Ryan David Orr spent much of his life moving all over the United States under the influence of a revolving list of musical genres.
If you tossed his memories into a hat and pulled them out one by one, the first might be the sound of Tom Waits mixed with the scent of coffee and fried potatoes. The second might be the glittery shine of oversized jewelry hanging off the necks of the hip-hop artists whose photos adorned the vinyl that spun on his father’s turntable. The third might be singing backing vocals as a child in Portland, Oregon on his mother’s second folk album, his first experience in a recording studio. Perhaps it would be learning to read music and play Beethoven on violin with a school orchestra. Or it might be sitting on the front lawn after moving to Tennessee as a teen, clanking an old beginner electric guitar, learning to play Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Led Zeppelin songs.
"Intimate vocals, hypnotic song structures, lush instrumentation and some modern production make his music stand out from other songwriters"
"Great, distinctive voice ...worthy of top marks."
-Stuart Epps, producer
(Oasis, Elton John, Led Zeppelin)
After haphazardly entering the world of Digital Audio Workstations, he finished his first solo album, Bagdaddio, in 2002, which contained rock, folk, electronica, spoken word, funk, blues, and was probably too assorted a mix for its time commercially. Mac MacDonald of the Monterey County Weekly called it “stunning in its depth and breadth”.
The 2007 follow up album, My Fair February Notable Shimmer and Grin, was a soft acoustic album of storytelling songs, named “Best Folk Album International” by Toronto Exclusive Magazine. Then came Vermilion in 2008, an album that harkened to Orr’s organic, acoustic roots and contained hints of alt-country, indie-folk, and singer-songwriter ballads.
In 2011, he returned to his heavier rock inspirations with the album Mordred the Quarter Known. Upon hearing this album, Skope Magazine called Orr “a force to be reckoned with in this music world.” He followed that album with More Than Strangers in 2013, which found him delving into the world of ambient electronica, Celtic-influenced folk rock, and groovy soundscape storytelling.
After the death of his mother in 2013, Orr wrote a 7-song EP entitled For My Mother, Who Truly Loved the World, which he released in 2015 and gave to his fans for free. Then in 2016, he released kopascetic, an eclectic mix of styles that included folk, rock, electronica, spoken word, and even a duet.
Kaden Hollow was released in 2019, an indie-folk/Americana concept album about characters in a small Tennessee town. This work represents several years of songwriting, storytelling, recording, and the weaving of musical tapestry. Called “utterly haunting” by York Calling music blog, the songs from this album are at once heart-wrenching, hopeful, wistful, and serene.
Over the years, Ryan David Orr has traveled all over the United States and abroad to perform his music for loving, appreciative audiences. He firmly believes that there is healing power in music and art, and that human evolution, physically, mentally, and spiritually, is greatly influenced and bolstered by thoughtful, heart-centered, soulful creations. In addition to writing and performing music, Orr also engineers and produces, and is engaged in the world of film and video media.