Newfoundland singer-songwriter stops at Musiikki

Sherry Ryan. Submitted photo.


Sherry Ryan’s music has been compared to John Prine, Lucinda Williams, and Gillian Welch, but you might not easily get her to admit to those influences.

“I listened to John Prine a lot as a teenager,” said Ryan. “His songs are really simple. They get to you and bring up a lot of emotions. I’m honoured to have someone say that my music connects with them on an emotional level.”

Ryan’s music is indeed connecting with a lot of people. Her catchy single Stop the Trains won the Best Of Newfoundland & Labrador 2018 People’s Choice Award in December, and earlier in the fall she won the award for Music NL Female Artist of the Year.

Ryan brings her solo show to Kingston for an early show at Musiikki Cafe on Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2019. She’ll be joined for a few songs by Kingston folk musician Jon McLurg, an award-winning songwriter himself, who will perform again later in the evening with Wednesday night resident band The Goodnight Irenes.

“I like to introduce my songs with stories so everyone can follow along as to where the songs are coming from,” said Ryan. “I’ll throw in a few of my favourite cover songs, a lot of which is classic country.”

Classic country, folk, and Irish music are a big part of Ryan’s musical DNA.

“When I was younger we had a lot of classic country on the radio, and I also listened to a lot Irish music, but when I started writing, it was country that came out,” said Ryan. “My sister bought me (Lucinda Williams’ landmark 1998 album) Car Wheels on a Gravel Road and I hadn’t heard of Lucinda before, and I dove right in. I had been listening to a lot of Dylan and Neil, and then I found Gillian Welch and learned everything of hers, so naturally, a lot Gillian Welch-sounding songs started coming out of me. But all those writers are influenced by classic country, so it comes full circle.”

Ryan is just starting her quick tour of Ontario and Quebec, before heading home to St John’s, where she’ll spend the summer touring Newfoundland and hitting the festival circuit there. Later this year, she’ll make her first appearances Alberta and Saskatchewan as part of the Home Roots tour, which is a series of house concerts across the prairies.

Sherry Ryan performs this Wednesday at Musiikki Cafe from 5 – 7 p.m. There is no cover charge, but musician tips will be accepted. For a taste of what she’ll have in store, check out her latest album, Wreckhouse, on Spotify here.


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