Jess Ryan Band's New EP Captures that Live Feeling | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Jess Ryan Band's New EP Captures that Live Feeling 

After a rewarding and challenging journey, JRB is feeling proud and excited for its release party

In 2019 the Jess Ryan Band released its debut album "Fractured"—which Ryan shared was a lifelong dream. Now the band is back with its followup EP, "Take A Seat," that will celebrate its official release at the Volcanic Theatre Pub on July 23.

This time around the band took on a totally new approach to recording an album, doing it all in-house themselves at their usual rehearsal space in the home studio of Andrew Lyons, who plays saxophone in the band. Other members of JRB include Joshua Hernandez (bass) and Patrick Bedard (drums). The experience of producing the EP gave them freedom to explore new avenues of their music and creativity, but it was also a challenge that ended up being rewarding in the end.

click to enlarge You can find CDs for "Take A Seat" available at the band's release show this Saturday. - COURTESY OF THE JESS RYAN BAND
  • Courtesy of The Jess Ryan Band
  • You can find CDs for "Take A Seat" available at the band's release show this Saturday.

"There's things you just can't anticipate, or decisions you have to make. Then you make one slight adjustment and you have to go back and do it all over again. Having this amount of control requires a great deal of time. It nearly destroyed us," laughs Ryan. "In some ways it pulled us apart and then it brought us back together in the end. If that makes sense."

Some 200 or more mixes later, Lyons described the experience as a labor of love, going as far to say it's the best thing he's ever worked on.

"We're all really passionate, so there was a lot of emotion around a lot of the decisions. Once it was in the can and done, we kind of dusted our hands and we've been able to get the stress of the process out. Like, 'Look what we made!'"

September 2021 is when JRB started seriously throwing down tracks for "Take A Seat." The five songs showcase a bit of darkness in what was a more direct approach than that of the band's debut album.

"The album was a grab bag of songs. This one, we wanted to tell a story and convey a feeling," says Ryan. "There's a little bit of heaviness and angst to these songs."

Inside those five tracks, you can feel the heaviness Ryan speaks of. It comes through in Ryan's soul-stirring tone and passionate lyrics, while the instrumentation helps cast a gray-sky feel to its sound. "Take A Seat" gets you in the right headspace to feel your emotions and it sounds as close to a live experience as you can get through your headphones.

Lyons mentions the powerful "Transgressions" as one of his favorites off the EP, noting how it came together as a mix of all the band's creative ideas.

"At the end we had this song with all these really weird compositional ideas. It was very much a collaborative thing," he says. " It's a really cool song. It has a little bit of magic, or something or other about it."

In August Ryan will take off for Ireland to study abroad and will be gone for a few months. There are some songs and ideas in the works that will be left behind, so JRB will see where things go when they're all reunited. But Ryan says she's extremely happy with how the band was able to evolve throughout the recording process and that they were able to experience this new process together. All of their hard work finally came together at a barbecue on Independence Day.

"It was Fourth of July and we sat on the couch at Andrew's and listened to it all in order. Afterwards, like, I just stood up and cried. I was so proud of us," recalls Ryan.

Joining the Jess Ryan Band Saturday at Volcanic will be Blackflowers Blacksun.

Jess Ryan Band EP Release W/ Blackflowers Blacksun

Sat., July 23, 9-11:30pm

Volcanic Theatre Pub

70 SW Century Dr., Bend

$10 on Bendticket

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...
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