sunsets & Twilights. She is extremely grateful for this break. “The music business is really shifting right now. Maybe it is tilting more towards patronage, the way that visual arts was in the past. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to move forward with my career in this way without this unorthodox funding opportunity.”
Born in Waterford Ireland, Ryan now moves between the music communities in Vancouver, BC where she was raised and Maui, Hawaii and has been fortunate enough to get the chance to perform with Pat Simmons of the Doubie Brothers, as well as at Mick Fleetwood’s new venue, Fleetwods, in Lahaina.