Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Ryan Kerr / Live Well


J. Hubner

Whatzup Features Writer

Published February 11, 2016

Heads Up! This article is 6 years old.

Ryan Kerr makes music that seems to constantly evolve as it’s being played. It moves and slinks effortlessly like the best kind of narrative.  Kerr definitely falls into the singer/songwriter category, but he travels among the DIY punk scene like an elder statesmen. That’s to say he’s a well-respected man, among both his peers and those who love his songs (and there are plenty who do). Kerr is a storyteller. He unspools songs with just his voice and an acoustic guitar – songs about love, relationships and the everyday cycle we can all relate to. For as long as Kerr’s been playing music you’d think he would’ve put out a full-length album before now, but that’s not the case. He’s finally ready to give his friends and fans a proper LP. It’s called Live Well, and it was worth the wait.

For those who’ve seen this North Manchester resident play in a coffeehouse, basement, living room or anywhere anyone has invited him to play, you’re used to seeing Kerr with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and his booming voice. On Live Well, which was produced by Kerr and Robert Lugo at Lugo’s DBB Records in Fort Wayne, his songs are filled in with plenty of instrumentation:  drums, percussion, Rhodes, organ, electric guitar and bass and, of course, acoustic guitar. 

There’s still this organic punk rock vibe in his tunes, especially on album opener “Sattison Family Name,” which feels like a cross between The Hold Steady, Frank Turner,and a folksier Springsteen. “I Got a Son” pushes and shoves like an Irish wake at 2 a.m. before it slows to a hangover crawl. “Smoking Twilights and Sinkholes” has a slink and groove to it that even the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be happy with (back in 1991, anyway.) “Vessel Dust” is part dust devil stomp, part cautionary tale and wouldn’t sound out of place on an early 80s Nick Cave record.

There’s still plenty of voice and guitar here, too. “Throwin’ Stones” is mainly voice and guitar with some great organ and bass ornamentation. “Five Friends” closes the album with what matters most, Kerr’s voice and his acoustic guitar. 

One of the real musical treasures here is the excellent “Ballad of a Lonesome Girl.” With electric bass, organ, drums and electric guitar, this track feels like it should be on the radio playing for all to hear. Backing vocals by Amara Gilraine only solidify my conviction that this song should be coming out of car radios and earbuds everywhere.

Live Well is a solid musical statement from Ryan Kerr. He’s waited to release this collection of well aged and seasoned songs till the time was right. The time is as right as ever. 

Head over to Bob Vila’s This Old House on February 28 for Live Well’s record release show and grab a copy for yourself. (John Hubner)

Ryan Kerr makes music that seems to constantly evolve as it’s being played. It moves and slinks effortlessly like the best kind of narrative. 

Kerr definitely falls into the singer/songwriter category, but he travels among the DIY punk scene like an elder statesmen. That’s to say he’s a well-respected man, among both his peers and those who love his songs (and there are plenty who do). Kerr is a storyteller. He unspools songs with just his voice and an acoustic guitar – songs about love, relationships and the everyday cycle we can all relate to. For as long as Kerr’s been playing music you’d think he would’ve put out a full-length album before now, but that’s not the case. He’s finally ready to give his friends and fans a proper LP. It’s called Live Well, and it was worth the wait.

For those who’ve seen this North Manchester resident play in a coffeehouse, basement, living room or anywhere anyone has invited him to play, you’re used to seeing Kerr with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and his booming voice. On Live Well, which was produced by Kerr and Robert Lugo at Lugo’s DBB Records in Fort Wayne, his songs are filled in with plenty of instrumentation:  drums, percussion, Rhodes, organ, electric guitar and bass and, of course, acoustic guitar. 

There’s still this organic punk rock vibe in his tunes, especially on album opener “Sattison Family Name,” which feels like a cross between The Hold Steady, Frank Turner,and a folksier Springsteen. “I Got a Son” pushes and shoves like an Irish wake at 2 a.m. before it slows to a hangover crawl. “Smoking Twilights and Sinkholes” has a slink and groove to it that even the Red Hot Chili Peppers would be happy with (back in 1991, anyway.) “Vessel Dust” is part dust devil stomp, part cautionary tale and wouldn’t sound out of place on an early 80s Nick Cave record.

There’s still plenty of voice and guitar here, too. “Throwin’ Stones” is mainly voice and guitar with some great organ and bass ornamentation. “Five Friends” closes the album with what matters most, Kerr’s voice and his acoustic guitar. 

One of the real musical treasures here is the excellent “Ballad of a Lonesome Girl.” With electric bass, organ, drums and electric guitar, this track feels like it should be on the radio playing for all to hear. Backing vocals by Amara Gilraine only solidify my conviction that this song should be coming out of car radios and earbuds everywhere.

Live Well is a solid musical statement from Ryan Kerr. He’s waited to release this collection of well aged and seasoned songs till the time was right. The time is as right as ever. 

Head over to Bob Vila’s This Old House on February 28 for Live Well’s record release show and grab a copy for yourself.

Subscribe for daily things to do:

Subscribe for daily things to do:


Whatzup

© 2022 Whatzup