Ryan Townsend is a musician, singer, songwriter and instructor based in Nyack, NY. He writes and performs both original and cover songs bringing his music to a loyal ever-growing fan base. Honest music, from a hard working artist who has lived a life full of story telling and musicianship. He crafts tales with a vintage spirit told in a rhythmic full-throated language. Over the past decade he has amassed a widespread catalog of music which he has recorded and released, in addition to producing music for licensing and publishing.
Ryan is an experienced music instructor who has been teaching for the past 15 years. He gives lessons in music performance, theory, and composition. He is specialized in guitar, piano, and voice, and also gives lessons on drums, bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, violin, cello, harmonica, and saxophone.
Ryan first began his musical career as a drummer in elementary school. As an early teen he began to pursue the guitar and music studies more vigorously, all while developing a strong interest for listening, playing, and performing.
He first began to give music lessons while completing a BFA in Arts Management at Long Island University. His passion for music, proficiency, and patience have yielded a long lasting career, which has encompassed hundreds of students teaching at a variety of music schools and studios, in recent years including Village Music (New City, NY) and R&R Music School (Congers, NY).
Townsend performs a wide ranges of songs that span the decades and connect with audiences of all ages. Some of the singers and songwriters who have influenced his style and approach include: Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Otis Redding, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, and Ray Lamontagne.
His music has been featured in the Lions Gate feature film Living Will and on the Versus television network. Townsend has shared the stage with notable artists such as, Donna Jean Godchaeux (Grateful Dead), Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Russell Batiste (Funky Meters, Vida Blue), Questlove (the Roots), and Jimmy Herring (Widespread Panic).
He released his first album, The Strangest Tribe, in 2007, gaining appreciation as an established songwriter when his song “High Street” placed in the finals of the 2008 Billboard Songwriting contest. He soon after took up the name The Strangest Tribe, performing in and around New York City both solo and with a revolving line up of musicians, including bassist Ryan Marks and drummer Seth Moutal, who both appeared on Townsend's follow up 2008 release, Pieces.
In 2009 Townsend helped establish the jam-rock outfit Fever Train, as the bands front man and primary songwriter. The band released two studio albums, Fever Train and Tomorrow. They opened shows for national acts, as well as, headlined at clubs and festivals successfully straddling the line between the rock and jam scenes.
Following Fever Train's split, Townsend released the album Prelude, in 2011. It featured drummer, Joe "Mamma" Carpentieri, and keyboardist, Yan Falmagne, who in addition to his performance, also recorded and mixed Prelude. With additional consultation, and mastering by award winning engineer Andrew Cardenas, Prelude, became a true balance and blend of Townsend's musical passage to date.
In 2012, Townsend along with Ryan Marks, opened R&R Music School in Congers, New York. Together they also performed regularly as an acoustic duo under the name R&R. Most notably obtaining a residency at the comedy club Levity Live from 2013 - 2014, where they performed acoustic sets opening up for a number of different touring comics. Some of the acts they supported included Amy Schumer, Carlos Mencia, John Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Rosie O'Donnell, Pauly Shore, Charlie Murphy, and Rob Schneider.
In addition to his solo work, Townsend was the singer and guitarist for the alternative rock band Boxing the Needle. The band worked closely with producer and engineer John Siket (Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Sonic Youth) for their album Collide (2017). Siket is well known for his work engineering Phish albums such as Billy Breathes and The Story of the Ghost, as well as, his work with Steve Lilywhite and the Dave Matthews Band on the album Crash.
Ryan continues to write, record, and perform music in the New York metro area. In 2018, he established RCT Music Group where he teaches music lessons and offers a variety of music related services.