Tuesday, October 25, 2022


Newfoundland's Sherry Ryan has built a fine reputation over the past decade as a strong songwriter, direct and impactful. Her stories are plain-spoken and jammed with detail and observations, about home and normal people, and the richness in simple lives. Her unmistakable voice isn't pretty and perfect, instead, it's friendly and real, just like her characters. 

On this, her fifth album, Ryan delves further into the roots rock that drove her last one, 2018's Wreckhouse. She's just as comfortable with the twangy country of "Any Other Way," soaked in pedal steel, as she is with the rockabilly blues of "100 Miles," a song Jerry Lee Lewis would surely appreciate. There's a poppy number, "Open Up The Door," with horns and sweet hooks, and some folksy gentleness in "Sparrow." Lots of styles, and each one features another smart lyric. Best of them all (at least today's favourite) is "Old House at Black Brook," where she does what we all do, tell friends about a great old house on the highway they know, and give directions: "On your way to Clarenville, there on your left side, there's an old house tucked in a hill where beauty likes to hide." 

Sherry Ryan has managed to get off the Rock for a few days and tour the album around at some Eastern Canadian dates. She's wrapping up that tour with a show in Fredericton on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Tipsy Muse Cafe. Then it's back home for what's described as "an intimate album release party" at Kula Co-op in St. John's on Nov. 5. 

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