Like a Tree
Reviews - Like A Tree: 'Ryman's songs of faith display wonder, awe and acceptance.' Sing Out! 'For her third album Ryman has come up with an interesting bunch of songs about the myths of our times....a simple song about wife-battering called 'The Pain' which features an ancient Swedish vocal technique called Kulning. 'Mother Mary Margaret Iris' questions the vows of chastity imposed on Catholic priests and nuns. 'Temple of the Moon' and 'God Came & He Sat On My Bed' also offer unusual perspectives on religion. 'Queen of the Couch' is a folk-blues song about her 'schmoozing snoozing pooch.' The title track is a metaphor for the attainment of environmental and spiritual well-being. 'Rapture of the Socks' is a phantasmagoria about the perennial mystery of the socks that disappear in every laundry. Some of the dozen or so musicians helping out include of few of the best in the Minneapolis region such as Peter Ostroushko and Dan Newton. Dirty Linen Here's what else the critics are saying about Barb Ryman: 'You can't help being amazed at the power of her presence and the sound of her voice. You can't help but listen.' Jim Walsh, St. Paul Pioneer Press '...charming vulnerability and a rare knack for detailing the profound truths of everyday life. Her clear, ringing voice was reminiscent of Sandy Denny or Iris Dement.' Jim Meyer, Minneapolis Star Tribune 'Barb Ryman proves herself a strong vocalist, talented composer, and an astutely irreverent student of the human condition.' Dirty Linen Bio: Barb Ryman - singer songwriter, cultural critic, love junkie - is a native tall Texan who has lived most of her life in the Twin Cities as a short person. Inspired by a too early mid life crisis, Barb first took the stage as a songwriter at the age of 40. With that debut performance she found herself a finalist in the nationally endorsed Fine Line Songwriter Competition. Three years later she was nominated for the 1994 Minnesota Music Award, Songwriter of the Year, and again in 1996. Her CD, Lay Me Open, was recognized as exceptional by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and put on the top ten list across all genres. The St. Paul Pioneer Press called it a 'heart-on-sleeve triumph' and also listed it in their top releases. It was nominated for the 1996 Minnesota Music Award for Best Folk Recording. Barb lays her insightful, witty lyrics into a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, gentle rock, and country blues, delivering it all with a clear, compelling voice. Her fingerstyle guitar is sweet, complimenting the compassionate underpinnings of her songs. Committed to living life authentically, Barb's music is passionate, spiritual, tender, and rebellious, capable of distilling and undercutting the myths of our times. Her love songs detour from sentimental cliché and speak directly to the risks and vulnerabilities. Her lyrical stories circumvent conformity, drawing from a deep emotional well where only the brave go. All this she balances with her gift for musical humor, keeping fans laughing with satires like 'Ode to Low Self-Esteem' and 'Playing For Two'. Barb gently charms every audience she meets with her sincerity and playful stage banter. Always attracted to music, Barb started to compose when she could play her first two chords and feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously. Inspired by the 60's folk revolution, she was playing the coffeehouses by high school and college but kept original compositions to herself. Succumbing to societal pressures to get a 'real job' Barb's music went into the closet, literally. After 15 years of marriage, two above average children, and a successful career as a speech pathologist, Barb could no longer ignore the feeling that something was missing. She pulled her guitar out of the closet and started composing. It was her musical coming out. Barb describes it as exploding out, 'You can't repress 20 years of your musical soul and expect it to trickle out. I was writing song after song after song'. Barb has performed throughout the Midwest and beyond at concert series, folk festivals, and radio shows. She has shared the stage Cheryl Wheeler, Robin & Linda Williams, Les Sampou, and Cozy Sheridan, to name a few. Her songs have aired on folk programs across the nation, and in parts of Europe and Australia. She now has four recordings, Winds of Good Fortune (1993), Lay Me Open (1995), Like A Tree (1998), and her new release, Falling Down To Heaven (2002), produced by percussionist, Marc Anderson, and featuring a cast of top-notch guest musicians including Dean Magraw, Peter Ostroushko, and Celtic virtuoso, John Williams.