Beth Peerless, Where it’s at: Sean Ryan makes a hometown visit

There are touring musicians who come through town and there are our local musicians who ply their trade regularly at various venues around town. And then there is Sean Ryan, a former local musician who made the big move to Nashville in May of 2016.

From time to time Ryan will come through on a tour or just stop in for a visit with friends and family, but not without finding the time and place to perform his latest tunes.
From noon to 4 p.m.  Sunday, if you’re in the mood to take a drive down River Road to Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Estate Winery near Soledad, you’ll be treated to some new music from the 34-year-old singer/songwriter. In particular, a new single titled “The Lazy Song” will be released Friday just before his Sunday afternoon gig.

“There was another song I wanted to record, but I put ‘The Lazy Song’ in front of the other because it’s something that we all can do well to hear right now,” he said in a phone interview from Nashville. “It’s a song about being happy and enjoying life. Hopefully, people will listen to it together and have that experience of live music when you’re next to someone and you hear a good song and it makes you feel happy with the person you’re with. It could be a stranger, a friend, anything. For me as a performer as well. I wanted to emphasize the importance of human connection.”

Like all musicians worldwide, he was faced with a couple of years of downtime due to the pandemic. “The Lazy Song” emerged as he was faced with life without gigging. He said this show will be his first open-to-the-public appearance since the before times.

“A lot happened in the last two years for everyone and myself,” he said. “So the recording process usually takes some time. Especially because of the quarantine. All of my projects were delayed for a year, even by my publishing company. I had to delay the first single from ‘The King of Wishful Thinking, Part 1.’ I had to wait a whole year. And that was difficult. By the time things opened up, I had some different material I wanted to work out.”

Ryan’s life is music. Having grown up in a musical family, his father hooked him up with a drum kit when he was 11 and it wasn’t long before he began working in the family band. He’s lived in several places but spent his formative years in Pacific Grove. Between his gigs with his father’s smooth jazz trio, he received homeschooling. Nashville in a way is like his postgraduate school, where he’s had the chance to learn from some of the best in the business.

“I’ve had the pleasure and honor I should say, to work in a town where all the experiences are, well, very surreal for me. I’m reminded that it’s the stuff you’ve heard about and now I’m in it. This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve worked with Warner, Capital and Sony recording. I’m working on some writing and co-writing. I’ve gotten to write with people who’ve written with Tina Turner and Garth Brooks. It’s amazing to hear them speak. I try to absorb every word that comes out of their mouth because they have their own unique version of using that word. That’s exciting.”

Living in Nashville he’s applied himself to not only honing his skills in songwriting but playing the guitar, not to mention going deep into the recording side of things. He wouldn’t have had those opportunities if he hadn’t moved there he said.

“I finished a full 12-track album, a five-track EP and a few singles, and some studio work I’ve done for some labels and other artists. Those are really fun for me because I like to challenge myself quite often. That’s why I picked the artist’s life, ya know? So writing things for different people is a great way to explore music styles you don’t normally do. I’ve been working with a Latin artist. I’m getting to write songs in a progression I would never use in my own music. And that’s fun as a writer.”

In the short time he’ll have to spend in Monterey this time around he hopes to see everyone out at Hahn Winery.

“I want people to hear the new stuff. And this year I’ll be out in Europe on tour, so I won’t be out in California much. This is an open invitation,” he offered. “Come on out if you want to relax and have a good time and enjoy music and I’ll share my stories from the last several years and while traveling. We’ll just all have a good time and enjoy each other’s company which we all haven’t done in a while.”

You can check in with Ryan on his website, www.seanryanlive.com, and his Instagram and Facebook pages. And be sure to check out Spotify, iTunes, iHeart Radio and at www.seanryan.bandcamp.com to pre-order and download his new song. The lyrics are there, too!

Suite Jazz @Embassy

Also Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Seaside, the return of the Suite Jazz @ Embassy professional musician jazz jam takes place, co-produced by singer Lee Durley and drummer and former KSBW weather guru Jim Vanderzwaan. In one form or another, at one location or another, this jazz jam has been going for over 25 years. It takes place the last Sunday of every month going forward for the foreseeable future.

For six years before the COVID shut down in March 2020, it’s been at the Embassy Suites Hotel and that’s where the public is invited to come and listen to our local jazz and blues artists get their swing on. In the lobby restaurant at the backside from the main entrance you’ll find table seating and access to a full bar and food for an afternoon of great jazz and hospitality.

The core band features singer Julie Capili, saxophonist/flutist Paul Contos, keyboardist Bill Spencer, bassist Dennis Murphy, drummer Jim Vanderzwaan, and singer Lee Durley.

We have so many great musicians who have played over the years and who will be making their way to the stage to share with fellow musicians and the audience the good vibes, the groove and all the hilarity that can occur when spontaneity is called for. There is no cover charge, but it would be a good idea to come hungry and thirsty and support the venue and musicians to keep this thing going.

“I just hope we have a good number of people there,” Durley said in a quick phone conversation. “I’m sure we will. I hope it all goes well.”

Around the bay

There’s a lot of good music and entertainment going on this weekend. You don’t want to miss the Beatles tribute band The Sun Kings at the Del Monte Center’s Favorite Friday concert, 6-8 p.m. in the courtyard near the movie theaters’ end of the shopping center. No cover.

Also on Friday at The Urban Lounge, you’ll find BiG SuRCuS, performing two sets, 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., tickets $25-$45. Tickets at www.urbankitchenmonterey.com. The BiG SuRCuS is a troupe with acts of fire dancing, sword skills, bellydance, feather fans and classy cameos, or other divine revelry, ministry and spoken words. Anything goes. Located at 1425 Munras Ave., Monterey, call 831-649-4771 for details. There’s a calendar of events there for the Thursday through Saturday shows.

Friday at Pearl Hour in New Monterey, the Carmel Delights Burlesque will perform at 9 p.m., tickets are $15 at the door. Please call about tickets at 831-657-9447. Pearl Hour has cocktails with fresh elements, beer and wine.

If you’re down in Big Sur or headed that way, you might want to check into the FolkYeah! concert with W.I.T.C.H. at Henry Miller Memorial Library Thursday night. Visit www.folkyeah.com for details.

The Wine Bank has another interesting show Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m. with Los Survivors. I’m thinking this is a Latin rock band with John Nava, Tom Ayers and Brian Shaw as familiar faces in the seven-member band. Visit www.coffeebankcafe.com for all the show info and advance tickets.

Contributed by local news sources

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