A natural storyteller with a deep compassion for the lost and forgotten voices of our culture, Barb Ryman expects music to be more than entertaining. With a crystalline voice and skillfully played guitar, Barb delivers a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, drawing from country blues, early rock, Celtic balladry, and old-time gospel. Her newly released CD, CATCH THE SUNSET, charted #15 across the nation on the Folk Charts (Folk DJ's 70 most played albums in July). It's a sweet melodic ride flowing from intimate personal confessions to wise cultural commentaries to whimsical love stories and adventures of the heart. Ryman’s songs have received airplay on folk programs across the nation including the nationally syndicated, Midnight Special and Nevada City’s KVMR. From the Cedar Cultural Center in Minnesota, to Uncle Calvin’s in Texas, and from the Portland Folk Society in the West to Club Passim in the East, Barb draws in audiences with her captivating live concerts as she tours the U.S.
Ryman is distinguished for her ability to write music that heals. Having lost her father, a navy pilot, when she was four, Barb was intuitively drawn to the healing professions and became an accomplished speech-language therapist who helped children with special needs develop communication skills. Barb went on for her masters in counseling psychology, facilitated grief groups and delved into other spiritual pursuits. This background seamlessly integrated itself into her music, making her concerts both entertaining and restoring.
Her career launched in 1996 when the Minneapolis Star Tribune ranked her CD, LAY ME OPEN, a top ten release across all genres, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press proclaimed "You can’t help being amazed at the power of her presence and the sound of her voice. . . you can’t help but listen." CATCH THE SUNSET, Ryman’s sixth CD features guest musicians of Prairie Home Companion fame, Peter Ostroushko and Prudence Johnson. Barb is also known for her topical humor, and in 2006, ABC television bought rights to her satirical song “All American Dysfunctional Family” to promote a sit-com pilot. Currently Barb is preparing for her CD release concert tour.
“Barb Ryman proves herself a strong vocalist, talented composer, and an astutely irreverent student of the human condition.” - Dirty Linen
“Charming vulnerability and a rare knack for detailing the profound truths of everyday life. Her clear, ringing voice is reminiscent of Sandy Denny or Iris Dement.” Minneapolis Star Tribune - Jim Meyer
“Ryman’s songs of faith display wonder, awe and acceptance.” - Sing Out!
“Besides an unaffected sense of humor, Ryman possesses a sharp eye for social criticism and a truly moving compassion for human struggle...” - City Pages (Minneapolis/St Paul)
“Ryman has a clear and winsome voice, a ready sense of humor, and a short story writer’s flair for detail.” Minneapolis Star Tribune - Tom Surowicz