HARRIS AND RYDEN: RUNWinners of 2002 Austin Music Awards
1st Place - Folk
2nd Place - Roots Rock
3rd Place - Country
5th Place - Album of the Year
The music of Stephen Harris & Chris Ryden draws a melodic line nearly the length of the Great Divide, from the craggy peaks of the Grand Tetons to the rolling, green Texas Hill Country. Lots of miles and lots of stories and lots of territory...And all of it is encapsulated on RUN (Two Mule Records), the aptly-titled second album from the increasingly popular duo.
Although they attended the same high school in San Antonio, Stephen's and Chris' paths did not cross until after they made parallel sojourns to cowboy on ranches up in the wilds of northwestern Wyoming. A tangled skein of circumstance (or fate, if you believe in that sort of thing) brought the two together on a rambling roadtrip to Texas. Discovering a shared love of music-and a newly-minted affection for Austin-the two embarked on a musical partnership which has seen a wildly diverse range of shows- from sharing the stage with Lyle Lovett to performing at the ambassador's party at the U.S. embassy in the Dominican Republic. And, oh yeah, an awful lot of beer joints, too.
Here To Jackson, their debut album of two years ago, was a portrait of two singer-songwriters in transition. "We went into the studio about four months after putting a band together," said Harris. "This was like five months from the time when we were just two guys on barstools, playing acoustic guitars" adds Ryden.
The album established a benchmark for H&R ("Their harmonies break the mold [and] their music transports you from Wyoming to Texas within a few notes and leaves you wishing you were swapping stories around a campfire," said one observer). But they soon surpassed that recording as a live act. Which makes RUN, in a way, the first full-fledged Harris & Ryden album. "It seems to us like there is a big change from the last album to this one, in the overall sound," observed Ryden. "But it's a logical progression."
And Harris adds with a smile, "We have no one to blame but ourselves." That's not precisely true. RUN was produced by Merel Bregante, whose landmark work with Loggins & Messina gave him a few platinum-selling insights about coaxing the best from a duo of talented songwriters and musicians. And the band H&R has assembled makes good use of some of Austin's most talented young pickers.
The bakers-dozen songs on RUN (including the inaugural single, "This Hard Town") flow naturally between Western-flavored rockers, ballads and story songs that evoke classic high-lonesome images. Though Ryden cites influences from Mark Knopfler and Springsteen to Marty Robbins, and Harris' loyalties hew close to classic Texas storytellers like Guy Clark and Ray Wylie Hubbard, their collaborative work owes unclassifiable and original debts to folk, rock, country, and the fertile regional gumbo that is "Texas music."
"(It's) kind of like contemporary country meets Western or rough-and-tumble Texas music with polished edges, combined with top-shelf songwriting," wrote John Goodspeed of the San Antonio Express-News. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
"HR took the road less traveled. Their harmonies break the mold and prove that Texas music extends beyond clichÃ©s and songs about beer. Their music transports you from Wyoming to Texas within a few notes and leaves you wishing you were trading stories around a campfire."
Chad Raney - President
"RUN is an album of two artists that, together, have really come into their own. From traditional to 'younger' country, from rock to alt-country, Harris & Ryden draw from a fan base that reaches further than a single radio station's programming. Whatever your musical taste, RUN offers something that hits the spot for everyone."
Country Line Magazine
"Harris & Ryden have one of the freshest sounds to come along in the Texas music scene. Their blend is so unique and their song writing is just as good."
KBEC Radio, Waxahachie,TX
"Harris and Ryden were lucky to find each other and good music fans are lucky to have them! Their harmonies are incredible, their songs are relatable, and they truly stand in a class of their own. It's nice to know that two people as talented as Harris & Ryden are nice guys AND gracious to
KORA Radio, College Station,TX
"One of the hardest things to do in music is the follow up album. Without a doubt, RUN is an excellent follow up to Here to Jackson. Texas Music fans do not have a choice. You must own this album. Just wait til the next time the state trooper pulls you over and ask, in order, ' I need to see your license, insurance/registration and your copy of Harris and Ryden's RUN or you're gonna spend the night in hoosegow!' You've been warned!"
99.5 The Wolf, Dallas,TX
Check out the artist's website:
1. This Hard Town
2. Southern Plains
3. Lazy Afternoon
4. Beggar's Dimes
5. Cold Wyoming Snow
6. The Eyes of a Friend
7. Strange New Love
9. Annie Belle
12. Shiny Cars