Guitarist Chris Ryan has established himself as a versatile player in roles ranging from the cheerful jazz fusion of the Larry Branch Agenda to the driving funk attack of Beast Wellington. The approach of his solo CD, “Pray for the Rain,” is less like John McLaughlin or Prince than Neil Young, whose “Harvest Moon” gets a credible cover. Some credit for the record’s polish goes to co-producer and keyboardist Daniel Clarke, who worked with Ryan to create understated, effective arrangements. The all-Richmond band features keyboardist Brian Mahne, cornet player Mark Ingraham, trombonist Toby Whitaker, bassist Derrick Englert, drummer Scott Clark, and background singers Daniel Clarke and Katrice Johnson. But it’s Ryan’s soulful, character-filled voice that carries the song, conveying a mature regret that is, by all rights, beyond his years. myspace.com/chrisryanmusic.
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