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September 4th, 2009
McGillicuddy plays bluegrass dark, humorous

Ryan McGillicuddy.

Scene Reporter

Born and raised in the Texas Hill Country, Ryan McGillicuddy brings a fresh take on traditional Country and Bluegrass to the stage when he performs.

Though adept at many cover songs, McGillicuddy’s original work makes up the bulk of his shows. McGillicuddy’s voice is something akin to John Denver’s, but his songs stand out from common bluegrass artists because of the humorous, and sometimes dark lyrics.

“Music has just always been a really important part of my life,” McGillicuddy said. “It has driven me. There is always something playing in my head constantly as a soundtrack, whether it’s my friends songs or more popular music. It just began translating itself into me making my own music.”

With subject matter ranging from the stereotypically Country fare of lost love to the more controversial or downright strange, McGillicuddy’s sense of humor comes through in his lyrics.

“Nearly everything can inspire a song,” he said. “I wouldn’t classify it so much as an inspiration as a compulsion. It’s just something that I have to do. Since there is always music in my head, it works best if I just get it out. It’s a way to relieve pressure. I write because I have to.”

Usually taking the stage with McGillicuddy is his long-time friend, Chad Wilbur of the Christophers.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a show without Chad,” Wilbur said. “He’s an amazing musician on any kind of strings that touch his fingers. I think some of my songs might stand alone in a quiet audience, but in a bar I would never want to be without Chad.”

In addition to Wilbur, McGillicuddy plays many shows with what could only be referred to as his band, though the players choose to not define themselves as such formally.

“Adding bass and drums to the show is a more recent thing,” McGillicuddy said. “I’ve started calling us Ryan McGillicuddy and the Adventurers for Draining the Dismal Swamp. So for short it’s McGillicuddy’s Swamp. That usually includes Jesse Dalton, Chad Wilbur, and Paul Adams.”

Thus far, McGillicuddy’s only recordings have been live, or home recordings.

McGillicuddy said he expects to record within the next year, but his “immediate goal is to be a good father, as my wife and I are expecting our first child in November.”

For more information on Ryan McGillicuddy, go to

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0 thoughts on “McGillicuddy plays bluegrass dark, humorous

  1. Ryan Patrck Mcgillicuddy has always been quirky an humorous from the time he could dress himself to the time he wrote a song to tell the family he and Jamie were having a baby! His humor reminds me of both his father, Kevin and his grandfather, Dan. Ryan’s music has evolved from the music he heard on the radio to asking for a turn table for his birthday so he could play my vinyl records of Led Zepplin, Crosby, Stills and Nash, etc. Ryan contiunes to amaze me with his music, his sense of family, and hi compassion!!

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