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Casey Ryder’s music defies categorization. The talented, multi-instrumentalist’s latest CD, the surprise-filled and wide-ranging Here showcases Ryder’s unique, versatile multiformity. He’s a musical vagabond whose idiosyncratic, original songs use a variety of styles from swampy rockabilly, to gypsy swing, to twisted, Brechtian ballads and beyond.
A fixture on Victoria’s music scene for almost two decades, Ryder has established a reputation for fun-filled, improvisational excellence in numerous bands and musical forms, most notably in his award-winning quartet, The Swingin’ Bachelors. Formed in 1998, The Bachelors played regularly at pubs, clubs and music festivals, but that band had too many stylistic limitations and Casey disbanded the group. Currently, his focus in on leading the Casey Ryder Trio and his Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz quartet, Casey Ryder & Twango.
Here gathers all of these varied influences in an artfully designed package of 13 whip-smart, eccentric songs and off-centre instrumentals, plus a trio of bonus tracks from The Swingin' Bachelors 1999 solo debut, Occasional Fidelity.
Casey plays an assortment of vintage guitars, basses, and organ, as well as singing his well-crafted songs in a disparate collection of vocal styles ranging from Tom Waits-like rasp, to Chris Isaak-influenced country croon, to Chet Baker-inspired, irony-laced whispers.
Ryder’s knife-edge guitar instrumentals are muscular explorations of styles defined by electric pioneers like Link Wray and Dick Dale, offset by textural explorations reminiscent of Bill Frisell or Marc Ribot. On other tracks his fleet-fingered picking conjures up a host of jump blues and swing jazz stylists.
Damian Graham’s propulsive, textural drumming stands out throughout a thoughtful production that also includes outstanding contributions from a studio team of veteran jazz, blues, and pop musicians.
Here is an eclectic, unpredictable, absolutely original collection of high quality songcraft and musicality. Casey Ryder is a unique talent, and Here is his capricious, sonic calling card. It’s a perfect melange of narrative whimsy and wickedness, a playful song cycle of darkness and light. Check it out.
Casey Ryder is a busy guy. He performs, composes, records, tours and teaches, and has been a full-time working musician since 1986. He continues to perform with many varied artists on electric and acoustic bass. A growing interest in songwriting naturally led him to explore voice, guitar and lap steel guitar in the early '90's.
Wanting to play the roots Americana that he always loved, he met a group of like-minded musicians in 1998 and formed The Swingin' Bachelors. This group spotlighted his many talents and it was perfect timing as the Swing revival was just about to bloom. Winners of the 1999 Q100 Rocktoria contest, the profile and international airplay of the group rose rapidly. Later that year, the band released its debut CD, Occasional Fidelity. The artistic focus of the group was to play unique original and cover songs informed by swing, blues, jazz, rockabilly, rock & roll, country and latin.
Although his musical lens has widened over the years, the credo of Casey Ryder remains the same: fun, improvisational, well played music good for dancing, drinking or just plain ol' listening!
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