Barb Ryman | Falling Down To Heaven

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United States - Minnesota

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Gentle Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Falling Down To Heaven

by Barb Ryman

Award winning, Minneapolis based songwriter delivers Insightful, heart moving lyrics with a clear, compelling voice and finger style guitar that compliments the compassionate underpinnings of her songs. Guest musicians include the Midwest's finest.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Paradise
3:21 $0.99
2. So Hard to Let You Go
4:50 $0.99
3. Marah Beth
4:57 $0.99
4. Ballad of a Drowning Woman
6:50 $0.99
5. Wish For You
1:57 $0.99
6. Fly Like An Eagle
3:43 $0.99
7. Born in a Snowstorm
4:43 $0.99
8. Ten Thousand
4:31 $0.99
9. Who Do You Think You Are
3:04 $0.99
10. When I'm Sad
4:09 $0.99
11. These Days
5:38 $0.99
12. Rise Again
2:42 $0.99
13. Falling Down to Heaven
3:53 $0.99
14. Mother of Everything
1:30 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Award winning, Minneapolis based songwriter delivers Insightful, heart moving lyrics with a clear, compelling voice and finger style guitar that compliments the compassionate underpinnings of her songs. Guest musicians include the Midwest's finest.

Here's what the critics are saying about Barb Ryman:

"You can't help being amazed at the power of her presence and the sound of her voice. You can't help but listen."
Jim Walsh, St. Paul Pioneer Press

"...charming vulnerability and a rare knack for detailing the profound truths of everyday life. Her clear, ringing voice was reminiscent of Sandy Denny or Iris Dement."
Jim Meyer, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Barb Ryman proves herself a strong vocalist, talented composer, and an astutely irreverent student of the human condition."
Dirty Linen


Barb Ryman - singer songwriter, cultural critic, love junkie - is a native, tall, Texan who has lived most of her life in the Twin Cities as a short person. Inspired by a too early midlife crisis, Barb first took the stage as a songwriter at the age of 40. With that debut performance she found herself a finalist in the nationally endorsed Fine Line Songwriter Competition. Three years later she was nominated for the 1994 Minnesota Music Award, Songwriter of the Year, and again in 1996. Her CD, Lay Me Open, was recognized as exceptional by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and put on the top ten list across all genres. The St. Paul Pioneer Press called it a "heart-on-sleeve triumph" and also listed it in their top releases. It was nominated for the 1996 Minnesota Music Award for Best Folk Recording.

Barb lays her insightful, witty lyrics into a rich mosaic of contemporary folk, gentle rock, and country blues, delivering it all with a clear, compelling voice. Her fingerstyle guitar is sweet, complimenting the compassionate underpinnings of her songs. Committed to living life authentically, Barb's music is passionate, spiritual, tender, and rebellious, capable of distilling and undercutting the myths of our times. Her love songs detour from sentimental cliché and speak directly to the risks and vulnerabilities. Her lyrical stories circumvent conformity, drawing from a deep emotional well where only the brave go. All this she balances with her gift for musical humor, keeping fans laughing with satires like "Ode to Low Self-Esteem" and "Playing For Two". Barb gently charms every audience she meets with her sincerity and playful stage banter.

Always attracted to music, Barb started to compose when she could play her first two chords and feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously. Inspired by the 60's folk revolution, she was playing the coffeehouses by high school and college but kept original compositions to herself. Succumbing to societal pressures to get a "real job" Barb's music went into the closet, literally. After 15 years of marriage, two above-average children, and a successful career as a speech pathologist, Barb could no longer ignore the feeling that something was missing. She pulled her guitar out of the closet and started composing. It was her musical coming out. Barb describes it as exploding out, "You can't repress 20 years of your musical soul and expect it to trickle out. I was writing song after song after song".

Barb has performed throughout the Midwest and beyond at concert series, folk festivals, and radio shows. She has shared the stage Cheryl Wheeler, Robin & Linda Williams, Les Sampou, and Cozy Sheridan, to name a few. Her songs have aired on folk programs across the nation, and in parts of Europe and Australia. She now has four recordings, Winds of Good Fortune (1993), Lay Me Open (1995), Like A Tree (1998), and her new release, Falling Down To Heaven (2002), produced by percussionist, Marc Anderson, and featuring a cast of top-notch guest musicians including Dean Magraw, Peter Ostroushko, and Celtic virtuoso, John Williams.



to write a review

David Kleiner - Minor

The Minneapolis Star Tribune had it right. Barb Ryman wears her heart on her sleeve. All the better to touch yours. Try not to be moved by the poignancy of "So Hard to Let You Go" in the face of Ryman's multi-leveled, plaintive repeat of, "I can't move it all". It's a tale of loss made more tender through simple details ("stored in boxes in the room behind the den", "we had plans to paint this room") and a simple arrangement that colors Ryman's Cotton picking with splashes of steel drum, whispered harmonies, and accordion. Another highlight, "Ballad of a Drowning Woman", tells the harrowing tale of a desperate single mother on a journey to the New World. Ryman effectively creates a piece that could be a traditional ballad with authentic-sounding lyrics ("I begged that a maid or a servant I'd be/to earn passage for my family") and more clean finger picking, this time in d minor, the saddest key of all. Everyone's journeying somewhere on "Falling Down to Heaven". Grandpa prepares to "Fly Like an Eagle" to heaven. The protagonist of "Born in a Snowstorm" wrestles with her faith in Jesus as she moves north. The CD finds Ryman uncharacteristically serious throughout, on her own spiritual quest for rebirth voiced in songs like "Paradise" and the countryish anthem "Rise Again". Along for the trip is some high-powered help in the form of luminaries like Irish-American accordion virtuoso John Williams, Steve Tibbetts, and Peter Ostroushko (soloing exquisitely in "Rise Again"). And what an emotional, sweetly acoustic trip it is.

Nathan Johnson, City Planner, City of Pine City

Thankful for Barb Ryman
Time gets lost as Barb Ryman produces her artistic sound that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and especially color.

She is truly fascinating artist with a unique story to tell in each of her songs. Many people, including those in the GLBT community, thank the folk music industry for Barb Ryman and all she has to offer!

Tom R

This album is excellent I dont usually write reveiws ,but i just had to for this one . very relaxing and spiritualy uplifting, I wish she would come to the Sacramento CA area