Three reasons to hear Ryan Oyer tonight
Ryan Oyer, one of Chattanooga’s most prolific songwriters, will perform in Pilgrim Congregational Church’s on- going music series tonight.
Oyer has five albums and EPs to his credit, and he won the 2015 Road to Nightfall competition, beating 35 other acts to take that title. If you’ve never heard this l ocal musician, here are three reasons you should go to his show tonight,
Debut of his new s ong in memory of Hunter White and Josh
Bates: On a sleepless night a few weeks ago, Oyer got up in the middle of the night and began writing a song in memory of two friends who had committed suicide, Hunter White and Josh Bates.
“These were two people that the floor fell out from under me when it happened. The song came from the love I have for them that I can’t tell them now. This is my way of telling them,” Oyer says.
He wrote half the song that night, then called his friend and bandmate, Megan Howard, to help him finish it. When they finished the song the second night, the two named it “Ever-Widening Circles,” a title reflected in the lyrics “Your love will ripple in ever- widening circles.”
› More new music: Oyer is currently working on his sixth album, “Silver Linings,” and he’ll be previewing some of that new music for his audience tonight.
“I’ve written a lot of songs for my family,” says Oyer of his new songs. “We use to have a staircase at my grandparents’ house that went downstairs, and there were pictures of all my family hung on the wall. I remember walking down that hallway and seeing all my aunts and cousins in 8-by-10-inch frames. To me, the songs are like walking down that hall and looking at those pictures.
“We are also covering ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong, my arrangement of it. I’m really proud of that one.” › It’s for a worthy
cause: Even though the concert is free, a l ove offering will be collected to help Oyer and his wife adopt a child from Haiti.
“My wife has known since she was 20 that she was going to adopt a child from Haiti. When we talked about my work on a new record, she had the idea to use this album as a fundraiser.
“We’ve only been together four years, and you have to be together five years before they allow you to start the process,” he says. Which makes the release of a new album during this f inal year of waiting an opportune way to raise funds.