Ryan continues to play both solo acoustic shows as well as with his band, and plans on returning to the studio in 2014 to record another full length album with the Ryan Russell Band.
Ryan played solo acoustic singer/songwriter sets locally in the central valley over the past decade. He also toured the Western and Midwest states on several occasions, traveling with other artists such as Willy Tea Taylor, Cole Thomason, and Big Earl Matthews. In 2011 he recorded his first full-length solo acoustic CD titled The Lonesome Traveler.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW GOREFF
Ryan Russell was born and raised on the outskirts of Oakdale, California. He began singing at a very early age and sang in the church choir as a child. Ryan grew up listening to a diverse selection of music, and was most influenced by classic rock, blues, folks, and country western. He taught himself how to play guitar at the age of 23. He had been writing songs ever since.
In 2013 he started the Ryan Russell Band, a four-piece electric country/blues/rock band most recently comprised of “Tractor Boy” Chris Ward on percussion, John Montes on bass, and Ray Vazira on Keyboard. In 2014 the Ryan Russell Band has opened up for The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit at the Gallo Center of the Arts in Modesto, California for the 90th annual Camp Jack Hazard benefit concert, as well as the Moonshine Bandits at the Fat Cat Lounge.
Ryan was nominated for a Modesto Area Music Award four years in a row: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 in singer/songwriter, Americana, and indie/acoustic categories. He had the honor of performing with his band at State Theatre in Modesto at the 2014 MAMA Awards to showcase his original music.
Ryan passed away on August 3rd, 2016, due to complications and throat closure following a massive asthma attack. His wife Tara Russell is in process of re-releasing his next CD with proceeds raised from Benefit Shows held at The Knights Ferry General Store, Saloon and Grill & Tangled T's in Modesto. He received an honorary MAMA Award following his death.