I have a PILE of album I have to feature on here, and this week I plan to catch up on some of them like this man Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts from Denver Colorado. In 2019 they released a damn fine Outlaw Country album with enough twang to keep my foot tapping at my desk for an hour or so. Every song was a decent 2:30 plus, which was good and the songs all complimented one another quite well.
The backup vocals from this band were really awesome and brought out the lead vocals very well, on songs like “No Leash No Chain”. that was a great male rebound song after a breakup. Quite the typical Country song about no pain ( meant to be a lie) spun into a positive song of freedom. My dogs are my best friends, and my booze bottles.
“Burn Up The Highway” was a heavy and fully loaded rowdy song about being a road warrior, which is exactly what this band does. They play a whopping number of shows during the year in the local bars and festivals. “Almost Gone” was a song about a cheating woman in her rare from, however it also reverts to his own self. The lines “my fear shows and my age grows, I think about the life I chose from dusk till dawn, I’m almost gone” were attention grabbers for me. I felt like he was singing the song about ME. That’s what I look for in an album from anybody.
“Guitars, Bars & Hotels” is a great song about the perils of the road, the bed bugs and lice line was GREAT, and so true. You know I’ll tell you what, I never knew how hard the road was until I began following these bands all over the United States. I learned many highway stretches and good places to eat along the festival circuits and byways of America.
The album closes with “Sorrow” and the longest song on the album is “Gimmie Some” at a whopping 6 minutes long. “Sorrow” is a dark and poignant song that can be taken another way toward the end. If every soul could be strong there will be sorrow no more is indeed a noble thought to have.
The Rough Cuts
Ryan Chrys: vocals/guitar
Jack Yoder: guitar/vocals
Michael Jochum: drums
Susan Phelan: bass/vocals
Lauren Michaels: vocals
Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts formed in January, 2013, and have since been touring steadily through the North, Mid and South West states. The core of the band is made up of Ryan Chrys on guitar and vocals, Susan Phelan on bass and vocals, and Michael Jochum on drums. In their home state of Colorado they often perform with Laura Quam on violin. Bradely Weaver helped launch the band and performed in the band up until the end of 2017, when he departed for personal reasons. During the last couple years, Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts have earned some prestigious local and national accolades including a nomination for 2018 Oultaw Group of the year by the Ameripolitan Music Awards.
Ryan’s mother was a folk and country singer who performed at the Troubador in Hollywood where artists like Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and the Eagles all got their start. Eventually her love for horses and mountains lead her to move to Montana to work on a cattle ranch. It was on that Montana cattle ranch where Ryan was born and raised and learned to strum along on the guitar with his mother. Amidst playing in bands in his hometown of Missoula, Ryan eventually graduated from the University of Montana before moving to Denver to pursue a life of music.
Since 2004, Ryan has been performing, touring and recording for various acts as a lead guitarist, doing so lead him across the country performing at venues like Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Fillmore Auditorium, and the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles. Along the way he shared the bill with a diverse range of notable acts including Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic, and The Fray.
Susan Phelan is a master musician and has played with countless acts. She sings, plays the stand up and electric bass and is highly respected in the Colorado scene. She was once a pro wrestler! To learn more, check out this in-depth article about Susan Phelan on Westword Magazine.
Michael Jochum is an accomplished drummer from Los Angeles, California, he has so many credits and accolades its tough to mention them all! He has toured with bands from Jackson Browne to Korn. Check out Michael’s pages on Wikipedia and AllMusic.
Jack Yoder and Lauren Michaels are both accomplished musicians who fronted their own bands for years.