No one can make listeners feel like they're sitting in the musician's living room like Pat Ryan Key. His easygoing style and quick smile come through on his recordings as clearly as it does in his live performances. Pair this with the music--the lyrics, the picking and the vocals that commune the message of Key's original songs and you have a full spectrum glimpse at what it takes to capture the life of a song.
Key began his musical journey as a drummer playing in a variety of garage bands while in high school in Northwest Arkansas. But it didn't take him long to realize that there was that thing about music that was much bigger than getting together with the guys to knock out some tunes. This is what carried him to the guitar and writing. Which further led to both solo performances and leading his own band. That in turn, led to winning awards ranging from a Walmart international talent competition to the coveted Northwest Arkansas Music Awards.
But winning is not what Key is about. He has something to share and he knows how to connect whether in a packed bar or a listening room. Borrowing from rock, prog and a little blues and folk, his music has been described as simultaneously being completely fresh, yet eerily familiar. Key borrows a J.J. Cale vibe, focusing on the vibration of the groove and playing from his heart. He has that rare heart that connects. "Music for me is about the journey, not the glory. It has become an integral part of how I communicate. I honor the relationships that I've built through the musical process. Because of this, my songs are a true reflection of who I am. My music is honest. It bares my soul."
Whether his songs tell a story, speak to those familiar emotional ups and downs, or create a atmosphere all their own, it's not about Key, but about the music. His latest EP, "Guncle" is hard rocking guitar that bounces between ethereal moments that gravitate toward the theme of finding peace within. There are influences of psychedelic rock, pop, blues, funk and soul woven together with rich production and organic vibe. "I'm a musician for the music's sake. My songs are born as the spirit moves me. It's amazing that something as beautiful as a song is often born out of the darkest depths."
Although "Guncle" was a solo effort, Key says that for now working with his new group, "The Good People" is the most rewarding. "Everyone in the band has always had a deep love and connection to music. It's the desire to connect with and express themselves to others that is the driving force behind our music.
"The collaborative writing and valuing the importance of performance is where I want to put my energy. I strive to be true to myself as well as with others. I have a keen ear and feeling for the vibe of a song when writing a new composition and arrangement. I follow the flow and nurture that through the songwriting process. The goal is to achieve a full sound that feels right."
As one fan put it: "Pat's vocals sit in the mix like a big comfy chair and the accompanying layers of bluesy guitar and organ are masterfully played and arranged. He's as genuine as they come."
The Good People
i do declare®
The Casual Flyze
Daryl Brooks Band