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Posts Tagged ‘Janey Winterbauer’

Every year, I like to take a look back on the amazing things that happened and learn from the events that could be improved on. Without a doubt, 2010 brought plenty from both columns. Overall, RPandTA saw some major changes at the start of the year and rolled with them like champs.

Fun facts about 2010:

  1. In 2010, Ryan Paul & The Ardent rehearsed for a total of 45 minutes…
  2. Having rehearsed 45 minutes, we introduced a handful of new tunes
  3. None of those tunes were gone through at that rehearsal

There’s a new boss in town…
At the end of 2009, I was in meetings with Invisible Button Entertainment and turned control over to Lily Troia on January 1st of 2010. With Lily taking a great deal of responsibility from my shoulders, I was able to discern where I wanted the band’s sound to go. After conferring with mentors and band members, prayer and reflection on the previous year, I decided to ask my friend Cory Eischen to play keyboards and to help me define some of the noise that was going on in the back of my head.

It’s like a piano, but goes weeeoooo…
Cory Eischen took the call, took the job, and was thrown into his first show without a rehearsal. He was then thrown into six months of shows without practice. Cory will tell you that this is not how he would’ve planned it. It wasn’t ideal for the band either, but it was how the calendar worked for us. On top of the heavy gigging schedule, we pulled Cory into the studio in February with 10 hours to perfect an EP.

10 hours…
After discussion with Invisible Button, we decided it was important to document the changes in the band with a studio project. We went on to track Cute Souvenirs EP, which was tracked and mixed in 10 hours. Believe me, I would have liked more time, but we had very little cash to make this thing happen.

In the humblest of places…
It’s funny how you meet heroes in the strangest places. Almost none of my favorite stories start out with a band playing their dream show and were suddenly met by an industry professional or legend. No, in fact they all seem to happen under the worst circumstances. Such is the case with my meeting Al Kooper.
We were playing at Palmer’s in the West Bank, on the floor, with no drummer (and a drum machine to fill in) and hardly playing our best. Of course, Mr. Al Kooper walked in with Lily and Adam Levy. After our set, Al asked to speak to me. The first words out of my mouth were “We didn’t have a drummer.” I am guessing you can imagine Al’s response.
My relationship with Al continues to this day and he has been a valuable source of insight (being that he is usually the first to hear my songs when I record them in my living room in the middle of the night).

I love lists. I’d like to give you two:

Top 5 Shows of 2010:

  1. EP Release concert at Bryant Lake Bowl Theatre (July 1, 2010)
    – Amazing performance by Zoo Animal. We were joined by Janey Winterbauer, Alexander Young, and Mark Shwandt on stage. Sold out performance.
  2. Salvation Army Benefit at Aster Cafe (November 11, 2010)
    Alpha Consumer + Dosh and Minor Kingdom played killer sets. We raised hundreds of dollars for Salvation Army. Sold out performance.
  3. Jennefit, a benefit for Jenn Barnett at the Turf Club (March 26, 2010)
    – Too many amazing artists to list participated in this show. Lots of money was raised for a great artist. Jeremy Ylvisaker helped us kill our set.
  4. Palmers with Patches & Gretchen (April 29, 2010)
    – Not many people at this show. Steve Goold couldn’t make it. We set up on the modest floor of Palmers. But then Al Kooper walked in…
  5. ARTCRANK 2010 at Shelter Studios (April 10, 2010)
    – I don’t think we’ve ever played for as many people. The mood was right. The art was great.  It was too much fun!

Top 5 covers of 2010:

  1. “You Never Give Me Your Money” – The Beatles (video)
    -Sung with Janey Winterbauer. We love her so.
  2. “Death of a Disco Dancer” – The Smiths (video)
    -At the Jennefit, Jeremy Ylvisaker and Steve made this song cruise!
  3. “Pictures of You” – The Cure (audio)
    -I am unblushingly affectionate about The Cure and this song has been a pleasure to play.
  4. “What Goes On” – The Velvet Underground (video)
    -While it is impossible to do Lou justice, it is a blast to try.
  5. “Untitled 101” – Peter Wolf Crier (audio)
    -Is it lame to cover your friends? Possibly, but I couldn’t resist.

My favorite moment of 2010: Here you go.

2011…
I believe in setting goals. I know that no goal can be met without a solid plan. In the last three months, I have been developing methods to achieve the (possibly lofty) marks I have set for this band for the upcoming year. I realize that I am just one person and that it will take a community to make all of these aspirations a reality.
I am humbled by the talent that I have in place in THE ARDENT. I am grateful for the skills and talents of Lily Troia. I am fortunate to have friends in this city who are talented enough and embody the know-how to get things done.
Charles Youel from ARTCRANK said, “I can’t help it. I know cool people.” in one of our recent discussions. Charles does know cool people. And I know cool people too (Charles is one of them) and I think it is time to start asking for input from that solid group. Our 2011 release is planned to be done at several different studios around Minneapolis. Because of a tight budget, we will be producing the record ourselves, but Adam Levy has graciously offered to swing by and give us tips and pointers as we go along. One of the studios we had planned on working with was Instrument Control studios in St. Paul. That studio was raided and robbed on Christmas day. Please help in the search for that equipment.
rp

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If I remember correctly, we closed out 2009 at The Entry with Sam Roberts Band. Our last show of 2010 will, again, be at The Entry with our friends The Goondas and Kicks & Spurs: December 16th

Click for Details

Then, on December 17th, I (Ryan) will join The Honeydogs at The Dakota. Adam has asked me to join them on one of theirs and… one of my own! Other musicians include: Janey Winterbauer, Martin Devaney, Savannah Smith.

Reserve tickets and a table now at www.dakotacooks.com or call 612-332-5299.

Friday, December 17, 2010
7:00pm
$15

Honeydogs with Ryan Paul Plewacki

Have a safe and meaningful holiday season! We will see you again in January at the Aster Cafe with Grant Cutler… WOOT!
.rp

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Here is our July 1, 2010 EP Release Show at Bryant Lake Bowl. Thank you to Ryan Cahill for filming and editing this together. He did a great job and we barely knew he was there.

Make sure to ride “Slow.Steady” out to the end. Cool stuff happens there!

Chelsea

It’s You

All Along

Nothing Can Destroy

What Goes On (Velvet Underground)

La Vita Nuova

Meet Me Where I Am

You Never Give Me Your Money (Beatles cover Featuring Janey Winterbauer)

Slow.Steady (Featuring Janey Winterbauer, Mark Shwandt, and Alexander Young)

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Two weeks prior to the Cute Souvenirs release show, I did an interview with Rob Van Alstyne from City Pages. The discussion was brief, but I was astonished by the questions he was asking. It’s always interesting when you are asked about things you actually want to talk about.

At any rate, the article is one of my faves that has ever been written about us, so I thought I’d share…

A Troubadour’s Redemption
By Rob van Alstyne Wednesday, Jun 30 2010

“Meet Me Where I Am,” the first song on Ryan Paul Plewacki’s debut album, paints a harrowing portrait of a young man in trouble: alone on the streets, meandering in a county library, too tired to move, and struggling with addiction. The details make the song ring true for a simple reason—Plewacki lived the song before he wrote it.

Most of the songs on my first record were composed as I was going through the early stages of recovery,” explains Plewacki of the tunes that make up 2009’s La Vita Nuova, released with his backing band under the name Ryan Paul & the Ardent. “It’s inevitable when you’re in that position to take stock of everything, think about all the bridges you burned. I found myself at the end of treatment [for alcohol and drug addiction] just standing over a crumbling mess and wondering what to do next. Those feelings all made their way into the first record. I’m three years removed from that now but it’s still obviously a huge part of my life.”

With a reedy conversational singing voice that recalls Television’s Tom Verlaine, a degree in working-man’s rock riffs from the Drive By Truckers school, and hard-won wisdom to spare, Plewacki and his band are rapidly rising on the local roots-rock scene. The ascent should only hasten with this week’s release of a new rough-and-tumble digital EP, the Cute Souvenir Sessions. While its predecessor was painstakingly assembled over an eight-month period, Cute Souvenir‘s four tracks came together fast and furious by necessity.

“The bottom line was I only had $500 at the time to record something and really wanted a document of the band that felt truer than La Vita Nuova,” explains Plewacki. “Eventually we linked up with Matt Patrick of Greycoats, who runs the Library recording studio, and he was excited about working with us but also said he would hold us firm to the $500 limit, which was important. We ended up tracking and mixing the entire thing in one 10-hour day.”

While it’s a dubious critical endeavor to make too much of a hastily assembled mini-album that clocks in at under 20 minutes, Cute Souvenirs nonetheless shows Ryan Paul & the Ardent as a band rapidly outgrowing the alt-country label slapped on their debut. While they’ve clearly still got loping balladry on lockdown, as evidenced by EP opener “All Along,” they also make compelling stabs at Summerteeth-ish pop (the synthesizer-buoyed “Chelsea”) and group-harmony-heavy campfire sing-alongs (closing track “Another Time”). Not bad for a day’s work. The glue holding it all together is Plewacki’s voice, perhaps an acquired taste, but one that ultimately helps to make his music stand out in a field of often indistinguishable twang affectations.

“I always wonder how many people on the planet told Tom Waits not to sing when he was starting out,” jokes Plewacki. “Back in my college days I was always the one who got to do the covers that lent themselves to bad vocals. I sang ‘Up on Cripple Creek‘ a lot. Being a singer was never anything I envisioned for myself back when I was playing guitar in other bands. Once these songs came out of me, though, I knew I would have to be the one to sing them. The songs are flawed, the stories are flawed, and only my flawed voice really makes sense singing them.”

With work already underway on a sophomore full-length that looks to split the difference between his highly refined debut and minimalist warts-and-all EP (“I’d like a little more than 10 hours this time,” he says), Plewacki is clearly energized by what lies ahead and is at peace with his turbulent past.

“For me, by the time I hit my early twenties all I really cared about was the drugs and booze and craziness in hotel rooms that came with playing music,” recalls Plewacki, now 29, reflecting on the time he spent in the early 2000s playing guitar with jam bands like Big Wu offshoot God Johnson. “I had no passion for the music itself. When I was in early recovery I thought I was completely done with making music. Gradually, I ended up falling back in love with it. Now I feel like I have the same passion for music in my heart that I had as a teenager. I’m back to going to as many shows as possible, running up to the stage to check out people’s pedals with my mouth agape—just generally acting like a giddy school girl whenever I’m around music. I feel like that same teenager all over again—admittedly with a little less hair on my head—and it feels great.” Full Article

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We are pleased to announce a few details about our EP release show.

Vita.mn Presents Ryan Paul & THE ARDENT EP Release Show

Thursday, July 1 – Cute Souvenirs Session EP Release Show –
with guest Janey Winterbauer and a set by Zoo Animal
Bryant Lake Bowl Theater – Minneapolis, MN
$8 advance – $10 door. Buy Tickets Online (June 1) at BrownPaperTickets.com
or BLB Box Office: 612-825-8949

Doors: 9:30pm
Music: 10:00 (sharp)

Featuring a artwork by John Alspach, Jenn Barnett, Wing Huie, Alexandra KSara Montourelli rader, and Stacy Shwartz

Presented by Invisible Button Entertainment
Sponsored by Vita.mn

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We had a wonderful time playing at the 331 Club last night. I left the show all sweaty and with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I thought it would be fun to point out a few people who have done selfless things for us.

(In no particular order)
elli rader/paperlily – elli booked RPandTA for a good year and did an amazing job of it. She also takes great photos of us and designed our beautiful website. elli is single-handedly responsible for much of the early word of mouth praise of this band. We all have grown quite close to her. Thank you.

Lily Troia/Invisible Button Entertainment
– Lily and crew opted to take us under the powerful wing of Invisible Button. There is so much going on behind the scenes. Lily’s dedication to all of her bands is admirable (and seemingly impossible, but she pulls it off). Thank you.

Janey Winterbauer
– Janey has been a constant support for us. She sang on La Vita Nuova and rocked our CD Release show last summer. In addition, she has agreed to follow me on some wild tangents and even recorded a demo in my living room. She is a talented singer and musician. Thank you.

Matt Patrick
– Matt is working with us on our new EP. He has been a champion with meeting our schedule and budget. This EP is going to sound great! It’s an honor to be working with such an accomplished musician/engineer/producer. Thank you.

Adam Byer – Adam is almost finished with his degree in post production for film, but he continues to record tracks with me. The first, “Nothing Can Destroy”, appeared on La Vita Nuova. The second will appear on the Cute Souvenirs EP. He manages to squeeze these projects in with his own film projects and band. Thank you.

Jason Woolery/The 331 Club – I am not certain how it happens, but we always seem to have our best performances in that tiny club in NE Minneapolis. We’re indebted to the 331 for allowing us to come back over and over. I love that there is a venue in Minneapolis that provides free music and still treats it’s bands with enough class that we all want to keep playing there. Thank you.

Dena Alspach/Metro Magazine – Dena has had to have seen us play more than a handful of shows. She always seems to pop up when I am least expecting it. She also invited us to play the 2009 Metro 100 Party and plugs our shows when she isn’t too busy juggling the media world of Minneapolis. Thank you.

Sarah Sandusky/First Ave/7th St Entry – Sarah is a total sweetheart and continues to book us along with bands that we really enjoy. It is seriously not uncommon for me to tell her that I love something on the calendar and to have her try to find a way to get us involved in the show. She is consistently professional and rad at the same time. I imagine the two are tough to do concurrently. Thank you.

I’d also like to thank all of the bands who share bills with us. It is such a privilege to share the stage with such talent. I can’t list them all, but we are talking about Kid Dakota, Sam Roberts Band, Brad Senne, Brian Just, Eliza Blue, Breaksea Caravel, Rock Plaza Central, Luke Redfield, Backyard Tire Fire, John Swardson, Holly Newsom, Painted Saints, Al Church & State, Daredevil Christopher Wright, Solid Gold, the list goes on and on and on… Thank you.

Lastly, I would like to thank THE ARDENT for all of the hard work and sticking with me through all of this. It’s been a cool year and a half. You guys are some of the most talented players I know and am humbled to have you make my songs sound the way they do. Thank you.

Ryan Paul

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Ryan Paul & THE ARDENT by Jenn Barnett

We have decided to release some live recordings free for you to listen to and add to your collection. These are not full shows, just featured tracks. You’ll see that we added some from the Metro Magazine 100 Party, some from Janey Winterbauer sitting in with us, and some other oddities that we thought you might like to hear. We’re gonna keep adding as long as people keep recording. So please check back often.

Ryan Paul & THE ARDENT Featured Live Recordings Site

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