GtoC has a brand new contributor!
This is the first article from Courtney Boutwell. She was at The Walnut Room on Saturday for the folk-pop twosome Ryanhood
Being a virgin to music journalism and naïve about the folk music scene, I was about ready to crawl out of my skin last night at 5 p.m. while dressing and getting ready to head down to the Walnut Room. I fumbled about, dropping my eyeliner twice and had to throw on a second coat of Lady Speed Stick so my nerves wouldn’t betray me.
But, when I got to the Walnut Room, and was introduced to Cameron Hood of Ryanhood, something within his persona made me relax as he agreed to meet with me after opening the show. Cameron and Ryan Green were set to take the stage; but, Ryan was sick with laryngitis and could not perform. The duo has been described as bound by design; and despite the missing half, Cameron recovered the audience immediately after the somewhat flat comical styling delivered by the MC. Hood drummed up a couple of his own quirky jokes and we were pulled back into the “home vibe” embodied in the Christmas lighting and cozy living room setup on stage.
Promising to take the audience somewhere fun, Cameron started out his set with the “Say It So” ballad; and lead the listener down an all too familiar path into the gauntlet of life and unrequited love; but, he held our hand the entire way. Drifting more towards the macabre side of music, I was unsure of my abilities to report on a folk/pop performance. I have to admit though, Cameron’s performance of the next song, “Stay (You Know That I Would)” delivered the just the fix of melancholy I was craving. His down to earth performance embodied the plight of the common man and Hood had a fun stage presence any audience could identify with.
After his set, back in the green room, Cameron was as easy to interview as it was to find a connection with his lyrics. We spoke of the difficulty that accompanies the duo’s deep desire to find their niche in the music industry. Hood divulged what it’s like to put your soul out there; and the nervous anticipation that can be experienced while waiting for the reaction. Having read some mentions of God and Christianity in interviews and on the duo’s website, we spoke of spiritual matters. Unsure of whether or not I was going to get a right or left winged response, I was comforted by Cameron’s ability to explain his view of the metaphysical almost as though he was familiar with Daoism. When I asked Hood what I had missed with Ryan’s absence, he said I had missed some major action.
Nevertheless, the performance Hood delivered and the interview he allowed, were just the things needed to ease me into the journalism and folk music scene. When I got home I tore into the new album Hood handed me after the interview; and, while it holds true to the Ryanhood trail I had been following on line for three days prior to the show, I found the blend of misfortune and promise, heart ache and recovery, and clumps of true gut exposure; more than palatable. This one is going in my iPod. And if you want lyrics that will creep up on you unexpectedly, it should be in yours too.