Flyin' Ryan Brothers — Blue Marble
(Ryanetics Music 7-1028, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01
The Ryan brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, have been a fixture of the Chicago music scene since the 70s when they were members of competing local bands. In recent years the two have joined forces to bring their dual lead guitar-slinging act to the masses. This is their fourth release, though it continues the approach set out in previous albums of highlighting the virtuoso abilities of the siblings within a variety of stylistic settings. The Ryans prove that they’re plugged into current events when they inject an arabesque flair into the rock guitar pieces “Baghdad” and “Gaza” while “The Road to Galway” delves into Irish jigs and a more acoustic-based sound. One will hear nods to Steve Vai and Joe Satriani as well as Brian May within their playing, though the influence the Ryans more readily fess up to is Wishbone Ash. This appears most overtly in the closer “Blowin’ Free 2005,” a lively tribute to their heroes. This is also the only song to feature any singing and the brothers prove themselves just as capable here as with their guitar pyrotechnics. Overall there’s a maturity and confidence in the thirteen tracks that compares favorably to Steve Morse’s recent outings, even though the Ryans don’t go for Morse’s monster level of guitar heroics. Exposé readers may be interested to know that William Kopecky lends his considerable skill to the album and it’s nice to hear him in a supporting role along with drummers Johnny Mrozek and Bob Behnke. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Flyin' Ryan Brothers
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more