By the Stairs
Ryan Shearing's music draws on various folk traditions - sometimes a fingerpicked ballad, sometimes a bluegrass stomp. Treading a kind of 'alternative-folk' area, Shearing's musical style has drawn comparisons to contemporary artists such as Iron & Wine and M. Ward. Still, one could describe his voice as being somewhere in between Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen and early Tom Waits. While initially the ragged vocal delivery may seem out of place coming from the 25 year-old, the listener soon warms up to it as an ideal vehicle for heartbreaking melodies. 'By The Stairs' is an original 11 track collection of road songs and drinking ballads produced by Gern f. of The United Steel Workers of Montreal. The album features Ryan on vocals, guitars, mandolin and piano;as well as vocal harmonies from Gern F. & Felicity Hamer (of the United Steel Workers of Montreal); and Scott LeBlanc & Denis Woods (of Montreal indie rock band The Dress Whites). The raw and subtle textures of the record carry the listener through scenes of dusty highways and afterhours alleyways. 'Songwriting like Townes Van Zandt and a voice like Tom Waits.' Steve Meyers - Radiofreemontreal 'A cross between Willie Nelson and The Velvet Underground' Matt de Harp - Two Dollar Bash.