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Ryan Dart

Edge of the Wild

Review by Gary Hill

Ryan Dart is a Colorado based singer-songwriter. This album captures the exact images that that definition implies for me. It's an effective set of songs rooted in folk, country music and more. There is nothing Earth-shattering in terms of originality here, but there is plenty of great music and strong performances.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Ready for the Road
There is a bit of a rock sneer to this, but overall it's more of a country-tinged folk piece. It's a classy tune with a timeless sound. It's also a great way to start the set in style.
Sweep the Floor
I think I like the hooks on this more than those on the opener. The harmonica is a nice touch. This loses most of that country angle in favor of more of a pure folk music vibe. As strong as its predecessor was, this is better.
These Days
Now, this has more driving energy. It lands in the folk rock end of the spectrum. There are still some country elements at play. It's another strong tune, and another that changes the format from those that came before it. The electric guitar soloing on the outro to this is so tasty.
Us or the Dust
I dig the more pure folk concept here. This is a slow moving and rather bluesy cut. I'd consider this one of the highlights of the set. It's packed full of emotion. Piano and harmonica both lend some magic to it.
Love's Gone Outta Style
Energetic folk rock, this has some hints of country in the mix. It has some solid hooks and works pretty well. It's a fun tune.
Wildfire
Intricate and mellow as this gets underway, the song has a lot of charm. The backing vocals and electric guitar fills bring something special to this, but at its core it's another pure folk song.
Waves
Slide guitar brings some country music aspects home to roost. Beyond that, this is dramatic folk rock music. I think this might be my favorite tune here. It's packed full of magic and style.
Trouble on Fire
An electrified tune with a real boogie groove, this is part country rock, part electric blues and part classic old-school rock and roll. It's a huge change and so much fun. It wouldn't be a big stretch to imagine this being done by Little Feat or even the early edition of ZZ Top. This is another candidate for me favorite tune of the disc.
Verona
This is more of a pure folk tune with a lot of country in the mix. It's not a big surprise or  a standout, but it is an effective piece of music.
Right or Wrong
This starts in a direct and stripped back way with just voice and guitar. As it gets going there are parts of this that even seem to have some jazzy vibes. The tune has a great groove and a good dynamic range. It's the most "different" tune here. It's also very cool. The guitar soloing on this really emphasizes that jazz angle.
Shooting Star
Here we get a Bob Dylan cover. This rendition is slow moving and country leaning. I like it a  lot.
What's Your Time Worth
The instrumental arrangement on this is full down-home country music. The vocals have some hints of country, but are more folk based. Call it what you like, but this slow moving number has some definite charms.
 
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