As his website promises, “Not all cowboys are from the west.” Ryan Luce, born and raised in upstate New York, is a testament to the power and universality of country music. His latest EP, California Gold, offers a blend of country-western Americana and Pacific Rock à la Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to paint energetic narratives with lasting visual effect.
Raised on the permanence of oldies radio and Thursday night line dancing, Luce grew up with country and rock in his bones and started playing in bands at a young age, pursuing his love for music. Later down the road when moving to Brooklyn in 2014, he began to redirect his musicianship to the creation and production of the music that felt more like himself, relying on the guidance of acts like the Byrds and The Head and the Heart to guide him along his journey.
On California Gold, feathery acoustic guitars and fiddle fill-ins allow for Luce’s vocal storytelling to take charge. A record revolving around old relationships and new beginnings, the EP focuses on Luce’s history while simultaneously setting the stage for his future in country-folk music.
“I think the one consistent story being told on California Gold is people going their own way either leaving a relationship or moving to a new place. Some of the stories like the title track deal in a dream idea of California; some are more realistic as in Secondhand Rose, where people recall how their lover is there for them after a long tour.“
Recorded in the winter of 2018 with his band (consisting of DM Salsberg on keys, Matt Sapp on bass, Omer Ashano on Violin, and Waverly Langston on drums), Luce’s California Gold creates a cinematic experience of blue-sky and dirt-road Americana told through the eyes of a native Buffalonian singer-songwriter; and like the music he grew up on, his songwriting has the strength to be indelible.
To attend Luce’s record release show and hear California Gold performed live, head to Brooklyn’s Littlefield tomorrow night, Saturday, July 20 at 7pm; to catch up with Luce separately, follow him at his links below.