Ryan McGarvey Interview

In recent years, Ryan McGarvey has emerged as a top up and comer on the blues rock scene. McGarvey is set to release his third album, The Road Chosen, on November 4th. We caught up with McGarvey to discuss the new album and more.

Many blues artists feature a lot of covers on their albums. On all three of your albums, all the songs are original. What are your thoughts on doing covers?

I enjoy closing a live show with a cover. I like to give things my spin, without losing the authenticity of the song, and the characteristics that make that song great in the first place. When it comes to my albums, and majority of my live shows- I prefer to be as original as possible. I’ve never liked the feeling of going out and doing what someone else created, already did, or trying to say in any way that I think I could do it any better or whatnot. I think it’s a great thing to use to connect with an audience, but I feel I have my own story to tell when people listen to my albums, or see me live.

Where does your inspiration for songwriting come from?

I always try to write from a personal experience. As personal as I can be while still leaving songs so that the listener can hopefully (in some cases) interpret, relate, or imagine their own experience when listening to the lyrics. I steer away from being TOO detailed like saying a specific girls name in the song. So a man, or woman can listen and maybe picture something that has happened in their own life. Typically, my songs revolve around relationships the most. But, also just day to day feelings, or specific encounters.

Do you feel The Road Chosen is different from your previous albums?

I think it’s the fitting next step, or chapter if you will in the Ryan McGarvey catalogue. I think with each album, the writing, playing, and singing have all matured noticeably. With this album I feel like I have covered a wide range of influences. With my singing I think I’m showing a lot more strength, confidence, and range. And the songwriting, I think it’s more personal, and mature. It’s a good representation of where I am now. I think the music has progressed to a heavier state of really showing the rock influence in my life- even on the very straighter blues numbers.

Where was the album recorded and who produced it?

This album was recorded in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Frogville Studios. It was mixed, and engineered by Bill Palmer. And I produced the album myself, along with Bill, and my father Patrick co-producing as the extra ears I think all albums need.

What’s your favorite song on the “The Road Chosen?”

I think the answer to this question changes nightly. Really I love playing every song on this album. “Memphis” is the big single right now. If I had to say right now, I’d say “My Heart To You.” It’s very emotional, and I have had some really amazing moments performing it live that stick in my memory. It’s a ballad type song, but the lyrics are just the blues presented in a different form.

You’ll be taking part in the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise. How did you get involved with that?

It was my very close friend Joe Bonamassa’s management that got in touch with me over the summer with the offer to perform on the cruise. I’m very honored to have been booked to perform on the cruise, especially alongside the likes of the other fantastic performers. There are some really great people performing, and there’s so many little connections everyone has with each other. It’s going to be wonderful to see so many greats in one spot. Let alone to perform and be a part of such a great event.

To this point, most of your touring has been done overseas in Europe. Do you feel it’s harder for an artist playing blues rock music to coordinate a tour here in the United States?

The thing that Europe has on the USA as far as touring, is really promoting, the fans, and the balance of pay vs. expenses. I find a lot of venues in the USA lack in promoting, and that’s when people aren’t at the shows like they should be. Then, there’s the cost of having a band on the road here (Not that Europe is cheap in anyway). Venues here don’t want to pay, but don’t help out to get people into the show in the first place to the extent that they do in Europe. Of course this isn’t a 100% all of the time situation. Also, being able to drive a few hours to the next major city, sometimes in a different country, can also help out overseas as opposed to here where you can drive 7-8 hours and be in the same state- hoping to get a crowd in a town nobody has ever heard of. Really though, we love touring wherever in the world we are.

What’s your favorite part of touring overseas?

I love the enthusiasm of the fans. And, over a short amount of time really, you can really see the rapid growth, and snowball effect our crowds are always multiplying in. This happens here in the states, too, but overseas the growth has been so rapid, it’s always exciting to see how things have grown with each returning visit. That, and seeing those that have become like family to us.

Where can fans get the new album?

The new album should be available online on November 4th! All info should as always be able to be found at www.RyanMcGarvey.com

Interview by Pete Francis

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete launched Blues Rock Review full-time in 2011 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

5 thoughts on “Ryan McGarvey Interview

  • October 29, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve seen Ryan twice he is a great Talent ….. he is one of the best … and a very kind down to Earth person …treats he’s fans with respect and love’s them….

    I am honoured to have got to know him and mat him…… he’s Music and Guitar skill’s are fantastic brilliant and he gets better and better….. love this Guy he rock’s


  • November 25, 2014 at 2:40 am

    This was a wonderful interview. I’m proud to say Ryan is New Mexico’s own and also call him a friend. He is blessed with talent and is so dedicated which shows time after time in the success he has had. People are drawn to Ryan obviously for his incredible talent and fall in love with him because of his humbleness and sweet down to earth attitude.

    We are thrilled for Ryan and the success his new album, “The Road Chosen” has already had and will continue to have. Being a part of Joe Bonamassa’s, “Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea Cruise” is gonna be such a great experience as well as a fun time for Ryan as he shares his music with fans, new fans and other great musicians. I am happy to say my husband and I booked the cruise and are lookin forward to sharing this experience with Ryan and meeting new friends.

    Ryan never ceases to amaze us and we are proud to be forever friends and fans! You ROCK Ryan!

  • November 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Ryan has proven over past few years, he is a powerfull force within the music industry. He continues to gain new fans across the globe with his smokin’ guitar licks, soulful voice, and honest down to earth, humble demeanor.
    I have watched this amazing artist from a very young age continue to grow beyond all expectations in his craft. He is fast becoming the guitarist ALL guitarists flock to see at his live shows. He grows exponentially in his guitar playing abilities and song writing skills with every passing year. I’m blessed and honored to have seen him perform live many times, and look forward to each upcoming show with a heartfelt excitement unmatched by any other life experience. Sharing his music has been a rewarding part of my life.
    I look forward to hearing much more from this gifted talent in near the future.

  • February 11, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    You left out the part where he screw’s over musicians that he hires. He owes money all over Albuquerque.

  • May 2, 2018 at 4:39 am

    He is really talented, a great young guitarist and the voice! double talent
    I saw him 3 times during his European tour. He should be playing on bigger stages.


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