Sonic spotlight

Cathie Ryan

Cathie Ryan


Hometown: "I actually live in Ireland. I was born and raised in Detroit, Mich., and I've been living in Ireland for the last seven years in what they call the Wee County. It's County Louth, the smallest county in Ireland. It's about an hour and a half north of Dublin ... on the east coast. It's beautiful. I have a little cottage on the sea."

HER MUSICAL STYLE: "I would call it Celtic with a bit of American thrown in."

PLAYS: Bodhrán

DISCOGRAPHY: Cathie Ryan, The Music of What Happens, Somewhere Along the Road and The Farthest Wave.

MAJOR INFLUENCES: Her grandparents and parents, Joe Heaney, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams

WHEN SHE'S NOT PERFORMING: "I've started writing again, and I'm enjoying that very much, although I won't have time to do that again now until April, with the schedule that we have. I love to garden, I love to walk and I love to spend time with friends. Ireland is very big into community. Lots of sharing meals together and going and visiting each other."

SONGWRITING PROCESS: "It's evolving. I used to get huge chunks of songs, lyric and melody together, and now what I get are maybe three sentences or three lines for a verse. I'm usually inspired by something that I see or a turn of a phrase that I hear. But it's usually being outside of my own workaday world, where my mind is more open and I'm more relaxed and things just bubble up to the surface or things get in deeper and hit me and make me want to go home and write about them."

MUSICAL ROOTS: "My musical roots come from my parents. My father was a singer, and his mother before him, and she played the fiddle as well, and her name was Cathie Ryan. She named me, and she was a great inspiration to me. I just loved her to bits. ... So I got the music from them, and I also got it from mother's side. Her father was a storyteller and people would come from all over to sit and listen to him tell stories about history, mythology, the local characters. And then when it would start getting dark out, he would tell stories about the fairies and the banshee and the pooka. And he was mesmerizing. And he scared us very much when we were little kids, but we loved it. There was no TV in either of my grandparents' house, so when we were there in the summer, we had in my father's house music, and in my mother's house, story. And it just blessed my life in every way."

PRE-SHOW RITUAL: "I sit in the dressing room and I vocalize, I do my scales, and I sing a little bit of each song ... and then I usually like to have it a wee bit quiet."


Cathie Ryan will perform with Matt Mancuso (fiddle) and Patsy O'Brien (guitar) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Enterprise Mill Event Center, 1450 Greene St. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door from Fat Man's Mill Cafe, (706) 733-1740, or by calling (706) 267-5416.