Life is good for rising PMB band

2011-09-12 00:00

HIS music is like his life — blissfully content and optimistic. All he wants when he plays is “a sense of connection with the audience” and to spread the same gentle enthusiasm he has for living.

Ryan Calder is happily married and a father of two, and while he jokes that being a family man is harder than being a boozing rock star, it is said through a wry smile.

And family is very much what the band is about. Calder is the frontman on guitar and shares the vocals with his wife Tamlyn. She is a much better singer than he, in the shower and everywhere else, he quips.

Calder says Tamlyn is “one of the best voices you’ll hear in the province and anyone whose heard her wouldn’t disagree”.

His brother, Jon, plays piano, Rudi Engelbrecht is on drums and Roberto Hemmero on bass.

The Ryan Calder Band officially began in 2006 with a performance at Splashy Fen.

Since then the band has released an album On The Edge, shared the stage with Magna Carta, Prime Circle, Watershed, Plush, Southern Gypsy Queen, Newtown and Guy Buttery.

Most recently they won an international competition called “We Love Your Songs”.With about 60 bands to choose from, listeners voted for the best songs and Calder says they were “quite surprised” when they were in the top five in the first week. After another 11 weeks they snatched the number one spot.

Winning the competition was a great accolade for the band and helped maintain what Calder calls their “closet messianic complex,” which he says is the dream that most musicians have of becoming a superstar.

But the biggest success so far has been keeping the band together for so long in a smooth and harmonious space.

“We all have the same goal,” Calder says, and they share the same values and priorities.

The soothing sounds and varied tempo of their songs, which largely defy classification in specific genre, are what keeps the band intending to “play into their 70s”.

A mixture of acoustic rock, pop, maskandi and, increasingly, jazz melodically lifts Calder’s lyrics, sharing the message that life is good.

“It’s a wide-open world. So much to do with so little time, but to not give it a go would be a crime.”

Watch the shows:

The Ryan Calder Band will perform at the Hilton Arts Festival’s Topsy Turvy venue at 4 pm on Sunday.

Calder will perform a solo slot on Saturday at 10.45 am in the SAB festival marquee.

Follow the band’s news on


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