Dublin, County Dublin
“We're so busy trying to bag the interchangeable Next Big Indie things that the really special catch can easily slip through the net these days. Often simply because they don't conform to the (increasingly conservative) prevailing trends.
So it's hugely refreshing to discover a performer like GAVIN RYAN kicking so gloriously against the pricks. Armed with a voice like a stunning alliance of Ray LaMontagne and prime era Paul Rodgers, this young Dubliner comes brandishing a bulging bag of earthy blues, tender balladry and compelling arcana and his second album 'Love And Punishment' throws the anaemic efforts of the headline grabbers likes of Snow Patrol into even sharper relief.
Ryan's 2006 debut 'Broken Blues' was a fine record, but its' follow-up is in another league altogether. Recorded predominantly live in the studio (Dublin's famous Windmill Lane) with a band capable of both enormous restraint and sizzling sonic overload and visiting all points in between, it's exhilarating from wall to wall and – if there's any justice left at all – really ought to introduce its' author to a far wider audience.
Significant portions of 'Love And Punishment' rock significantly harder than anything from 'Broken Blues'. Opening duo 'Baby I Was Right' and 'G-Jam Blues' really cook with gas. Both swagger along, riding bumper grooves with charisma to spare, while Derek O'Connor's magnificent sax on 'G-Jam Blues' adds an authentic Southern Soul sucker punch. 'Lonesome As A Cloud' is arguably even better, with the band building an ominous crescendo for over two minutes before drummer Steve Davis's snare finally batters its way in and an electric storm pours down all over the song…”
9/10 Tim Peacock; Whispein' & Hollerin'
“Two-bit losers, intractable blindness, errant hookers and a Waitsean pursuit of life's dark, enthralling underbelly.”
**** The Ticket, The Irish Times
“Deep-rooted, gravelly vocals.”
“Strong, powerfull, full of emotion.”
**** Evening Echo