Ryebender – Alaskan Americana (recommended)

(press release)Ryebender are no ordinary rock band. And with three of four members hailing from the farthest outpost of the union, they don’t make ordinary music either. Brothers Mark and Jason Ward, fellow Alaskan Lennie Dietsch and drummer, Michael Carpenter are primed to shake Americana music to its core.Audio Link: Gravity


The guitars, harmonies, songwriting and shear musical craftsmanship of the band’s debut album, ‘Hollow and Drifting’, shows that we are dealing with musicians with an unusual sense of what makes a song great.

Theirs is a combination of indie sensibilities, country and folk roots and a rare sense of harmony and arrangement. The music of Ryebender is at once familiar and new, strange and comforting. It has what all great songwriting has: the moment where you only realize what is said after it has gone.

On ‘Your Time Has Come and Gone’, they sing “I can’t turn the page without thinking you just can’t make it right by another wrong.” It is typical of the simplicity and beauty of their lyrics, and their music. It is the simplicity that great country based music should always have and so often does not.

Maybe it is the frontier mentality that still exists in Alaska, but is missing from so much of the rest of the country, that keeps Ryebender singing about a ‘One Horse Town’ where they sing “the same old songs”. Maybe it is that mentality that makes this record sound like a paean to an America that could soon be a thing of the past.

There are elements of 60’s greats like the Byrds in this music, just as there are traces of modern songwriting icons such as Ryan Adams and Uncle Tupelo.

Yet, despite the comparisons, the sound of Ryebender is very much their own. And despite the fact that the original members have left their homes to move to places as far-flung as Chicago, Oregon and Sun Valley, the mood is still very much Alaskan in spirit.

This band plays, sings and writes about the heart of Americana, as it is and as it was, and for that we salute them. I’m sure you will too.

‘Hollow and Drifting’ is available now in all good record stores and online at Amazon, CDBaby, iTunes and many others.

4 Responses to “Ryebender – Alaskan Americana (recommended)”

  1. I love this band.

  2. Bought the CD and have to say it’s good stuff. Really enjoying the variety of songs.

  3. This band sounds in the vein of the Gourds/Lady Antebelum/Last Train Home. Great great americana.

  4. Been hearing one of the songs on our local radio station. Nice stuff guys. Keep up the good work

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