I first saw local artist Ryan Humbert open for Pete Yorn at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s a good thing I don’t like labels, because it’s near impossible to apply one to this talented singer/songwriter. I’ll describe his style as straddling the groove between roots rock and pop. His lyrics give you pause and make you think, but make no mistake – you’ll find yourself tapping your toes and dancing along the way. It’s a delicate balance, and one that he’s mastered with eloquence. A balance that’s uniquely Ryan Humbert.
Half Way Home, Humbert’s fifth studio album, showcases his most personal and introspective writing to-date. The title track “Half Way Home (Keep Your Head Up)”, inspired by his mom’s recent battle with breast cancer, is an anthem of encouragement:
“Keep you head up
Keep you head up
You’re not alone…,” Ryan reassures.
As the album continues, each track gently rises and falls to fill every space around you. Half Way Home is a master’s class in simplicity (read as: not overproduced). Humbert shows us that simplicity can be magnificent and give rise to it’s own extraordinary kind of complexity – one that feels at once brand new and as old as the world itself.
What a gift.
In the spirit of giving, I purchased one extra copy and it could be yours. (U.S. residents only)
How? Simply watch the video below and give a listen to one of my favorite tracks on the album “California To Ohio.” Co-written by Grammy-winning songwriter Kim Richey, the track is based on a true story. In February 1953, Ryan’s grandfather surprised his grandmother by hitchhiking cross-country from Camp Pendleton, CA to Hartville, OH to see her and their newborn daughter. They are currently 82 and 83 years of age, and have been married for more than 60 years. What a love story!
Leave a comment about how the song makes you feel: good, bad, or indifferent, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.
One winner will be selected at random prior to midnight on Friday, December 5. It will make a great stocking stuffer, but I can guarantee you’ll want to keep it for yourself.
Until next time, be kind to yourself. And each other.
Note: All opinions expressed here are my own. I have not received any compensation for writing this post.