Music That Makes a Difference 2018

Music That Makes a Difference 2018

CNN Music & Art

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Jack Johnson

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Eddie Van Halen

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RYAN STAR – San Francisco 4/11/10

Please bring your Vicodin and penis pills to the next Ryan Star show. Sadly, at his performance this weekend at Café du Nord in San Francisco nobody had any. Or at least they weren’t sharing. Similar to KT Tunstall, Star involves rhythm capture to add to his captivating beats on stage. He had claps – check. Drum stick on beer bottle – check. But the pill shaking – that was a problem. Until someone handed over the Advil from her purse. Disappointing. But it still did the trick.

Star opened up for Serena Ryder as she kicked off the first leg of her headlining tour. And the former Rockstar: Supernova contestant on CBS’s reality show proved beyond a doubt that his vocals are out of this world. It’s one thing to speak about a performer’s passion – but this guy had it oozing out of something deeper than a soul. He shuffled from soothing piano to gutsy guitar, and his voice fluctuated from alto to falsetto flawlessly. With just a keyboard and percussion back-up, it was Star and his versatile talent that shined bright on a rainy San Francisco night.

Emotion dripped off older gems like “We Might Fall,” but this night was about a formal introduction to his new material. The album 11:59 drops in a couple months. Tracks like “Last Train Home” and “Brand New Day” seem timeless, while “Breathe” seems to inhale the country’s current condition while exhaling a promise of better things to come. The video for “Breathe” is currently circulating all over the Internet. Ashton Kutcher has Tweeted about it. Vh1 has it in its rotation. The video features real unemployed people looking for real jobs and provides a real opportunity to make that connection. has been set up matching the characters in Star’s video to their resumes, and hopefully an employer that’s willing to get creative in this down economy.

Star’s set ended with a beautiful ballad called “You and Me.” I hope it makes the new album. I had a great interview with Ryan Star who is as good of a guy as he is musician. He proved in the most incredible way that he truly is willing to earn one fan at a time. It’s a moving story that will be included in a soon-to-come profile piece. No pills needed to read it, although some Kleenex would come in handy.

Written by: Ben Bamsey


  1. lauren says:

    thank you for one of the greatest most truthful ways i have ever read a review written about ryan all true man all treu

  2. KarenLE67 says:

    What a great write-up on Ryan. I didn’t see this show, but I’ve seen him live on 3 other occasions, and the way you talk about his passion and emotion really nails it. Performers talk about “leaving it all on the stage” but this guy actually does it. He crams 3 hours worth of sweat and love and work into a brief opening set and you’re left feeling like you’ve got your money’s worth even before seeing the headliner. I didn’t love him the first time I saw him, but I respected the honesty of what he was putting out there and he’s since won me over. I’m glad to see his success with Breathe, it feels like he’s on the precipice of something big and I hope to see him headlining soon. Someone needs to light a fire under his record company to get 11:59 out there sooner rather than later, it’s been unfathomably delayed for too long already.

  3. Mary says:

    I was at this show and it was fantastic. I discovered Ryan by attending a David Cook concert where he opened for David’s band. Fell for his music and for him as a wonderful person. Your article hits it right on about his passion when he sings. Breathe is a great song and can’t wait till his album drops!

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