Album Review of
The Healing Guitar

Written by Robert Silverstein
August 12, 2022 - 4:41pm EDT
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Jimmy Ryan is renowned among those that have followed his career—equally as a guitar technician and a composer, as well as a recording artist and co-founder of the acclaimed jazz-rock fusion band, The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers. On his 2021 CD Astral Café, Jimmy scaled the heights of the guitar summit, providing us with his unforgettable guitar melodies, powerful arrangements and his studio wizardry. To compliment his electrifying instro-rock sound and perhaps reflect on his recent health challenges, Jimmy Ryan has released another, all-new heaven-sent album in the middle of 2022. The Healing Guitar, Jimmy’s new, 5-track, 51-minute album was issued on CD in the Summer of 2022 on the Chicago-based Salvatori Productions.

For the release of The Healing Guitar, producer Tom Salvatori compiled five recently-recorded instrumental tracks performed by Jimmy and has presented them in two distinctive sonic settings: First, the album showcases four tracks featuring Jimmy Ryan (Electric Guitar, Bass) and Dan van Schindel (Drums, Percussion) in a normal studio setting. Second, the fifth track called “The Healing Guitar In Nature Suite,” clocks in at 28:33 and becomes the centerpiece of the album with its five pieces that merge into each other. It is made up of the same four studio tracks but also features the recently discovered fifth track entitled “Continuum”. Tom has creatively woven all five of these tracks into an ambient nature journey with wonderful background sound effects...starting with morning songbirds in a field, moving on to a visit to the ocean, with sounds of surf, seagulls and children playing on the beach and then ending in an evening field teeming with crickets, birds and even the hoot of a late night barn owl!

Merging the five tracks, including the ultra-rare “Continuum”, featured at the end of the suite, into one nearly 29 minute piece of music is a feat of engineering brilliance. The first four tracks, preceding the “Nature Suite”, with Jimmy and Dan, presents the two musicians in a very reflective yet supremely relaxed setting. The concept of The Healing Guitar is quite commendable, both as an immersive instrumental guitar experience as well as salute to the healing powers of the guitar, especially when put into the hands of musicians of this high caliber. In the face of his recent health struggles, Jimmy Ryan truly rises to the occasion on The Healing Guitar.