Live at the Rogue
THE BURYING GROUND
Originally aired October 22, 2021
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Whether he's playing with his own solo band or other various outfits, he can't be kept off Canadian stages. Ryan puts most of his energy in his passion for studying acoustic traditional blues, jazz and old time music. This led him to spending a winter in New Orleans where he wrote the majority of the material featured on Steppin’ Down South. This album is saturated with the sounds and rhythm of New Orleans streets.
Steppin’ Down South captures the sound of hillbilly blues and jug band jazz. Recorded live off the floor by Bob Hamilton at Old Crow Studios in Whitehorse, Yukon. With Patrick Hamiltonon banjo, kick drum and vocals. Kieran Poile on fiddle, Justin Rubenstein doubling on trombone and trumpet and Christian Leclerc on tuba. Ryan McNally’s genuine style and performance is a breath of fresh air.
McNally was raised in rural Quebec, south of Montreal along the U.S. boarder. He began pursuing music at the age of ten when he first picked up the guitar. In his late teens and early twenties he would seek out musicians he would hear at cafes and bars for lessons in finger style blues. He continues to work in studying with teachers into his schedule while he is performing on the road. Currently McNally is experimenting with scoring music to films as well as musical direction for theater. All while keeping up a busy solo career and a steady touring schedule.
THE BURYING GROUND
The Burying Ground formed in 2014 as a duo, but Woody Forster and Devora Laye have been playing together since 2009 as members of The Dire Wolves, an acoustic blues string band and darlings of the East Van punk scene. They are steeped in influences from 1920’s ragtime, country & western, Mississippi Blues and New Orleans Jazz.
Woody’s complex blues guitar and rags are punctuated and raised high by Devora’s tightly syncopated washboard, with playful rolls and staccato jumps and stops. Their solo and combined vocal styling is deeply resonant and heartfelt. Devora’s sound when masterfully bowing the saw is transportive.
The Burying Ground has been charming diverse crowds, across all ages and musical tastes, in large and small venues throughout Western Canada and the United States. They focus on writing and performing original music while continuing the tradition of sharing songs from the past. Woody and Devora’s songwriting illuminates the human experience that reflects the modern day, touching on mental health, the trauma of war, social justice and good old-fashioned lost and found love. It is today’s commentary on a framework of vintage music.
At home, on the road and in the studio Devora and Woody are accompanied by a rotating cast of masterful session and backing musicians. Their current line up includes Wynston Minckler on upright bass, Clara Rose on fiddle & harmonies and Joshua Doherty on harmonicas and harmonies.
As a full band they have a lively and gritty sound with tight harmony and a driving rhythm section reminiscent of the music of the juke joints and jazz halls of the 1920’s and '30s. The band moves effortlessly between toe-tapping dance music, the yearning of country blues and the embellishments and energy of ragtime and jazz.
"Taking vintage blues and jazz, swing, old-timey country and folk as their templates, this super-cool duo pens authentic sounding material that appears as if plucked from the Alan Lomax archives, but also bears the gritty qualities of their punk rock background. " - David Morrison of Folk Radio UK's Top Ten Albums of 2017