While still a relative newcomer to Providence, RI, Ryan Fitzsimmons was nominated for Best Folk Act in the Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll for 2004. Ryan is simply the kind of musician who impresses immediately. He would go on to win the 2007 "Best Male Vocalist" award in the same poll, while gaining many other acolades along the way.
Originally from Syracuse New York, Ryan first gained attention at age 14 playing lead guitar in an alternative rock band called Anodyne which was nominated for a Syracuse Area Music Award (SAMMY). But after performing in a number of electric bands, Ryan decided to give up the amplifiers to see what he could do with just wood and steel and voice. What he discovered in performing solo with an acoustic guitar was an intimacy and nuance he found instantly inspiring. Bringing to the fold his years of electric guitar playing and using innovative alternate tunings, Ryan Fitzsimmons' acoustic world runs the emotional gambit. The lyrics of Ryan's songs range from gentle, poetic details to the in-your-face realism of a bar fight, and his guitar ranges just as far, from starry night to thunderclap.
Over the last few years, Ryan has quietly been establishing a reputation as one of the most original and promising young songwriters on the scene today. Playing shows from Montana to New England (including venues such as Club Passim, Johnny D's, and the Paradise Lounge in Boston, The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA, and Stone
Soup in Pawtucket, RI) Ryan has been engaging audiences with his distinctive songwriting and dynamic performances. Along the way, Ryan has shared the stage with performers Ben Folds, Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Greg
Brown, and Richie Havens, among others.
Ryan's first CD, Open All Night, is the long-awaited companion to his live show. The album is a statement of Ryan's history, and in it Ryan takes all the diners, gas stations, smoky bars, and side streets that he's come across and extracts the human element, drawing the listener in with the questions and emotions that these places resonate. The
album also features collaborations with many of Ryan's friends, including a subtle give-and-take with Peter Mulvey on the song "Write it Down". Delivered with Ryan's inspired guitar playing and dynamic presentation, Open All Night (voted Best Local CD of 2005 in the RI Motif reader's poll) proves what has been exciting audiences at Ryan's live performances for years.