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Ryan McGarvey - The Met Abertillery - June 2014 -  DSC_0238lRyan McGarvey back in Wales on his current U.K. Tour, proved to be a popular decision as he was greeted by a large appreciative and expectant crowd at The Met, Abertillery looking forward to be enthralled by this young guitarist from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This is a guitar talent cast from the same mould as Joe Bonamassa bringing a mix of vocals and making the guitar reach a different place musically than many achieve. It is no surprise that Ryan McGarvey and Joe Bonamassa are talked about in the same breath; time will tell whether the young pretender reaches the same skill level as Bonamassa. Heavy on the power-chords, very talented with loads of potential and some areas that need to grow so that Ryan and the band becomes the full act. Tonight Ryan was reaffirming for fans that this is a young man who plays the Fender with attitude bending the strings, using the pedal boards to great effect as he showcased his latest CD Redefined and for people wanting more of his music the news that a third album was on its way was greeted with a resounding cheer.

The tracks on the set list allowed Ryan to display his skills as a guitarist, Blues Knockin’ At My Door and Memphis among a string of songs given the Ryan treatment. Slow blues for me was Ryan at his best, reminiscent of Gregg Wright’s guitar style, but without the vocal power of Gregg. Ryan has a competent, solid rhythm section with Chris Hill (drums) and Sam Miller (Bass); who has been a friend since his early teens; they provided a good foundation so that Ryan had the freedom at front of stage to showcase the guitar whether his Fender or his Gibson Les Paul.

The crowd looked on with delight and adoration as one song after another flowed through his guitar, for me the numbers tended to meld into each other, but I was the lone voice no-one else felt this was just another power trio from the stable of bands with a great guitarist with mediocre vocals fronting the sound. One of the things lacking for me was the lack of personal engagement between Ryan and the audience, he introduced the odd number, said great to be back in Wales and eventually introduced his band, but there was nothing to create a rapport between stage and auditorium. That said it was an evening where lovers of guitar displays, rocky music with a hint of the blues were delighted and he will continue to entertain across the U.K for many more years I am sure.

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Rest of the tour…..
16 Jun 2014 – The Haven Club, Oxford, England

18 Jun 2014 – The Tunnels, Aberdeen, Scotland

19 Jun 2014 – Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Scotland

20 Jun 2014 – Keighley Blues Club, Keighley, England

21 Jun 2014 – Belle Vue Club, Hartlepool, England

22 Jun 2014 – Linton Blues Festival, Linton, England

For European dates click Ryan McGarvey

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