Winds of Good Fortune
Singer-Songwriter- Barb Ryman is a nationally touring, award-winning singer-songwriter who expects music to be more than entertaining. Her music is lyric-driven, emotional, heart-opening. With a clear winsome voice and skillfully played guitar, she delivers a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, country blues, Celtic flavored ballads, old-time gospel, and bits of folk-rock. Home based in Minnesota, Barb's music career was launched when the Minneapolis Star Tribune proclaimed her 1995 CD, Lay me Open, "a heart-on-sleeve triumph" and national reviews in folk and world music magazines, Sing Out and Dirty Linen, acknowledged her talent. "You can't help being amazed at the power of her presence and the sound of her voice. You can't help but listen," wrote Jim Walsh, music critic for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Ryman has recorded five CDs and been nominated for numerous Minnesota Music Awards including Songwriter of The Year, Recording of The Year, Song of The Year, and Female Vocalist. The American Composer Forum awarded her the 2002 McKnight Composer Fellowship, a coveted award for composers across all music genres. In 2006, ABC Television bought rights to her satire "All American Dysfunctional Family" for their new sitcom series Sons & Daughters. She has performed throughout the U.S. at concert series, folk festivals, colleges, house concerts, and radio shows. Her songs have aired on folk programs across the U.S. Europe, Australia and beyond. A natural storyteller with a deep compassion for the lost and forgotten voices of our culture, Barb has written heart-riveting songs like "Maggie of the Street" about a homeless woman abandoned by the system, "Ballad of a Drowning Women" the harrowing tale of an Irish immigrant's journey to the New World, and "Marah Beth" a touching tribute to a brain injured child with the wisdom of sages. A love for paradox, Barb uses them effectively in songs like "Ode to Low Self-Esteem" a tongue-in-cheek satire that seems to raise everyone's self-esteem, and her diverse collection of humorous songs on themes from email spam to lost socks to playing to tiny audiences in her popular song "Playing For Two", 'my spirits do soar as I hear the roars from Brian and Greg, if they had dates there'd be four!' Barb can take an audience from laughter to tears with fluidity and grace, fill them with awe for the larger things in life by her attention to the small details, and lift spirits with her charming, lilting voice in the melodic "Mary Jane" a mystical love song. Always attracted to music, Barb started composing when she could play her first two chords and feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously. Inspired by the late 60's folk revolution, she was playing the coffeehouses in high school and college, but then succumbed to societal pressures to get a "real job". After graduating, her music went into the closet and after nearly 20 years of marriage, two above average children (as we say here in Lake Wobegon land) 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. Friends encouraged her to perform a song at the Fine Line Music Café. Little did she know this was a nationally endorsed competition being judged by major publishers, record people and agents in the Midwest, With that debut performance she found herself a finalist and was encouraged to pursue her music seriously. She started playing out on weekends, opening for people like Cheryl Wheeler, Robin & Linda Williams, and Les Sampou. While balancing parental and career responsibility, she managed to record four CDs, rack up nine nominations for Minnesota Music Awards, and earn the respect of the folk community. In 2002 she received the break she needed when she won the McKnight award. She quit her speech therapy career and went full time touring on the folk & singer-songwriter circuit. Barb Ryman's recordings include, Winds of Good Fortune (1992), Lay Me Open (1995), Like A Tree (1998), Falling Down To Heaven (2002), and her new release, Earthbound (2007), produced by percussionist, Marc Anderson, and featuring Eric Toussaint, Dirk Freymuth and musicians of "Prairie Home Companion" fame, Peter Ostroushko, Adam Granger, and Prudence Johhson.