Sunday, January 14, 2018

Tennis Anyone???


Triumphant All-Star ‘Graceland’ Tribute Shows
with Bakithi Kumalo to be Followed by Monthlong
Tour of Colombia Before U.S. Tour Begins

“[Ryan Tennis] gets straight to the heart of the music.”
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"Ryan Tennis and the Clubhouse Band have a community vibe, riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progressions with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion."
- 88.5 XPN The Key

Having wrapped a pair of knockout All-Star Graceland tribute shows here and in Washington DC, and a triumphant six-week tour of Europe, global music sensation RYAN TENNIS celebrates the release TODAY of his brand-new studio EP, Two Days on the Fence.

Next week, Tennis heads to South America in for a month-long tour of Colombia. He returns to the U.S. in February to launch an East Coast tour, which includes an appearance at Folk Alliance International.

Co-produced by Tennis and Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) and recorded at the expansive Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Two Days on the Fence sees Tennis and his virtuosic band

Joseph Keim(drums), 
Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards), and Christopher Farrell (guitar) ― locking in with telepathic precision on five luminous new cuts that draw heavily on sounds and rhythms Tennis absorbed during his extensive travels throughout South America and his performances with legendary South African musicians Bakithi Kumalo and Morris Goldberg, both of whom performed on Paul Simon’s historic Graceland album. 

“I wanted to explore more powerful rhythms than you get with the usual acoustic singer-songwriter thing,” Tennis explains. “My band can play a lot of incredible grooves, so I know I can throw anything at them and they’ll turn it into genius stuff that makes people move. I’m flat-out amazed at what they did on the new EP.”

Over the years, Tennis has been compared to artists such as Paul SimonBen Harper and Bill Withers. The songs on Two Days on the Fence range from soul-enriching ballads to exuberant, body-moving groovers, and they see the inveterately creative singer-songwriter spreading the waters of his influences (“a lot of folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean sounds”) while micro-targeting his lyrics to soothe today’s information-overloaded society.

“I wrote these songs with the intention of giving people hope and positivity in their lives,” Tennis says. “In general, we’re inundated with negativity – from the news to Facebook, it’s so easy to get bogged down. I’m not one to write protest songs, but in a way I did that by writing songs to make people feel good. There’s a lot of power in that message, the audacity it takes to feel joyful in tough times.”

The upcoming live music video for the title track of Two Days on the Fence was filmed in Paris during Tennis’ most recent European tour. Having won over audiences in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Colombia and Argentina, he’s looking forward to expanding his global reach in 2018.

Earlier this month, he sold out a pair of all-star Graceland 30th Anniversary shows (featuring original “Graceland” bassist Bakithi Kumalo) in Washington, D.C.) and Philadelphia.

“When you come to one of my shows, you’re going to get an explosion of funky soul music mixed with Afro-Caribbean beats and textures,” Tennis enthuses. Everybody in the band sings backing vocals, so it’s a loud and joyous sound. It’s a welcoming environment, so come on and shake off your troubles. We’ll have you moving in no time!”

Two Days on the Fence is out on iTunes and Spotify.

Sat., Feb. 17: Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, MO
Wed. Feb. 21: Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
Sat. Feb. 24: Club Passim, Boston, MA

More Dates to Come …

Ryan Tennis on the Web

1 comment:

  1. What a great write up on Ryan. It was great to have him in the studio.