View Full Version : Jimmy Ryan

Mar-08-2004, 10:19am
I was browsing for Ry Cooder info and found this guy. Really enjoying his disc Lost Diamond. It reminds me of Buddy Miller and the Band a little bit, with some nods to Morphine (the drummer is on the disk), and some very cool mando. Anybody know his work?
Jimmy Ryan (http://www.jimmyryan.org/)

mad dawg
Mar-08-2004, 11:37am
He plays mandolin on one of my favorite CDs, the Northeast Kingdom, by Cheri Knight. I have been meaning to check out one of his CDs, as well as something from the Blood Oranges, and Boston-based alt.country band he was in a while back (not to be confused with a Klezmer act of the same name).

Mar-08-2004, 12:47pm
hey mad dawg, I just googled Cheri Knight; that sounds like something good, I'm going to order it.
Thanks for the tip.

mad dawg
Mar-08-2004, 12:51pm
Thank you: based upon your advice, I think I'll order Lost Diamond. # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Mar-08-2004, 1:00pm
no THANK you!!!
Hope you like Diamonds; itsa little 'unpolished' but a good
alt-country-rock-etc record. He's a pretty good songwriter,
but from what I just read about Ms. Knight, it sounds like she's a bit 'deeper'.

jim simpson
Mar-09-2004, 8:10am
I got to see Jimmy and Blood Oranges about 10 years ago. I really like the Crying Tree. Mad Dawg, If you like Cheri Knight's CD, you'll really like her songs on The Crying Tree. I was hoping Northeast Kingdom sounded more like her work with the Oranges.

Mar-10-2004, 2:22pm
went on his home page -and nothing to download to listen to- any links?http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Mar-10-2004, 3:31pm
jimmy ryan is very big in the boston area. i thought last summer someone told me that the blood oranges were going to be playing together again. i saw jimmy when he played with lori mckenna two years ago when they opened for nickel creek at the somerville theater.

Mar-12-2004, 9:53am
Jimmy, Jim Whitney and I founded a band called the Beacon Hillbillies in 1992. we had a weekly bar gig, and recorded 3 CDs, two of which are still available, dirt cheap at
In that band, I played guitar mostly, with Jimmy on mando. We are playing some gigs around Boston now and then with Jimmy on mando and myself on octave mando.
I love Jimmy's playing, he is a unique stylist. Great guy, too. Plus, he teaches, if you are in the Boston area and interested, contact me and I'll give you his contact info.

Mar-12-2004, 11:13am
Thanks for info; just ordered your Upslide CD.

David M.
Mar-12-2004, 8:10pm
Cool to see John McGann post here. John, I saw you w/Rust Farm open for Tim O'Brien in Lexington, KY. Didn't see any mando that night, but your guitar work was awesome. And your partner in Rust Farm says that you're even better on mandolin!

Mar-15-2004, 10:14am
Hey mad dawg! Cheri Knight's Kingdom cd arrived Friday; can you tell me how long I can expect to listen to this in heavy rotation?? Man, is that a GOOD cd. It's everything I like about Lucinda Williams (My wife actually hid the Car Wheels CD I played it so much), but I like this even more. Thank you again for the tip.

mad dawg
Mar-15-2004, 10:34am
I am still not burned out on it, even though every now and then while browsing through my CDs I see it, and then listen to it for several days in a row.

Mar-23-2004, 1:13pm
Mandobar, I was at that Nickel Creek/Lori Mckenna show at the Somerville Theatre. I have a question about that show. Would you email me, if you don't mind? I'm at bean.bass@verizon.net, thanks.

Mar-23-2004, 3:43pm
so excited, been in email contact with mr. ryan, and will be seeing him for lessons soon! woohoo!

Mar-23-2004, 5:04pm
Oh man, that will be great. Tell him he's got some fans here.

Mar-23-2004, 10:08pm
just so you know, the night i saw jimmy ryan he was playing a newer gibson A model.

Mar-24-2004, 12:56pm
I thought that Jimmy was playing a Flatiron A at the SomervilleTheatre.

Mar-24-2004, 4:00pm
i'll find out this sunday and let you know.

Mar-24-2004, 5:19pm
yeah, ira, cause i thought it said gibson.......in fact i was a bit surprised. lori mckenna is also a great singer/songwriter for those who have never seen or heard her.

Mar-28-2004, 10:02pm
hey mandobar and beanbass- the man plays a flatiron a.

told him he should chime in, but he isn't much of a computer guy. he is however an interesting teacher. he had told me to bring my mando and an open mind, and we definitely stretched around to different territory. told him that i wanted to learn technique, especially rythm and crosspicking, as well as, playing up the neck for solos. he showed me a bunch of licks, but most importantly how they can be worked in different keys up and down the neck. some plays on crosspicking technique, and he helped me figure out part of what was bothering me about my strumming, and pick position.

as an added bonus, jr is a really nice guy.

lots of fun, and i;ll see him again in approx 1 month.

Mar-29-2004, 1:23am
When I was in college in Binghamton in the early 1970s, a couple friends and I were playing in a dorm lounge when two other guys came by, one with a mandolin, the other with a guitar. After playing awhile, I suggested we work up a few things and try playing a bar, but the mandolin player said they couldn't because they were only 15 or 16. It was Jimmy Ryan, of course, and we did play a bit until I graduated and a little after. For almost 30 years I've wondered what happened to him, until a read an article in No Depression last fall, and now see his name coming up all over the place. He was excellent at the time, and it is good to see him getting recognition.

Mar-30-2004, 12:35pm
I admit.., the world moved-on and left me behind years ago - but, I have/had never heard of Mssr. Ryan - from the Boston area..!!?? - evidently he's GOOD..!?? - (judging from the above "posters") - and I thought I was/am pretty "eclectic" - Guess I gotta' check this Ryan guy out...sounds like he's more "in" then that UPS guy. Hey, what ever happened to him anyway..?? - I bought his CD..!?# - Moose. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Mar-30-2004, 5:12pm
Filling in some of the middle (between Binghamton and Boston) -- back in the 70's Jim was with a Burlington VT bluegrass-and-swing band called Pine Island with amazing banjoist Gordon Stone, this band just had an incredible sold-out 30-year reunion concert with a reissue album of some really great stuff (if pressed I might be able to get you the album specifics). The two of them also were involved in a punk-rock band called the Decentz (don't know if they ever recorded, also don't know if I'm confusing this with the X-Rays that Stone was with for sure). Hope this helps.

Mar-31-2004, 12:21am
sounds like jimmy has been jammin around for a whole bunch of years. thanks for the history.

one thing that i forgot to mention in previous post was, jimmy is a lefty, and when he played my mando (over which he appropriately oohd and aaahd) upside down, he was still smooth as silk and fast as lightning. it was pretty cool to watch. wish i could play a tenth as good holding it the right way. oh well, back to practicing.

Apr-02-2004, 9:28am
Hey all - #I've been working with Jimmy since he was introduced to me by a friend mando player about a year back. In fact, my friend moved to Boston just to be taught mando by Jimmy. #JR is truly a mandomaster in the eyes of many. #Most notably sited for forming and fronting the alt-country band The Blood Oranges, Jimmy has been deemed the pioneer of alt-country and was truly ahead of his time (too bad the genre was overcome by 'grunge'). #Of course now, everyone is making an alt-country record of some sorts...

Jimmy's influences range from Bill Monroe to Bob Marley. #He is an innovative, left-handed player. He also plays mandocello, 5 and 8-string electric mando.

Prior to the Blood Oranges, Jimmy was with the Decentz (punk) and Pine Island. #Post-Blood Oranges, Jimmy was also in Wooden Leg with Mark Spencer and Beacon Hillbillies with John McGann. "Wooden Leg" released a great self-titled CD and BH recorded #3 albums: "Duffield Station", "More Songs of Love and Murder" and "Better Place." #With the demise of East Side Digital, unfortunately all are out of print, but I've found them on outofprintmusic.com

Jimmy plays the Boston scene quite a bit with a host of notables: #Duke Levine, Dana Colley & Billy Conway (Morphine), Dennis Brennan, John McGann, Gordon Stone - just to name a few. #The website gigs aren't always up to date, but we've been pretty consistent about sending out email announcements for shows. #If anyone is interested, you can email me and I will add you to the list. #

Jimmy just returned from SXSW where he played a few solo mandocello shows (amazing!) along with a full band show backed by Dumptruck and fiddler Warren Hood. #His solo debut "Lost Diamond Angel" hasn't been heavily promoted, but No Depression had a nice feature in its Apr/May 2003 issue and Miles Of Music had an interview in their Momzine - both are on Jimmy's website. This album is infectious... oh, and Jimmy - one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet! # You can find clips on Milesofmusic.com and CDBaby.com - just search Jimmy Ryan. Jimmy Ryan (http://www.jimmyryan.org #)

Apr-04-2004, 5:02pm
its interesting that you mention the mandocello. jr broke it out while i was there, and it is a cannon. it offers bright and bassy at the same time, and i'm sure it would offer an amazing solo instrument show.

additionally, i was blown away by his ability to play my mando upside down better than most would play it in its standard mode. jr in his instruction was all about simplicity in attack as the key, in other words, getting the most bang for the buck while playing. this was in sharp contrast to others i've learned from in which the long way was always the best way.

Apr-05-2004, 1:01pm
Jimmy Ryan fans- Jimmy and I will be playing a duo gig at Tir Na Nog, Union Sq. Somerville MA April 28 (Wed) 10 pm no cover good beer c'mon down! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif

Apr-07-2004, 3:47pm
thanks for the notice. i can't wait!

Apr-13-2004, 1:59pm
a good link to check out......

Apr-16-2004, 8:17pm
Hey Moose....Buyin that CD by that UPS guy? Try spending some money on a cover charge and cancel your cable TV subscription and the paper too. Music happens in the moment. If it's on clear channel or cnn or in the big noosepapers, well, those boys have an ulterior motive. Don't waste yer money or your talent or your time.

Apr-17-2004, 1:59pm
mandovt- great pics. thanks for the post.