Fans of Vancouver Islander Ryan McMahon “In Line for a Smile”

Ladysmith singer-songwriter hosts release party in Nanaimo after going big on album number six

It’s the kind of news that can create a whole line of smiles.

Ryan McMahon — the voice of Ladysmith, and if somebody wants to argue, you name the time and place, we’ll bring the boxing gloves — has got a new solo album out.

It’s album number six, it’s called “In Line for a Smile” and he is ready to share it next weekend with an album release party at The Queen’s, 34 Victoria Cr., Nanaimo.

McMahon speaks of giving birth to the album on his website.

“This album exists because of Creative BC. I hadn’t even planned on recording & releasing a solo album in 2018.

“Lion Bear Fox (his ongoing collaboration with Cory Woodward & Christopher Arruda) was busy touring, I was in the midst of the ongoing battle to balance a career in music and maintain a healthy family life, and things were rolling out as I had planned. But my plans never work out…

“We got the news that Creative BC had given us a grant to record a full length album, so I got to work. I knew Zak Cohen, who owns and operates the Woodshop, where LBF had recorded before, and we seemed to have some musical common ground.

“I sent Zak about 20 songs, and we conversed about which ones to record… We both agreed that I had done the ‘stripped down’ thing for a few albums now, and it was time to roll out a big-sounding record, with great players. We recorded over 12 days in June, and it was to be my favourite recording experience to date. Whether that’s because I’m old enough to enjoy it, mature enough to properly collaborate, or humble enough to know my own musical limitations – I dunno.

“The songs are all love letters to those I’ve known, places I’ve existed or people I’ve been. It’s a snapshot of a soon-to-be middle-aged man trying to beat the blues; trying with all his might to not grow up. I’m rambling… I view it as the high-water mark of my career so far. It’s the most ‘me’ I’ve ever sounded.”

Chronicle correspondent Gerry Beltgens has had a preview and he is impressed.

“Eileen and I are big fans of Ryan McMahon. We have CDs, we have attended Lion Bear and Fox concerts, we seen him solo and once he even played a private gig for Eileen’s birthday. We are both excited about his new solo album, ‘In Line for a Smile.’

“Ryan has matured as an artist and as he approaches the big 40 his music is more intimate yet totally approachable. The music is a little bit country, a little bit folk, a whole lot of indie and thoroughly enjoyable.

“Ryan’s voice has mellowed and acquired a nice richness. The songs are all written by Ryan and are the best of 20 songs he collected and discussed with Zak Cohen of the Woodshop who produced the album. Production value is excellent with excellent musicians and big sound.

“Unfortunately we will not be in town for the “Album Release Extravaganza” on Feb. 1, 2019 at the Queen’s in Nanaimo. I hate to miss it. So if you are in town and if there are still any tickets available go and get some and enjoy the party. If you miss the party make sure you pick up the CD or buy the download.

You can watch the first single Too Tired For Love (featuring a cameo from the aisles of Ladysmith’s 49th Parallel grocery) on YouTube.

For more on the album release party, check out the Ryan McMahon Album Release Extravaganza Facebook event page.

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