Born and raised in Billings, Montana, Riley started playing music at age 15 on an old guitar that his dad bought in Italy while on leave from the Marine Corps. From there, with an crumbling Jimmy Buffet songbook found in a dusty attic, he discovered his passion for songwriting. "I remember calling the radio station in the wee hours requesting Garth Brooks, Tom Waits, CSN...wanting to hear the songs over and over again so I could learn how to play them. As a kid I loved country, blues, and folk music, and the stories they told.”
Riley started recording music on his cell phone while in college to see "if there was anything there worth listening to". In January 2010 he used a dictation microphone and a laptop to record "Sweet" and other original songs to send to his cousin, a passionate music fan. Four emails and a phone call later, he was in San Francisco to record his first album with producer Tal Ariel. One year later, Riley lives in San Francisco, performs regularly, and his new debut CD is now available on iTunes, Amazon and other music websites.
Riley’s lush raspy voice, reminiscent of Ray Lamontage and Dave Matthews, combined with his lyrics and emotional delivery, project a soulfulness beyond his years. “My songs are about a sense of home and what it means to lose that sense. Also the relationships that impact my everyday life.”, he says. “Ultimately I just write about how I’m feeling at the moment.”
His lyrics are honest, raw and sentimental, with an unexpected naughty edge. He reflects on the sweet and bitter moments we all experience, with a palpable authenticity. He continues, “I’ve found that songwriting is the way I can most honestly express how i see the world, and the relationships, around me. Music allows me to share those experiences with people and hopefully relate to them on a level that otherwise would be lost.”