Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in SwanseaRyan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Tonight Swansea was in for a treat. Tuesday night’s House of Rock and Blues kicked off the planned regular blues and rock delights with a double delight of Texas Flood opening for Ryan McGarvey. The Scene, Swansea is back delivering Rock and Blues live music that gets the happiness index rising.

Texas Flood, a rocking trio from South Wales played a dynamic set that had the music vibe deep and raw flowing through venue. We anticipated a great set having first heard them not in Wales but in Skegness R&B Festival earlier this year when they deservedly won the Introducing Stage vote. Tom Williams on drums hits them hard and the band plays a tight rock riff, the rhythm runs strong from Ben Govier’s Bass with Tom (Sawyer) Bradford’s guitar and vocals completing the Texas Flood sound. The drums definitely thundered reflecting the raw impetuous playing, but it would be good if Tom sometimes remembered that slamming the backdoor shut isn’t the only way of getting attention. Yes, rock is fast and loud but some subtle and gentler touches ring in the changes and keeps the set interesting. The set warmed the venue Gambling Man with its Southern Rock tempo hit the spot, and the title track of their debut album Young Dogs, Old Tricks certainly sold the album. This is a band audiences always warm to, why? Hard driven enthusiastic rock.

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea” width=”150″ height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-12653″ />After a short break the anticipation was raised as the main act stepped on the stage. Welcome back to Wales Ryan McGarvey, bluesman from Albuquerque, New Mexico tonight throughout the set delivered music from his three albums, The Road Chosen, Redefined and Forward In Reverse. Tonight was electric blue from start to finish. Joining Ryan on stage tonight legendary bassist Carmine Rojas and drummer Christopher Antoine Hill. The rhythm section was imaginative and was the perfect platform for the superlative guitar work from award-winning Ryan McGarvey to strut his stuff. Ryan fronts the band with a combination of swaggering confidence and humility. He loved being in Swansea for the first time and being back in the country of Wales, he loves performing and enjoys communicating with people through vocals and guitar that will never go unnoticed.

Ryan McGarvey kicking up a Music Scene in Swansea

Ryan had a great mix of sounds, textures and tempos that flexed the muscles as he produced nifty licks, stylish riffs and lead breaks that curled around the venue and delighted everyone in the audience. The instrumentals between the vocals were addictive, yes the guitar was sparkling added to the magic was a Carmine’s bass with fingers walking the strings everywhere and into the mix drumming that was harsh, delicate and always adding the drama of the beat. The music generated was blues that is superb! From his second album, redefined Starry Nights, light up the evening air with classy blues. The mood changed with deep blue Cryin’ Over You going deep into his back catalogue with a guitar into that leads you gently into the lyrical story unfolded by Ryan. Ryan’s talents and skills keep growing he is a top drawer musician that deserves everyone who loves electric blues attention. His dexterous fingers shape the blues with a zinging blast. The music played on the lead breaks explored the six strings as we entered the world of fairy tale with Little Red Riding Hood and the tales of a trip that went from bad to worse and written as he left town, Memphis will always get your attention. We had love songs, we had upbeat numbers, the blues conquered all with the power of the trio.
Live blues back in Swansea what an opener, come back soon Ryan McGarvey.

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Ryan McGarvey @ The Met, Abertillery, 14th June 2014

Ryan McGarvey - The Met Abertillery - June 2014 -  DSC_0238lRyan McGarvey back in Wales on his current U.K. Tour, proved to be a popular decision as he was greeted by a large appreciative and expectant crowd at The Met, Abertillery looking forward to be enthralled by this young guitarist from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This is a guitar talent cast from the same mould as Joe Bonamassa bringing a mix of vocals and making the guitar reach a different place musically than many achieve. It is no surprise that Ryan McGarvey and Joe Bonamassa are talked about in the same breath; time will tell whether the young pretender reaches the same skill level as Bonamassa. Heavy on the power-chords, very talented with loads of potential and some areas that need to grow so that Ryan and the band becomes the full act. Tonight Ryan was reaffirming for fans that this is a young man who plays the Fender with attitude bending the strings, using the pedal boards to great effect as he showcased his latest CD Redefined and for people wanting more of his music the news that a third album was on its way was greeted with a resounding cheer.

The tracks on the set list allowed Ryan to display his skills as a guitarist, Blues Knockin’ At My Door and Memphis among a string of songs given the Ryan treatment. Slow blues for me was Ryan at his best, reminiscent of Gregg Wright’s guitar style, but without the vocal power of Gregg. Ryan has a competent, solid rhythm section with Chris Hill (drums) and Sam Miller (Bass); who has been a friend since his early teens; they provided a good foundation so that Ryan had the freedom at front of stage to showcase the guitar whether his Fender or his Gibson Les Paul.

The crowd looked on with delight and adoration as one song after another flowed through his guitar, for me the numbers tended to meld into each other, but I was the lone voice no-one else felt this was just another power trio from the stable of bands with a great guitarist with mediocre vocals fronting the sound. One of the things lacking for me was the lack of personal engagement between Ryan and the audience, he introduced the odd number, said great to be back in Wales and eventually introduced his band, but there was nothing to create a rapport between stage and auditorium. That said it was an evening where lovers of guitar displays, rocky music with a hint of the blues were delighted and he will continue to entertain across the U.K for many more years I am sure.

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Rest of the tour…..
16 Jun 2014 – The Haven Club, Oxford, England

18 Jun 2014 – The Tunnels, Aberdeen, Scotland

19 Jun 2014 – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Scotland

20 Jun 2014 – Keighley Blues Club, Keighley, England

21 Jun 2014 – Belle Vue Club, Hartlepool, England

22 Jun 2014 – Linton Blues Festival, Linton, England

For European dates click Ryan McGarvey