Ryan MacGrath & Thewoodenhouse
Ryan MacGrath and thewoodenhouse is bombarding the city of Halifax with their unique brand of contemporary pop-rock. The carefully arranged songs and natural stage presence is indicative of a band that approaches their music with dedication and maturity. Each member brings years of experience to the plate which explains the level of musicianship evident in this young band. They are creating a sound that is as fresh and timeless as it is catchy and accessible. Ryan MacGrath has been performing as a singer-songwriter for several years. This is his first time being supported by a full band; it is proving to be a smart move. His vocal and lyrical abilities are well showcased as thewoodenhouse's 'front-man'. Kelly Legault plays keyboards and sings backing vocals with the band. Her haunting voice helps to create what is the essence of the group's sound. Dan Pirrie is the lead guitarist and marked multi-instrumentalist. Leaping form heavy distortion on the electric, to the flutter of the mandolin, Dan writes provocative and memorable solos. Joe Landry's bass is the sonic foundation of thewoodenhouse. His bass lines are thick and moody. While being skilled at playing and arranging songs, Joe also has a strong business sense. Matt Rhind and the drums are synonymous. He plays his kit sensitively allowing for the emotion of the songs to come through. His 'rocker' vocals compliment the smoother tones produced by Ryan and Kelly, making for dreamy three-part harmonies. The determination of Ryan MacGrath and thewoodenhouse is clear when listening to their debut EP. Recorded by Jame Shaw of redfish audio, the CD is a spectacular preliminary effort. The band transformed the North Street Church - located in Halifax's north end - into an inspirational studio. The scuffed hardwood floors and high ceilings contributed to the warmth on the recording. From 'Lost Love' (a confessional of transient love) to 'Wooden Hill' (a story about helping those who can't help themselves) the EP's six songs are personal and driven. In just two days, live off-the-floor, the band captured a sound that will propel them into the next phase of their musical career. Thus far, the group has received positive media attention including featured articles in the Daily News. In June 2006, they were invited by Duane Lowe of Global Television to appear on her talk show Global Noon. Here, they performed live and garnered the kind of publicity that any burgeoning band hopes for. One major highlight was sharing a stage on the Halifax Commons with Toronto Indie darling Gentleman Reg. Several of Halifax's hottest venues have already hosted the band, with more shows to come. All of these opportunities, arising from hard work and seemingly, fate, have aided in their success. However, Ryan MacGrath and thewoodenhouse are setting their sights on higher goals. Television, film, touring, and product endorsement are some of the vehicles with which the band is going to promote themselves. The sky is the limit when it comes to building a long-lasting career in the music industry. The band is taking a do-it-yourself approach the making their music heard. Websites such as myspace.com, taxi.com, cdbaby.com, sonicbids.com, and newmusiccanada.ca are all playing a part. The band is actively marketing their EP, live shows, and overall image. Enthusiasm has led them to become members of Music Nova Scotia where they regularly seek advice and guidance. Given the proper exposure, Ryan MacGrath and thewoodenhouse are bound to create music that will influence listeners everywhere. They are business savvy, image conscious, and willing to go the extra mile. Earning a spot on the international stage is important to them, but so is the journey.