One song can get your attention, but many songs can keep you listening.
I’m not sure how I discovered Ry Bradley but I do know it was “A New Kind of Lonely” that caught my attention. I immediately purchased the song on iTunes and told my wife “if nothing else comes of Rock Meets Country at least I found THIS song!” You see, I’m a big “song” guy, I like hooks, harmonies, anything that pulls me in and sticks with me. Even though there’s a 6-song EP here and other songs I’ve heard him perform, this will forever be the song I’ll associate Ry with. I hope he’s OK with that!
“A New Kind of Lonely” is the first track on the EP. It is about a lost love, and although he’s been down before, this is “a new kind of lonely”. The lyrics goes on to say “I didn’t know I could hurt this much inside”. This is a refreshing take on the usual country break up songs layered with Ry’s impeccable voice. That long note is amazing and can’t easily be forgotten. When you listen to the song you’ll know what I’m referring to.
Bonus: There is a video for “A New Kind of Lonely”. It goes perfectly with the story told in the lyrics, you see Ry and a pretty lady spending time together and his lonely-self is watching the videos they made. You can watch it at RyBradley.com.
The second song on the EP is the title track and continues with the same power that “A New Kind of Lonely” started. It’s about grabbing your woman and getting away from it all, a ‘love can take us anywhere’ kinda thing. It grabs your attention right away with just guitar and vocals, and then kicks into high gear at the chorus. The first time I heard this song was at one of Ry’s shows. I got chills when he played it because it’s a beautiful marriage between rock (which I grew up on) and modern country. My favorite line is “tonight we’re runnin’ down a dream”.
“Gone” is an all out rocker about being so in love you “ain’t comin’ back”! This type of song can be tricky because the vocals are basically on top of the instrumentation. It can sound like just that, words on top of music, not working together. However, just at the right moments, Ry cleverly switches things up by pulling back the arrangement and giving both layers time to breathe. At this point in the EP you realize what you already suspected, that you’re listening to well-rounded talent and you’re anxious to see where the next three songs go.
“Little Tattoo” is about someone’s secret tattoo. He’s intrigued about seeing it over and over. This song really introduces some “classic” country from maybe the 1950s. I do know judging from his live shows Ry has a love for Elvis.
“Tequila Dreaming” has this very interesting tone to it, there’s a big twang signaling COUNTRY but then also sounds like something you might hear on a Mexican beach somewhere. The more I listened to this song, the more I liked it. A break from the rockers, it takes you on a trip to…California country! What a perfect showcase for the term. PS- I love tequila and any song about tequila.
“Things I Could Do To You (With My Guitar)” is a groovy rocker with a galloping bass is the perfect closer. The song was written by Eric Heatherly, but shows that Ry even make a cover his own. I love this song, period.
Although Ry grew up in Hawaii, he now lives in California and is a proud “California Country” soldier. In looking at his list of shows, I see he is out there paving the way, playing everywhere. But for Ry it’s not just playing anywhere just for the sake of it, he does it because he loves to play the guitar. He also has set up a ‘California Country Night’ every Friday at Bigs in Fullerton, CA to showcase local bands, but I have a feeling this is just a stepping stone to something bigger.
I’ve seen Ry play live twice now, but at two very different shows. The first was at a jazz club and his set included a more 50s theme. The second was a country bar that enabled him to play more originals and just rock out. What I’ve learned is what a true talent I was watching and listening to. He has this ability to craft these special songs, each sounding completely different. And I know there are a ton more songs and ideas bursting to get out! I cannot wait to hear them…
Visit RyBradley.com for more