Southern Son: Ryan Watkins

Ryan WatkinsGRADE:  B-

  • Album – Southern Son
  • Artist – Ryan Watkins
  • Label – Red Hen Records
  • Style – Modern Country, Blues
  • Release Date – 09/18/15
  • Available For Digital Download? – Yes (Apple Music/Spotify)

SYNOPSIS:

Today’s album review is another artist introduction.  If modern country and blues finds a home in your musical playlists, then Ryan Watkins is an artist you want to take a listen.

Southern Son is the debut album for Ryan on Red Hen Records.  The album is a ten song collection of new music with over half the album from the pen of Ryan himself.

Ryan has a blues, raspy voice that fits the modern country-style he is presenting well.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The stand out track for me was the blues, classic rock style of “Beautiful Day (1969 Remix)”.  For any listeners familiar with the music of classic rock artist, Credence Clearwater Revival, this song could have fit their repertoire.  This style is Ryan at his best.
  • The simple country ballad, “Who I Am”, is another song worth a listen.  Ryan’s vocal and the strength of the production work on Southern Son could easily make Ryan a crossover with mainstream country audiences.
  • Ryan gets to ‘rock out’ on the blues infused “Cruel Lie”.  Another track to showcase that raspy blues voice of Ryan.
  • Mainstream country songwriter, Wayne Kirkpatrick penned the album’s closing track, “Any Way The Wind Blows”.  Another blues style tune that ends the album on a high note.
  • As I already mentioned, Ryan has a voice and look that could make him a crossover hit in mainstream country music.  It is great to have Christian music lyrics for listeners who enjoy country music.
  • Strongest songs included in order:  “Beautiful Day (1969 Remix)”, “Who I Am”, “Never Broken”, “Cruel Lie”, “Any Way The Wind Blows” and “Red”.
CRITIQUE:
  • As is the case with any solo artist, the lack of vocal variation can become tiring for the listener.  It was nice that Ryan saved his rollicking blues style for the end of the recording, to end on a strong note.
  • Weakest songs included in order:  “So Much More”.

WRAP UP:

Don’t go in to listening to Southern Son, thinking you are getting a Southern Gospel album with some country-style.  Ryan Watkins is a country artist who happens to record songs with Christian lyrics.  Southern Son is a modern country, blues infused recording that will appeal to listeners who enjoy the modern country styles so prevalent in mainstream country music.  It may not be too long before you hear Ryan on mainstream country radio.

SONG (Style) – Songwriter:  1. “Red” (Modern Country) – Jordan Bailey, Michael Loy, Jeremy Menard, Sam Mizell, Justin Mosteller  2. “So Much More” (Modern Country) – Ryan Watkins  3. “New Day” (Modern Country) – Ryan Watkins  4. “Never Broken” (Modern Country) – Jordan Bailey, Michael Loy, Jeremy Menard, Sam Mizell, Justin Mosteller  5. “Cruel Lie” (Blues) – Ray Scarbrough  6. “Who I Am” (Modern Country) – Ryan Watkins  7. “Calling All Heroes” (Modern Country) – Ryan Watkins  8. “One More Time” (Modern Country) – Ryan Watkins   9. “Beautiful Day (1969 Remix)” (Blues/Classic Rock) – Ryan Watkins  10. “Any Way The Wind Blows” (Blues) – Wayne Kirkpatrick

*Video Credit (Various Artists – Topic)

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