Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors ( Featuring Ginger Wildheart On Guitar ) have released a curious little concoction of highly addictive ditties, that are just too good to ignore! Dam you Ryan Hamilton and your goddam Traitors. For those unfamiliar with Ryan, he is a Texas based singer/songwriter who in 2016 was handpicked by Ginger Wildheart to support him whilst touring. Ryan grew up in Texas and had the music bug from early on listening to John Cougar Mellencamp in his dad’s pickup. After discovering the Eagles Ryan knew his journey was gong to be in music.
Initially tasting nationwide success in the US with the indie folk band Smile Smile, it was whilst performing at the South-by-South West Festival in 2010 that Ryan met Jaret Reddick (front man for pop punk band Bowling For Soup). A kinship in mutually similar influences growing up soon led to the formation of their band People On Vacation.
In 2015 Ryan released his first solo album Hell of a Day, entirely funded on Pledge Music, which quickly became the most critically acclaimed of his career. He launched his own record label (Fanny Pack Records), toured all over the US and UK doing unorthodox things such as house party tours. This helped develop an incredibly loyal following, making genuine connections with his fans, and leaving all preconceived notions about the music business behind. 2016 sees further evolution as former People on Vacation, UK musicians Rob Lane and Michael Richards join Ryan officially under the band name ‘the Traitors’, recording the album in Scotland.
So here we are 2017 and Ryan & The Traitors give us ‘The Devil’s in The Detail’ which kicks off with ‘Smarter’ and immediately you get a sense of what these guys are all about. Ryan’s vocals put you in mind of Tom Petty and the melodic, classic rock singer songwriter combo just works so well. All the influences start to come through as the tune moves from it’s rock base to a country bridge midway through. So right away you know this isn’t a one trick pony. ‘We Never Should Of Moved To LA’ is more of a straightforward, contemporary pop / rock track with sublime vocal harmonies throughout, especially from Scottish singer/ songwriter Chrissy Barnacle providing her velvety touch. ‘Anywhere’ might just be one of my favorites on the album; any track that sites Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Van Halen in one track is ok with me! Ryan’s free slowing style and the loose and colorful flavor of the guys around him just mesh beautifully, this is a summers day, roof down kinda track where you just crank up the volume and loose yourself.
‘Heavy Heart’ just wreaks of The Eagles influence, with glorious vocal harmonies on the chorus, a staple of this beautifully penned album. The songwriting and lyrics are just superb throughout, storytelling at it’s best. ‘Cheaters Never Change’ slows the pace down to a more melancholic pace with a heart felt story of heartbreak, whilst ‘Drugs & Fashion’ lifts you back up off your ass with is classic rock riffs. Highly melodic and cohesive, every song just has layers upon layers of quality. The duet with Chrissy Barnacle on ‘Don’t Say I Told You So’ is a point in case. A beautifully penned track with alluring and captivating delivery just highlights the quality across the board. Ginger Wildhearts contribution is of sheer class as he lays down some intricate solo’s, Chrissy Barnacle on vocals is a delight and combined with the fluidity of Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors you get a classy album. Ending on a high with ‘It Ain’t Easy’ showing off his lighter side, Ryan wraps up a charming collection of songs, told exquisitely over 12 tracks. If you’re looking for a diversion from the usual, and can appreciate tasteful songwriting at its best, Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors are ready and waiting.
‘The Devil Is In The Detail’ was released April 7th and is available now from all good purveyors of fine music.