Perrysburg musician Ryan Dunlap begins big summerWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 30, Perrysburg musician Ryan Dunlap found himself in the middle of Fifth Third Field performing the national anthem with a malfunctioning microphone.
“I’m pumped up and then nothing; it just didn’t work,” Dunlap said. “But we got through it.”
A worker was quick to replace the microphone, and once the crowd could hear him, his next fear was forgetting the lyrics like so many before him.
“How many famous people have we seen that have messed the words up or really cracked on that high note? I didn’t want to be that guy,” Dunlap said. “I was really, really scared honestly, which is kind of a new thing for me. I don’t really get nervous; I’ve been wanting to be the center of attention since however I can remember, like long before it was about music, and I was scared s***less.”
Even though Dunlap said he’s known the words to the national anthem since he was 5 years old, performing the song in front of the crowd made him second-guess himself. Halfway through the game, after his performance, Dunlap left to go do a gig but received a text message from his sister saying he had just performed for 11,500 people.
The performance was part of an eventful summer, which will include the release of his album “It Is What It Is,” an album two years in the making and made possible with 76 backers on a Kickstarter campaign. The goal of the campaign was to raise $1,500 to help fund the production side of things, but rose more than double that in 30 days.
The album touches on “a little bit of everything,” including heartbreak and death, Dunlap said.
“I’m good at writing sad songs,” he said. “There’s a time and a place to write the happy and upbeat song, and I feel like I can, [but] for me the greatest songs that we’ve ever heard are those heartbreak, honest songs like ‘Tears of Heaven’ [and] ‘Heaven.’”
The album’s title comes from Dunlap’s outlook on life.
“The past is the past even if you look back,” he said, citing a lyric on the album. “It doesn’t matter. … You have to learn to roll with the punches and just take it.”
The album was released June 24 on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. It features 14 tracks, all written by Dunlap, and recorded, mixed and mastered by Brett Dennison of FireFly Studios.
The album’s third track, “Black Turns Blue,” is a duet with local favorite Kyle White.
“The first verse is all me, the second verse is all her and then we just harmonize the s*** out of the rest of it,” Dunlap said.
When Dunlap presented the song, she gladly agreed to participate.
“He was very easy to work with and I felt that he truly appreciated what I brought to the song,” White said. “I thought it was lovely and told him would gladly lend my voice.”
Much collaboration went into making the album, from Jason Goss on drums, Justin Marchand on guitar and Alex Scheer playing the trumpet on “Burned.”
“I did my best to find the most talented people I could find and at the same time the most cool, down-to-earth people,” Dunlap said. “The thing about the music industry is there’s some people that are just douchey.”
Dunlap has been performing locally for five years now, frequenting places like Bar 145 (“Playing out there on their patios is awesome”) and Perrysburg’s Belle Wine and Martini Lounge (“It may not always be the greatest place for my age … but the sound in that room is amazing.”)
Music has always been part of Dunlap’s life. He recalls a time in junior high when he lost a part to sing “I Just Can’t To Be King” from “The Lion King” in the school choir show.
“It was so childish but I totally should’ve gotten this part and she gave it to somebody else and her reason was ‘Well, you won’t fit in the costume,’” Dunlap said. “I failed the class because … I just quit. I didn’t go to the final performance.”
After his father died in 2001, he began to write poetry to deal with grief. He was motivated by a friend to learn how to play guitar to make his poetry into songs. He began making music then.
Dunlap said everyone is invited to celebrate his album release at Bar 145, 5305 Monroe St., on July 8. He plans to play the album in its entirety with everyone involved. Dunlap will also play at Belle Wine and Martini Lounge, 3145 Hollister Lane, on his birthday July 16.
Tags: 'Heaven', 'Tears of Heaven', album, Alex Scheer, Amazon, Bar 145, Belle Wine and Martini Lounge, Brett Dennison, Burned, Fifth Third Field, Firefly Studios, It Is What It Is, iTunes, Jason Goss, Justin Marchand, Kyle White, Music, Perrysburg, Poetry, Ryan Dunlap, Spotify