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Album review: 'SleepWalker'


Ryan Sutherland



Rochester's Ryan Sutherland is a down-to-earth, folk singer-songwriter with ripping slide guitar skills. Switching between guitar and banjo, he blends elements of country with folk, blues, roots music, and old-timey Americana. He is currently celebrating the release of his second studio album, "SleepWalker," a lighthearted storybook dedicated to his partner, Sarah.

"SleepWalker" starts off with a foot-stomping-good tune about a drinkin' man named "Jimmy Tequila." Sutherland has a warm tenor voice with a bittersweet vibrato and a carefree speak-sing vibe that makes you feel right at home. Songs like "Ballad of the Trap Man" and "Yuletide Regrets" are surging with soulful vocal jumps that tug at the heartstrings, while "Bar Weirdos" and "Twisted Liz" offer more upbeat, fictional adventures. Sutherland writes inspirational lyrics and tenderly bittersweet melodies, playing with genuine intention and heartfelt honesty. His talent really shines on the slide guitar, and he adds a fresh, new energy to traditional Americana.