Ryan Dart's Upcoming Album 'Edge of the Wild' Is Out April 22, 2022
With Edge of the Wild, Ryan Dart plays the role of the lonesome troubadour. He sounds like a ‘have acoustic guitar, will travel,’ kind of guy. On “Waves,” he sings about the feeling of being called home.
Yes, he loves the road, but there’s also a need to get back home, too. Colored by sweet steel guitar, Dart sings its words like a weary traveler. The album is filled with traveling songs and wise observations, from the perspective of a man that sings like an experienced old cowpoke.
The album opens with a traveling song of sorts, titled “Ready for the World.” It’s also a love song, though, about moving along in a romantic partnership. It includes a wonderfully memorable line about coming back “with a wallet full of time.” Ah, they say time is money. And they’re sorta right. No, time is far more valuable than money. Dart returns to this time and money theme for the album’s last song, “What’s Your Time Worth.” It’s a really nice country song, sung to a waltz time signature. You have to love the crying steel guitar on this one, too.
Much of this album is acoustic, featuring mainly just Dart and an acoustic guitar. However, he revs it up with “Trouble on Fire,” which finds Dart giving it a gritty lead vocal, accompanied by fiery, bluesy
lead guitar. Lyrically, it spotlights Dart longing to set his troubles on fire. Don’t we all wish for that? Although it’s mostly acoustic, “These Days” is enjoyably rhythmic, chugging along nicely. It also
features a line about the edge of the wild,” from whence the album gets its title.
One of the album’s prettier songs is also one of its acoustic inclusions. It’s an underrated Bob Dylan album cut titled “Shooting Star.” A star in the night reminds this storyteller about someone he
once knew. He’s wondering what that person is doing now and how they are. It’s the sort of song that may make you think about similar people in your life. Life moves so fast. People come and go, and some go without ever coming back again. We may even forget about them until something reminds us again. It is a lovely song.
Although Edge of the Wild is not a country music album, it contains plenty of that style’s elements, and will appeal to country folk. Neither is it a folk, rock, or blues release. Again, though, there is instrumentation and rhythms associated with each of these styles. Perhaps the all-inclusive ‘Americana’ label fits this artist best. Dart dabbles in many different musical forms. At the center, though, is a
sensitive songwriter; one who knows when to make it loud or keep it soft. Whether he’s covering an appropriate Bob Dylan song or singing one of his own, Ryan Dart gives us plenty of content to chew on.
On “Us or the Dust,” Dart suggests, “Maybe this is the year we get it right.” Colored by folky harmonica, it’s the kind of question many of us ask ourselves on January 1st. It’s this wrestling that keeps us pushing on. Keeps us alive and makes Ryan Dart’s music the right soundtrack for
pushing against the darkness and moving forward.
- Dan MacIntosh
Edge of the Wild is out 22nd April 2022
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