Ryan Joseph

History

Born in a state made famous by a grand canyon and great political failures, Ryan gained his moniker because some jackass in the 80s, also named Ryan, was moderately famous for his ineptitude and fatherly woes and also happened to date Farrah Fawcett for a while.

Emigrating to the great land of California less than a year after his introduction to this planet, he’s at once a California native and Arizona born, a fact that has always caused him a fair amount of consternation.

Growing up in the aptly-, if lazily-, named Inland Valley of Southern California taught Ryan the value of despising those who decided to settle in an arid desert hundreds of years ago. Being a member of the marching band throughout his tenure in public education taught Ryan the value of never, ever, doing anything physical on black asphalt in mid-August in Southern California again. And I suppose it also taught him quite a bit about music, too.

Although he tends not to admit it, Ryan did in fact begin his love affair with all things musical on the french horn, with a brief and unsatisfying respite with the trumpet. Ryan would also like everyone to know that he was damn good at that horn, despite the abnormally-tiny mouthpiece and the impossibility of creating the necessary embouchure with a mouthful of bright, shiny braces. Ryan would also like you to know that he’s definitely not insecure about this, especially not anymore.

Following the french horn came the trombone and a deep and dirty obsession with jazz. Unfortunately, college beckoned and our fair band dork, deciding that enough was enough, didn’t re-enlist in any of the musically-inclined organizations available at his chosen locus of higher learning. There was a pun in that last sentence, but you’d have to know Ryan pretty damn well to get it.

However, said institution of higher learning did afford him quite the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, one of whom happened to live in the same dorm and just so happened to have the same name, too.

The lack of ability to express oneself can wear thin extremely quickly, and it was in this vein that Ryan picked up a guitar for the first time in 2002. Teaching himself from online instructionals, tab sites, and general fooling-about on the fretboard, this learning experience belies itself in Ryan’s sloppy, misguided playing.

A long and storied history of college jam sessions and yearly sabbaticals to see the great Dave Matthews perform eventually evolved into a drunken declaration in an empty Santa Rosa bar: how hard could it be to get in front of some people and play some tunes?

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Musical Influences

It may seem like a long list, but how can you know what’s good unless you listen to as much as you can?

The Eagles & Garth Brooks (that’s right bitches), Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Green Day, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Dave Matthews et al, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Lyrics Born, System of a Down, The Mars Volta, Fastball, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Thursday, Outkast, The Seatbelts, Béla Fleck, Coheed And Cambria, Ben Gibbard / Death Cab & The Postal Service, Alexisonfire, Connor Oberst / Bright Eyes & Desaparecidos, Tim Kasher / Cursive & The Good Life, Ratatat, Minus the Bear, Cloud Cult, P.O.S., Modest Mouse, Bonobo, Four Tet.

There are many more I’ve forgotten, I’m sure.

Equipment

Ovation Celebrity Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Elixir Nanoweb Strings
Jim Dunlop 10-band EQ pedal
Shure SM-57 Dynamic Mic