“Analysis Plus cables are an integrated and permanent part of my sound. Whether I’m using a microphone for recording/live, or if I’m plugged-in recording/live, acoustic or electric; my Analysis Plus cables are always there supporting my sound. They are incredibly durable and built to last, but more importantly… I can hear a difference in clarity and detail that I wasn’t getting before. My cables are now every bit as important to my sound as my microphone, pickups, and amplifier.”
From sharing the stage with Doc Watson as a teenager, to plugging in and playing modern jazz fusion with Dennis Chambers and Victor Wooten on saxophonist Bill Evans’s records, Ryan Cavanaugh has taken the banjo on a daring musical safari not for the faint of heart. Cavanaugh’s ideas of how and what is played on the 5-string bluegrass banjo are occupied by few banjo players and musicians alike.
Ultimately beginning his career with self-produced new-grass venture “Songs for the new Frontier” (2006), Cavanaugh was enthusiastically recommended by John McLaughlin and Béla Fleck, to begin his career on the world jazz stage playing alongside saxophonist Bill Evans. Sharing stages with Fleck, Wooten, McLaughlin, Dennis Chambers, Robben Ford, and Richard Bona, Ryan brought the nimbly quick and otherwise versatile 5-string banjo to new audiences throughout Europe, Russia, the US, and Japan.
After 3 records with Bill Evans and company, Cavanaugh then parted ways to make inroads back to roots music via the Jeff Austin Band, JenniLyn Gardner, and the Grassicana chart topping Songs From the Road Band; that would result in Cavanaugh’s improvisation explorations on the Jeff Austin Band EP entitled, “Don’t let the body grow cold;” and Songs From the Road Band’s, “Waiting on a Ride.”
The end of 2019 saw Cavanaugh’s release of the live, solo, electric improv recording , “The Realist:” proving yet again Cavanaugh’s love for improvisation with no boundaries. The highly intuitive album features electric banjo + synthesizer, again garnering praise from the venerable John McLaughlin himself:
“I’ve known Ryan Cavanaugh for years. He came to my attention through the Internet and from the outset I could hear a very talented young musician. The fact that he was already breaking down preconceived notions about how a Banjo should be played, and what music should be played on the Banjo endeared me to him all the more.
In this new recording Ryan is again knocking down all preconceived ideas about the Banjo.
This is a very personal statement from a musician who, because of personal artistic integrity, insists on seeking a new way to play, to communicate to the listener his vision and life in music.
Whether this recording is everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ is neither here nor there. In addition to an impeccable technique, this is the music of a real “Free Spirit” enjoying his musical universe, and as such is particularly valid in this day of cliché driven music and deserves a hearing from anyone truly interested in the evolution of modern music. Highly recommended.”
– John McLaughlin
More Quotes About Ryan Cavanaugh
“…this is the music of a real “Free Spirit” enjoying his musical universe, and as such is particularly valid in this day of cliché driven music and deserves a hearing from anyone truly interested in the evolution of modern music. Highly recommended.” – John McLaughlin (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra)
“Most readers will see the word ‘banjo’ and music described as ‘anything but bluegrass’ and no doubt think of Béla Fleck. However, a comparison to Fleck would be a bit lazy here.” – Jambands.com, 2017
“One of the best technical players ever.” – Béla Fleck, Elmore Magazine, 2011
“Cavanaugh’s bluegrass credibility is undeniable but…he’s already a remarkable jazz player.” – All About Jazz Magazine, 2010