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Barb Ryman: Press Kit/Reviews

Press Release For Barb Ryman #1


Contact: Renegade productions/Barb Ryman, 612-926-0640,

Who: BARB RYMAN singer-songwriter -Folk

Barb Ryman, a Minneapolis based songwriter, began her touring career when the Minneapolis Star Tribune proclaimed her 1995 CD, Lay Me Open, “a heart on sleeve triumph” and voted it top ten across all genres. Now Ryman has five CDs. Her latest, Earthbound, co-produced with percussionist Marc Anderson, features musicians of “Prairie Home Companion” fame, Peter Ostroushko, Adam Granger, and Prudence Johnson. Since her start, Ryman has received nine nominations for Minnesota Music Awards including Songwriter Of The Year, Recording Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Female Vocalist. In 2002, she won the McKnight Composer Fellowship. In 2006, ABC television bought rights to her satirical song “All American Dysfunctional Family” for use in their sit-com series “Sons & Daughters”, and in 2007, she was a New Song Winner in the Winfield Folk Festival.

Barb Ryman didn’t begin her music career until the1990s. Playing coffeehouses during the height of the late 60’s folk revival, Ryman showed promise, but after graduating from college, she put music aside and devoted herself to marriage, children and a profession as a speech pathologist. With midlife and its tendency to disrupt the status quo, Ryman fell into nostalgic longing for her musical roots and pulled her guitar out of the closet. Discovering she had forgotten how to play her old favorites…Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, and Beatles tunes, she started composing her own. Friends encouraged her to enter a songwriting contest at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis. Little did she know this was a nationally endorsed competition being judged by the biggest bookers, publishers, and record people in the Midwest. “This was my first time on a stage in twenty years and when I saw seasoned pros performing in front of VIP judges, it took all my strength not to run for the door. Ironically, I performed a song called ‘Ode to Low Self-Esteem’ which was exactly how I was feeling at that moment. To my complete astonishment I ended up a finalist!”

With a strange kind of poetic justice, Ryman’s debut performance and ‘low self-esteem’ put her in high esteem with the Midwest music community. “Charming vulnerability and a rare knack for detailing the profound truths of everyday life, her clear ringing voice reminiscent of Sandy Denny or Iris Dement,” says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Ryman’s self-taught fingerstyle guitar is subtle and sweet, complimenting the compassionate underpinnings of her songs. She writes from a deep emotional well where only the brave go, yet she’s able to balance this with amusing topical songs and playful stage banter. Some have called Ryman’s music a healing experience. “You can’t help being amazed at the power of her presence and the sound of her voice…you can’t help but listen” says Jim Walsh of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Sing Out! proclaims “Ryman’s songs display wonder, awe and acceptance.”

Ryman has toured throughout the U.S. performing in concert series, folk festivals, coffeehouses, house concerts, and radio shows. She has shared the stage with Cheryl Wheeler, Robin & Linda Williams, and Les Sampou, to name a few. Her songs have aired on folk programs across the nation, in Europe and Australia. You can find out more about her music at or ********