Singer-songwriters who tour are always seeking sanctuary or sympathetic venues where their craft can be more readily appreciated without the din and pressure of commercial clubs or the rambunctious nature of the festival circuit where the agendas can sometimes be wholly different than that of the artist.
Enhancing that experience is also a more discerning programmer who seeks out talent that has the potential to please their audience of real listeners who come to make a connection with an artist they are familiar with, or are eager to get to know better.
For a sensitive performer, like Cathie Ryan it makes a difference many times when she can convert the trials and tribulations of being on the road and far from home into a plus by experiencing a place where people literally are coming from in her audience.
It allows for a better two-way communication between the stage and the audience and usually a memorable occasion that stimulates the creative soul.
Ryan, a Detroit native well known to many since her early work with Cherish the Ladies as they climbed the performance ladder, has embarked on a solo career for many years and for the last six doing so while making her home in Co. Louth between the mountains and the sea.
Even though most of her work is in the U.S., Ryan values the life she has in Ireland and its proximity to either Belfast or Dublin airports an hour away which allows her to commute more handily when the road beckons outside her ancestral home.
She has a foot (and an apartment) in New York also so she can spend time with her son and new grandchild as well as the artistic and business side of things here.
Her more recent albums have featured much more of her own songs which she admits take longer to produce than some other songwriters, but she is a more deliberate artist in that regard and always more effective in her own comfort zone.
She is busily preparing a new double CD due out next March which will be 25-year retrospective recording encapsulating where she has been professionally and the progression that has taken place. The planning includes working with more extraordinary musicians with studio time in Dingle, Nashville and the Catskills all factored into the mix.
Some of that music will be on display at a show this Saturday, October 1 at 8 p.m. in New Jersey at the Sanctuary Concert Series in Chatham held in a Presbyterian Church at 240 Southern Boulevard. The phone number for information is 973-376-4946 or visit sanctuaryconcerts.org for more details.
Working with Ryan these days are fiddler Mattie Mancuso (from Brooklyn) and Patsy O’Brien (From Cork living in Minneapolis). Walt Michael is the opening act.