Jack Ryan – The kids are alright…

How do folks? You find me in the midst of a rather manic day before a holiday. My car needs packing, there’s mixes to mix and I have other exciting things occurring that I’m dying to share in good time! Today’s blog however, focuses on a young chap called Jack Ryan.

I met Jack around 10 years ago when me and his Dad Mark played in an outrageous prog band together. I’ve performed with Mark in loads of guises throughout the years, and without going off topic I will quickly note that he’s an amazing drummer who has an unrivalled passion for JUST PLAYING MUSIC.

Though it may not seem immediately relevant, Mark played an important role in my journey as a producer when he asked if I would like to rent a residential rehearsal space with him. Whilst this seemed like a cracking idea, my 17-year-old self lacked the funds for such a luxury and my band at the time did too. After scraping together all my pennies and inviting Matt to join the band because he had a JOB and a VOLKSWAGEN POLO (sellout…), we still couldn’t quite meet the figure needed. Faced with this information most people would just drop the idea, but Mark isn’t most people. He was so passionate about music (both supporting it and playing it) that he agreed to front far more than his fair share of rent so we could get the space and commit serious time into playing and developing as musicians. Having that creative space and the time to use it led to me finding my passion for recording and the rest, as they say, is history.

(His wife Jo also deserves an honourable mention here for always encouraging me, Mark and Jack in our musical endeavours – nice one Jo!x)

With this background, I was more than happy to help when Mark got in touch asking if I could record his son Jack and capture some songs he’d written. Whilst I knew Jack was really creative after hearing about his infinite list of hobbies, I was chuffed to hear that at the age of 15 he’d sat down at a piano and written his very own batch of his songs. In a time where there’s a million distractions for kids and adults alike, it’s always great to hear about someone you know finding a way to channel some much needed creativity into the world.

You never really know how people will perform when they first enter a studio (particularly at such a young age!) but Jack honestly blew me away with his tunes and really natural performances. So on one sunny Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago we found the time to get Jack in for a video. Aided by the legend that is Rich Wosik on acoustic guitar (Crazy 66, Maffa Kings….Himself), Jack performed his song ‘Why Can’t You See’.

(Rich is another unsung hero who has helped me no end in my musical endeavours…I’ll give him a cheeky blog one day too!)

It’s an awesome little ballad, and whilst it was never intended to be a Pin-up Session, it struck me that releasing it as one might give Jack a little leg up when setting up his artist pages and beginning his journey as a musician. Though I know Jack loves Billie Eilish (who doesn’t?), his first batch of tunes put me more in mind of Adelle/Sam Smith and the likes. The recipe of simple raw songs sung with tonnes of passion is certainly one I can get behind. Take a look at the Roots sneak peak of his session below!

ROOTS SNEAK PEAK ( Not a bad first performance in front of a camera ey?! )

Stay tuned for the full video on Friday (assuming I have signal at my campsite!) and give Jack’s brand spanking new instagram a follow at @jackryanofficial_music_page. You’ll no doubt watch him go from strength to strength over the next few years.

As always, a quick reminder to subscribe to my channel to check out the likes of Pretty Babs, Scribble Victory, Reqs, MYOK, Them Are They, Myles Knight, Crazy66, Clonk, Olly Hensby and Boats on the Ocean doing some amazing live sessions.

Ta,

Ben x

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