His new LP River Music is a new step in Ryan Lee Crosby's musical development. Inspired by an intense study of African and Indian musicians such as Ali Farka Touré or Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, Ryan absorbs sounds of Mali-Blues and Indian Ragas while playing a 22-stringed Indian slide-guitar and being accompanied by breath-taking tabla playing. As a contrast the sound of the band is completed by a gutsy blues harp and some mean electric guitar as if Jerry Garcia, Charles Musselwhite, and Ravi Shankar were having a relaxed jam-session on some shadowed patio somewhere in Mumbai.
"Ryan has been inspired by African and Indian musicians, like Ali Farka Touré and Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya. These influences are keenly felt, and as such have invested these country folk/blues with desert rhythms and Indian ragas. The songs sing out with a clarity and determination that work so well, the album should be listened to as a complete piece. The title track is in itself magnificent, driven along by tabla and harmonica with Ryan’s guitar ringing out, the press release says “It’s like Jerry Garcia, Charlie Musselwhite and Ravi Shanker, having a relaxed jam session on some shadowed patio, somewhere in Mumbai”. I would also add that in places I’m reminded of the sorely missed slide guitar maestro Bob Brozman and the relaxed singing style of Geoff Muldaur. This is an excellent album, that I’m also pleased is available on vinyl, as it sounds particularly great in this format."
Andrew Young, Terrascope, November 2018
released October 10, 2018
Ryan Lee Crosby: electric 12 string guitar, voice, 22 string Chaturangui (Indian slide guitar), bass guitar, harmonium
Koushik Chakrabarty: tabla
Philip Kaplan: gui‘tarode
Danny Mekonnen: tenor saxophone on „Going Down South“
Jay Scheffler: harmonica
Grant Smith: calabash and percussion
Produced by Ryan Lee Crosby
Recorded live by Elio DeLuca at the Soul Shop
Additional recording by Ryan Lee Crosby
Mixed and mastered by Eric Carbonara at Nada Sound Studio