“One of the hardest-working singer/songwriters on the local scene” – The Akron Beacon Journal
"Humbert is one hell of a singer/songwriter." - McKeesport Daily Times
Drawing influence from musical greats like Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello, Ryan Humbert’s original songs mix the honesty and lyricism of roots music with the inventive, infectious arrangements of rock and pop.
Having performed with Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Train, Elvis Costello, Chris Isaak, Third Eye Blind, Matt Nathanson, Pete Yorn, Foreigner, The Zac Brown Band, Josh Ritter, Shelby Lynne, The Gin Blossoms and more, his unique style of American/Pop transcends barriers of genre and time, making his music as much at home in the 21st century as it would be in the classic rock era.
Hailing from the Akron-Canton area of Ohio, Ryan’s energetic, crowd-pleasing shows and loyal fan base have made him a local music staple for over a decade at such notable venues as Playhouse Square, Blossom Music Center, The House of Blues, The Beachland Ballroom, Scene Pavilion at Nautica, The Akron Civic Theatre, The Canton Palace Theatre, The Kent Stage, The Tangier, Lock 3 Live and more.
His recent releases, though, have propelled him to recognition on a national level as well. In 2009, Ryan released Old Souls, New Shoes, an independent, fan-funded pop/rock album recorded in Nashville, featuring members of Third Eye Blind, The Counting Crows, The Black Crowes and more.
The follow-up, 2012’s folk-laced pop album Sometimes the Game Plays You, has been in heavy rotation on “The Coffee House” on Sirius XM Radio with the song “I Will Find My Own Way.” While on tour supporting that album, he recorded a 5-song in-studio performance at the Sirius XM studios in New York City. Sometimes The Game Plays You features musicians who have played with Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Cash, Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Patty Griffin, and Lucinda Williams as well as members of his own band.
Ryan's last solo record, Half Way Home, was released in November 2014. Combining the rock influence of Old Souls with Sometimes the Game Plays You’s singer/songwriter flavor, the album was recorded in just six days in Nashville, TN.
The album features some of Ryan’s most personal writing to date. The title song, an upbeat track about overcoming obstacles, was inspired by his mother’s recent battle with breast cancer, while “California to Ohio,” co-written with Grammy-winner Kim Richey, tells the story of his grandfather’s odyssey from Camp Pendleton, California to Hartville, Ohio to meet his first child in February, 1953. Ryan also co-wrote five of the songs with fellow Ohio musician Tracey Thomas, including the album-closing “Space Enough,” which features the legendary McCrary sisters (Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Buddy Miller, Stevie Wonder) on backing vocals.
“When I was young, I never knew I would end up being a singer or songwriter,” Humbert says. He would often peruse his father’s extensive CD collection, test-spinning albums by Waylon Jennings, Bob Seger, and Neil Young. “I didn’t find my niche though until I listened to Americana artists like Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen, and Lucinda Williams,” Humbert says. “That’s the music that truly inspired me, but still I listen to everything from George Jones to Arcade Fire. I’m just drawn to hooks. I’ve bought records by The Clash and Patsy Cline at the same time.”
Humbert attended the Pittsburgh Art Institute and graduated with a graphic arts degree. He worked in promotions for the National Gallery of American’s Young Inventors and was the Development Director for the Akron Triple-A radio station 91.3 The Summit FM, where he created the station’s logo and helped boost membership numbers. In addition, he has also produced for many local Ohio artists, the most notable being singer Tracey Thomas, onetime singer of the Akron ‘80s new wave sensation Unit 5. Humbert’s savvy marketing approach, his networking skills, and his sincere commitment to his charity work have bolstered his music profile in an honest, fluid, and very natural way. Ryan is also a successful event & concert organizer, planing events for The Canton Repository, Gervasi Vineyard, The University of Akron, The Summit FM and more.
Recently, Humbert was named a 2018 Greater Akron Chamber "30 For The Future" award recipient, was named part of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce / YStark's "20 Under 40" class of 2016, and was featured on the front cover of About Magazine in May 2017.
Humbert seems to have been not only born to play music, but to write, sing, produce and even market music. He sings with a powerful vibrato not often associated with pop and alt-country. The tone he delivers is matched only by the feverish pace with which he crafts his lyrical artform. However, what truly separates Humbert from all others is his uncanny ability to market music in unique ways.
Keeps Me Coming Back For More will make Rob Thomas jealous and may just be the best power-pop ballad I’ve heard from anybody all year.
The Summit 91.3 / 90.7 WAPS-FM
Old Souls, New Shoes showcases his increasing confidence with material that combines both a hard-hitting anthemic urgency and a hauntingly dark edge.
Singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert’s third album, Old Souls, New Shoes, is as polished, well-crafted and sheerly listenable as any disc on this list. Stylistically it veers from lowdown Southern rock (“Redemption”) to ’80s new-wave dance (“Sideways”), jaunty ’70s pop (“Old Souls, New Shoes”) to contemporary should-be hits (“Keeps Me Coming Back For More,” “People Standing Still”), all united by his distinctive, expressive voice. Humbert is a major-league talent.
The Canton Repository
Old Souls, New Shoes is all about catchy ear-friendly melodies and toe-tapping grooves.
Akron Beacon Journal
Humbert is a dynamo…eager and rapid-fire…a catalyst for and enthusiastic supporter of the N.E. Ohio music scene.
Cleveland Free Times
The hardest working man in the N.E. Ohio music scene
Mimi‘s Music News
His knowledge of roots music borders on the encyclopedic. Whatever that intangible ‘it’ factor may be that defines musical inspiration, Humbert has it in spades.
Akron singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert demonstrates a mastery of American music that rivals almost anyone’s.
Cleveland Free Times
Click the photo above to read more about Ryan from About Magazine.
AS SEEN WITH
Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders)
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
The Zac Brown Band
Third Eye Blind
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Gin Blossoms
Dave Mason (Traffic)
Mark Ballas (From Dancing With The Stars)
Glass Harp / Phil Keaggy
Tommy Shaw (Styx)