Chris Ryan

Georgia-born Chris Ryan was eight years old in 1995 when he moved to Hiawassee, one of the last addresses on the state map shared by an 85-year-old master of old-time fiddle and banjo, the tobacco-splattered, high-spirited Ross Brown. The Hiawassee Opry was the kind of place where a kid could admire an old man, and, at first sight, Chris wanted a banjo. His grandparents got him one, along with a Ross Brown fiddle tape, and, two years later, little Chris and old Ross were playing at the same benefit shows. Chris Ryan’s old-time music is bold and beautiful, old and original. He started playing classical piano by ear at age five, then some of Georgia’s most traditional music by age twelve. After entering the music program at Brevard College, Chris got hooked on ragtime, blues, and the North fiddling style. All the old music – from the stage or from the sticks – seemed right. During the past five years, original tunes and new appendages for classic tunes have crammed his head, filled with clever movements.He moved into Chattanooga in 2011, following the footsteps of Georgia fiddle hero, Lowe Stokes, to play the dances, shows, programs, and contests, and to teach music at the Folk School of Chattanooga. Sandrock Recordings released Chris Ryan’s solo album Uptown Gals in 2012.