For almost two decades, Ryan has been a major player on the American folk scene. A singer-songwriter
and experienced musician, he has traveled all over the United States playing in many of folk music’s legendary venues. For Ryan, performing and writing is a family tradition. His grandmother played
sax and clarinet and his mother was a professional folk singer. Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, Ryan traveled with his mother to venues and festivals up and down the west coast. So, it was only
natural when Ryan started to join his mom on stage, playing the violin by age seven and learning the guitar at 12.
Even at a young age, it was clear that Ryan was a talented musician. He was selected to join the Northwest Children’s Honor Choir and performed in a professional production of the opera Tosca. As a
teenager, Ryan began writing his own music and at 13, he moved with his mother to Tennessee to join the Nashville music scene. He continued to hone his musical talent as they moved once again to
Asheville, North Carolina. He spent the next few years playing with a band and experimenting with the hard rock and grunge scene of the 1990s. Ryan knew though that he would eventually return to his
Ryan credits his mother as being one of the biggest influences on his career. For him, music is about storytelling and folk has always been a dynamic platform for music writing. Moving beyond the cut
and dry, he can work in the symbolic and diverse tradition of legends like Carole King, Joan Baez and James Taylor. Over the years, Ryan has released numerous albums, and he writes everything that he
In addition to performing original songs, Ryan has performed in musicals, acted, trained as a massage therapist, and holds a Bachelor's of Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State
Ryan now lives in the mountains of Lakeside, Arizona at an elevation of 6,500 feet. He continues to write new music and perform old and new songs in venues throughout the country.
-Jennie Held (Emmy winning journalist) of Steven Hero Productions, LLC
-Bagdaddio (Wondergoat Records 2003)
-My Fair February Notable Shimmer & Grin (2007)
-Mordred the Quarter Known (2011)
-More Than Strangers (2013)
-For My Mother, Who Truly Loved The World (2015)
Stuart Epps, producer (Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Elton John) January 10, 2015
"Great, distinctive voice...worthy of top marks"
Jimmy Rae January 16, 2012
"...a force to be reckoned with in this music world"
James McQuiston January 20, 2012
"The music is timeless, while Orr’s penchant for finding the right word will have listeners swooning"
ROOTSTIME MAGAZINE (BELGIUM)
Rootstime October 15, 2008
"Ryan David Orr has a warm, beautiful voice with which he intimates feelings of sorrow or joy...similar to that of Chris Martin (Coldplay), Damien Rice, or Ryan Adams."
MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY (GO!)
Mac McDonald June 15, 2008
"Orr's weathered voice is a cross between Peter Gabriel and Eddie Vedder."
John Popper (Blues Traveler) April 15, 2008
"Tender, powerful songwriting. Ryan will take you right into the moment with him & connect his heart to yours."
BEST FOLK ALBUM (INTERNATIONAL)
Toronto Exclusive Magazine May 28, 2007
RDO's 2nd album, "My Fair February Notable Shimmer and Grin", named best folk album international by Toronto Exclusive Mag
Song of the Year Runner Up and Finalist June 17, 2013
Runner up and finalist in the Song of the Year songwriting contest
MIDDLE TENNESSEE MUSIC
Joshua Smotherman June 07, 2016
Featured on Middle Tennessee Music dot com "Indie Music Spotlight - Top
Singer Songwriter Picks"
photo by Mike Mahoney