October 12, 2009
Singer-songwriter Audrey Ryan promotes new record, documentary with DIY flair
Audrey Ryan, an experimental indie folk singer-songwriter in the Boston scene, has quite a bit on her plate after a relaxing summer in the Acadia region of Maine. "I needed to recharge my batteries by taking a break from city life and constantly touring and gigging all over the place," she says. Not only did she take in Maine's beauty while rehabbing an old cabin, she also worked on some new material.
Since returning to the Bean after Labor Day, Ryan has had four CD release shows for her new album, I Know, I Know. At these shows, she has been using her one-man-band setup. "They always seem to appreciate it since there is so much going on at the same time," she says.
I Know, I Know was recorded over the past year in Maine and in her loft. For the record, she played her music one-man-band style, with Stephen Brodsky of the Boston band, Cave In, engineering it on a 4-track. Nick Zampiello at New Alliance mixed and mastered the record. "It remains pretty lo-fi and live-sounding, which is what I wanted because it sounds pretty much the same at a live show,” Ryan says.
Her last and homecoming CD release show will be on Oct. 17 in the Sanctuary at the Clarendon Hill Presbyterial Church in Somerville.
At the show, she will also be screening a documentary called Loft Show Upstairs. Mike Boudo, producer for Channel 7 News and an avid music lover, taped some shows Ryan held in her loft during the winter and spring. The story focuses on her DIY space and philosphy.
After her final release show, Ryan will be touring Europe for a few weeks. She's going to Ireland and the U.K. since her U.K. label, Folkwit Records, is best positioned there. "I'm pretty bummed I'm not going to Paris this year, but I also hate traveling too much when I'm in Europe, as in flying every couple days," Ryan says. "It just wears me out, so I'm glad that this tour is kind of concentrated on those two markets that are very easy to get around.”
This girl is full of plans. After Europe, she will be touring the U.S. with Richard Julian, a singer-songwriter in a band with Norah Jones called The Little WIllies. She plans to go back to SXSW next year, play a lot of shows, and work on her next record. She's also thinking about having more loft shows in the winter.
Ryan says she can make an impact through her loft shows. "From my perspective, all I can do is just create a scene among the artists I know and like, which at this point spreads way beyond New England," she said. "My loft really helps me do that and I just hope that I can continue to host shows and have events there."
Though ideal, the space is not without troubles. She recently went through a change in ownership and foreclosure problems. "I truly believe a city can actually be judged by its art, so if this city gets too expensive and turns all its artists on the street like what happens in San Francisco where the artists actually protested in the streets for affordable spaces, it will be a sad day," she says. "But for now, I'm just going to keep doing my DIY shows and being a DIY artist the best I can considering the general saturation of the market at well as the economic challenges."