Ryan Dunlap, a Perrysburg-based musician, delights audiences around the country with his unique, heartfelt take on country and jazz-infused alternative rock.
With a sound evocative of popular musicians Dave Matthews and Ryan Adams, he fuses an eclectic blend of genres and emotions. Dunlap deftly weaves through these styles with strong, blues-tinged vocals and emotive lyrics in a way that is both palatable and expressive.
Dunlap first got into playing music and writing songs when he was 17 when a musician friend of his encouraged him. “‘You should take those poems and make songs’ he told me, and I thought ‘maybe I should do that,’” Dunlap
One day, while homebound during a severe snowstorm, Dunlap discovered his passion for guitar: “I picked it up and I haven’t put it down since.”
Channelling a warm, polished tone
When asked about his influences, Dunlap said, “I’m a huge Dave Matthews and John Mayer fan,” adding, “I’m a huge singer-songwriter fan and I love Ryan Adams.” Dunlap channels these influences to create a warm, polished tone. The country
element in Dunlap’s sound runs from his childhood memory: “Riding around in the car with my parents, we were
always listening to K100.” The music always stuck with him: “Just the sound of the pedal steel and good old country songwriting,” Dunlap remarked.
A new lane
Dunlap released his third studio album, Memory Lane, in December, a recording that draws on Dunlap’s diverse musical talents. The progression of songs throughout the album provide a journey through Dunlap’s influences.
The album begins with upbeat, funky, and jazzy songs, expressing a cool and fun-loving sentimentality with crisp and uplifting instrumentation. In later tracks, a more moody and country music influenced sound begins to emerge. According to Dunlap, the intended flow of the album is to “start big and slowly fade it out.”
Memory Lane’s polished production captures Dunlap and his band in a tight and integrated musical vision.
“Everything came out the way I saw it in the beginning,” Dunlap said. Jazzy saxophones, plucky banjos, and wailing slide guitar flavor the tracks with flourishes of stylistic depth. Dunlap remarked, “I came in with ideas of what I wanted and they laid it down perfectly. They brought it to life and added their ideas to what I had in my head.”
Follow Ryan Dunlap on Facebook at facebook.com/RyanDunlapMusic,
or listen to him on Spotify
or at reverbnation.com/ryandunlapmusic.