Matt Ryan Is Still Tryin’

The words on the liner notes of Matthew Ryan’s latest album, ‘Dear Lover’ are as compelling as any song on the singer-songwriter’s tenth release.

“I began writing the songs for ‘Dear Lover’ in the emergency room during the winter of 2009. The circumstances are private.”

What inspired the tracks remain a mystery. However, the songs are for public consumption. Ryan will deliver his moving new tunes Thursday at the Tin Angel. The cuts are deep, emotional and tuneful.

“The songs should be enough for people,” Ryan said. “They don’t need to know exactly what prompted them. If I told you the details, the album would be like a diary. I don’t want that. The songs aren’t about me. They’re universal.”

Ryan’s new disc is his best work since his 1997 debut ‘May Day,’ which he also showcased at the Tin Angel. “I remember that show well,” Ryan said. “It was a very special time for me.”

It was a very different time. Ryan was fresh and had a buzz behind him, courtesy of a major label. These days Ryan is a veteran independent artist with ten albums under his belt.

“Things aren’t the same,” Ryan said. “But it’s all still good. I’m making music and having as much fun as I ever did.”

Ryan, who grew up in West Chester, PA, is still influenced by Bruce Springsteen, U2 and John Mellencamp. “You can’t help but be marked by the recording artists, who helped shape you,” Ryan said. “I won’t deny who had an impact on me.”

Whenever Ryan, who has lived in Nashville since 1993, has the opportunity, he visits his family in Trainer, PA. “I love to come back to see everyone,” Ryan said. “I do it as often as I can. I love Philadelphia and the suburbs. It’s a very vibrant area. I see it when I can but it’s not as often as I would like but that’s the way it is.”

That’s not surprising since when Ryan isn’t in the studio, he’s often on the road. “If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have made so many albums in such a short period of time,” Ryan said. “But I love what I do. My job is making records and touring just like somebody else goes to the office every day. I’m fortunate that I have a job like this. I’m able to do what I love and still pay the bills. That’s a pretty good situation.”


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