It is not often an artist gets a second chance in life. Fueled by perseverance and directed by a free conscience, Pat Ryan Key clearly writes from the soul.
With roots planted in Northwest Arkansas, the award-winning songwriter and record producer is a versatile and passionate vocalist with a wide vocal range that has a smooth-as-silk timbre, can swell into a thunderous, gritty punch and back again with breathy falsetto.
Branching out from humble beginnings on the trombone in school band, having reached all regions honors in the State of Arkansas by the age of eleven, his father and close friends introduced Key to classic rock and alternative / grunge music.
Pat Ryan developed his rhythm hand on the bass guitar by listening to Robert Deleo, Mike Dirnt and Tim Commerford. Once he discovered Led Zeppelin and John Bonham as well as Jimi Hendrix with Mitch Mitchell, his passion for arrangement and composition came alive. Which in turn, led to the discovery on how to use a guitar as a tool to write songs. He never looked back.
To date Pat Ryan Key has released four albums — "New Old Stock" (2021), his solo debut, "Guncle" (2016), "A Rebel's Chance" by i do declare (2011), and a collaborative project album with chief songwriter, Mike Townsend on "Fly Again" by The Casual Flyze (2017) — as well as a handful of singles.
Two of his latest releases feature his friend, collaborator, and mentor, guitarist, "Big A" Al Halpin. Al is a respected bottleneck blues guitarist from upstate New York. "Big A" was taught by Moondance era Van Morrison guitarist John Platania. He performed across New England for over two decades before relocating to Northwest Arkansas.
Key & Al, aka "PAL", developed a unique “guitar weaving” style constructed purely by performing together live over the course of 350+ shows. What followed are “Loves Her Rum" (2018) and "Dead Man Walkin" (2020). The cuts were recorded as live studio performances that can be best described as soulful rhythm and blues and roots. They continue to move forward with a new release, "Stick To Your Guns", coming soon in 2023.
Throughout 2020 Pat Ryan turned around the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and invested his time into writing and recording "New Old Stock". The album was released on July 16, 2021. Leading in a new direction, the new project is a blended mix of soul, funk, roots, and rhythm and blues which fit the need of any given song. The EP is a tribute to Ryan's love for classic soul music from Motown, Stax and Muscle Shoals. "The tracks are stunning. Exceptional!" per Betsie Brown, Blind Raccoon LLC of Memphis, TN. "This is the best Motown sh*t I've heard in years," said Bruce Bennett, a beloved, regional bass player and performing musician.
Fresh off the heels of New Old Stock, Pat Ryan Key released "Pick Her Up" on November 19, 2021. The track is a folk blues number inspired by Jimi Hendrix's acoustic version of "Hear My Train A'Comin". Check out his playlist inspired by "Pick Her Up" on Spotify.
In October of 2021, Key was endorsed by Hill Records. The record label is a student-run record label administered through the University of Arkansas. "Messed Up" was remastered and re-released on the record label's inaugural EP, "From The High Ground". The album was released on March 1, 2022.
Stay tuned for more news and releases to follow soon.