The highs and lows of family life, the incessant buzz of culture, and even the whispers of our deepest desires define the choices available to each of us every day. In his music, Ryan Bonner seeks to capture the essence of those choices and the fight to be real in an increasingly insincere culture. His lyrics are simultaneously hopeful and astringent; a fellow artist recently defined his writing style as having an “acid wit.” Ryan writes of his own work, “It’s a little bit like being a bootlegger of reality—you take these complex things and quietly distill them, hopefully, into something that’s simple but has punch.”
Ryan brings a vocal quality at home over bluesy, mellow southern tunes and soaring, driven anthems that tell stories standing at the intersection of faith, family and desire; he looks at them through a slightly twisted prism to bring out the subtler colors of meaning in each. To do that, he calls on a broad base of influences: “I’ve always appreciated a wide range of musical and lyrical styles. I learned to sing by mimicking sounds I heard as a child, and even now if I find a new singer that has some unique quality I’ll sit there and try to figure out, ‘How do they do that?’ But ultimately for me, the whole thing needs to be in service to a story, and it’s the great storytellers that influence me the most—guys like Tom Waits, Jeff Buckley, or Amos Lee.”
Ryan continues to hone his craft and develop songs based around history, home, and the heart.