Ryan David Orr
For almost two decades, Ryan has been a major player on the American folk scene. A singer-songwriter and experienced musician, he has traveled all over the United States playing in many of folk music’s legendary venues. For Ryan, performing and writing is a family tradition. His grandmother played sax and clarinet and his mother was a professional folk singer. Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, Ryan traveled with his mother to venues and festivals up and down the west coast. So, it was only natural when Ryan started to join his mom on stage, playing the violin by age seven and learning the guitar at 12.
Even at a young age, it was clear that Ryan was a talented musician. He was selected to join the Northwest Children’s Honor Choir and performed in a professional production of the opera Tosca. As a teenager, Ryan began writing his own music and at 13, he moved with his mother to Tennessee to join the Nashville music scene. He continued to hone his musical talent as they moved once again to Asheville, North Carolina. He spent the next few years playing with a band and experimenting with the hard rock and grunge scene of the 1990s. Ryan knew though that he would eventually return to his folk roots.
Ryan credits his mother as being one of the biggest influences on his career. For him, music is about storytelling and folk has always been a dynamic platform for music writing. Moving beyond the cut and dry, he can work in the symbolic and diverse tradition of legends like Carole King, Joan Baez and James Taylor. Over the past decade, Ryan has released four albums, and he writes everything that he records.
In 2003, Ryan released his debut album Bagdaddio, which blended a mix of rock, pop, spoken word, folk and experimental music.
His second album My Fair February Notable Shimmer and Grin was released in 2007 to critical acclaim and was named Best International Folk Album (Toronto Exclusive Magazine).
In 2008, he released his third album Vermilion, a melodic folk-rock album, with hints of country and Americana. “Vermilion is a must listen.” (Ross Shotland of RadioIndy.com)
Ryan’s latest album More Than Strangers was just released to positive reviews and is now available for purchase.
In addition to performing, Ryan has performed in musicals, acted, and trained as a massage therapist. He received a full scholarship to ASU and graduated in May 2013.
Ryan now lives in the mountains of Lakeside, Arizona at an elevation of 6,500 feet. He continues to write new music and perform old and new songs in venues throughout the country.
-Jennie Held (Emmy winning journalist) of Steven Hero Productions, LLC