Ryan Corn might not identify himself as a craftsman, even though he’s recently taken up the hobby of woodworking, but the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, native approaches everything he does—performing,
production, audio engineering, and especially songwriting—with the same care and attention to detail as a master carpenter.
“Growing up, radio had a big influence on me,” explains the 30-year old singer-songwriter, who also self-produced Wonderful Things, his Curb Records debut. “I remember being enamored with various aspects of the many different musical genres that radio had to offer. I developed an appreciation for lots of musical styles and I think that appreciation manifests itself in how I write songs.”
Not surprising then, Wonderful Things is jam-packed with such offerings. Tracks such as R&B infused, “It’ll Be Alright,” burst with soul and emotion, a homage to one of the many genres Corn has been influenced by. Such original tunes as “Burst,” “The Only Good,” and “Always You” will surely find listeners in every format.
“Another Try,” one of the album’s standout tracks, examines the thorny subjects of love, marriage, and divorce, and “why society as a whole seems to be failing in that area.” And then “Wonderful Things,” an utterly infectious and joyous song about change and redemption: “I’ve done terrible things, and I’ve done unspeakable things/But you’ve done wonderful things to save me/My heart’s been harder than rocks, and my mind’s been darker than dark/ But you’ve done wonderful things to change me.”
Growing up in rural Missouri, Ryan Corn‘s career began,unsurprisingly, in a church. There he learned how melodies, harmonies, and rhythms come together; but more so, how music can powerfully unite and captivate people. Performing in church with his father and older sister, Corn reminisces, “It was a little cheesy at times,” he says with a laugh, “but we thought it was fun to be a family band.”
At 15, Corn picked up his first guitar. Shortly thereafter, he started writing songs. “Songwriting felt natural. Music felt natural” says Corn. Quitting basketball after freshmen year, and even skipping the prom, Corn put music above other extracurricular activities in high school.
After college, his Ryan Corn Band knocked around the region in an ‘80s RV before splitting up, and Corn pursued a career in audio engineering and production. But he had also grown into a thoughtful
and reflective songwriter (“Doing all three helps keep it fresh for me”), and in 2010 recorded a self-named EP of five songs with Grammy-winning producer Mitch Dane.
In the kind of “discovery” tale that sounds like fiction, Corn got his break when a friend entered his song “Wonderful Things” into a radio contest. That led to representation by Artist Garden Entertainment and to signing his contract with Curb Records.
It took him eight months to produce and record the album, applying the craftsman’s discipline that he brings to any project. Corn admits, “It was a lot of pressure, but I’m happy with the way it turned out. I hope that it’s very telling about who I am as an artist, and that the music honestly connects with folks. When people hear my songs and say ‘Yeah, I’ve felt that feeling. I know that emotion.’ That’s BIG!”
Slated for release in 2014, Ryan Corn’s debut album, aptly titled Wonderful Things, is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as this artist, indeed, is bound to do wonderful things.