We’re meeting Ryan Smith on his birthday. A young man of 25, Ryan sits in front of a full plate. He’s the booking agent for a local club, performs and host’s an open-mic acoustic night at the Blues Station every Wednesday, plays in an acoustic duo, both in and out of Columbus, and is the front man for the newly formed band, The Agency.
The Agency is a well stirred mix of Columbus musicians, featuring Felix Alvis of Red Dahlia and Planet 12, bassist Byron Basham of Uncle Owen, and lead guitarist Kevin Dutton. Ryan speaks highly of his cohorts. “They’re all such good musicians, I feel like I can lay back and not try to carry the show. They carry me.”
Ryan’s solo EP is just that. Someone Please Take Me Home is a lone man and his acoustic guitar coffee-housing through stories of innocence lost and optimistic tomorrows. Ambling down roads of excess and lessons learned. "Walk Of Shame" is a mid-tempo college romp of over indulgence and bitter mornings. "Where The Lights Are Low" is a slow-strum, somber tale of new life and old battle scars. The vocals are soft and breathy. Almost whispered, in the vein of Elliot Smith. There’s longing in Ryan’s voice as he sings the first line in "Stay The Night": “Well there’s something in the way you forget my name.” It’s an apologetic swan song from start to finish. The EP is five song, six string melancholy walk of remembrance down a hallway that ends at a slightly ajar door and a room with an empty bed.
What’s Smith’s newest venture? “I’m going to cut back on out of town gigs and concentrate on writing and recording,” he says. “It’s a solo project for now, but may very easily evolve into a group project ”
See Ryan every Wednesday at The Blues Station. Catch The Agency at Andyman’s Tree House on April 22nd. For all things Ryan Smith, log onto www.ryansmithonline.com