Ryan Burns – Recording Artist During Quarantine

Ryan Burns - Recording Artist During Quarantine


Tell us about yourself and your music

I am a jazz and rock keyboardist based in Seattle, Washington. I was schooled at Berklee in Boston and have been gigging and teaching ever since. My original music leans toward jazz, though I also work a lot with rock and rollers including in the band Flight To Mars, led by Mike McCready (Pearl Jam). I have been playing professionally for over 30 years. I have recorded 6 solo CD’s and well over a dozen as a sideman. I play in town a lot with Wayne Horvitz, and my most recent touring was with the Barrett Martin Group. I have been writing and recording singles during the quarantine.

Talk to us more about your latest release

My latest release is 5/4 blues titled “Boogaloo Bird.” It is a Hammond organ trio track which was recorded by members Cole Schuster (guitar) and Max Holmberg (drums) in each other’s basements during the quarantine. I overdubbed some fender bass along with the organ bass, to give it a little Booker T and the MG’s vibe.

What inspired you to write this release?

I wrote “Boogaloo Bird” a while back, and released a solo piano version on my last full-length CD “Ryan Burns Songbook – Piano Compositions,” released December 2019. The blues is a feeling. I just got that feeling one day, and this song just sort of poured out. I always envisioned it as a Hammond organ track, and I guess it took a month in quarantine to get around to recording it the way I always wanted. 

Describe the writing and recording process

As far as writing in this case, the bass line was the first thing to come to me. Everything falls into place from a solid bass line. One of my influences, Horace Silver, used to write specific bass lines for his band, and it is part of what hooks you into his music. I also like individual players to express themselves in a jazz group, so I like to leave lots of room for interpretation when writing. 

As for the recording process, this is my first worldwide release solo effort that I completed without hiring an engineer, including mixing and mastering. Being in quarantine, I chose musicians I knew had their equipment at home and could provide quality tracks to work with. I started recording on a 4-track cassette machine in the late 1980s. Today I use Logic Pro X. I have had the opportunity to work in the studio with some great engineers such as Josh Evans, who recorded my 2010 CD “Birds” and most recently produced Pearl Jam’s new release “Gigaton.” Last December I recorded with Duff McKagan in the studio with Martin Feveyear. The list goes on, but what I am saying is every time I am in the studio I view it as a learning opportunity, and I have had great opportunities to learn from the best.

I am releasing a single every first Friday of the month for the foreseeable future. My next single “Bacon and Eggs” includes a YouTube video premiering June 5. 

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

Due to Covid-19 gigs have been canceled, so my recording and releasing singles and videos in the meantime are my way to keep sharing my music. 

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I am just trying to present all the original music at this time. I don’t think about branding when I am writing. I just try to be myself, get my music out there, and let the PR people at artistPR, CD Baby, and others who I am currently working with to help with branding. 

Who have you been listening to lately?

Organist Wil Blades, formerly of San Francisco, now in LA. I studied with him a bit. I love his work. Still can’t get enough of Erroll Garner. Also, my wife got me into Argentinian keyboardist singer Fito Paez. 

Who are your biggest influences?

Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. #1 and 2, respectively. 

Tell us about your passions

I love baseball. I am missing having it going on this spring. I used to play as a kid, now I just admire it. I love watching it and following stats. 

What else is happening next in your world?

I own a business called Burien School of Music. I have had to shut it down for the last 2 months, so I have been teaching Zoom lessons online. I have started www.virtualkeyboardlessons.com and am going to work toward building that up a bit and expand my teaching base. 



Thanks for an awesome interview, Ryan Burns



Connect with Ryan Burns

Website: http://ryanburnsmusic.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ryanburnstrio/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryanburnsmusic/Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PatScobercrombieSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/patscobercrombie

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