LITTLE FALLS -- The Great River Arts Association will host singer/songwriter Barb Ryman at 7:30 p.m. April 4 at the Great River Arts Center in Little Falls.
Ryman is a native Texan who has lived most of her life in the Twin Cities. Inspired by a too early midlife crisis, Ryman first took the stage as a songwriter at age 40. With that debut performance she found herself a finalist in the nationally endorsed Fine Line Songwriter Competition.
Three years later, and again in 1996, she was nominated for the 1994 Minnesota Music Award and Songwriter of the Year. Her CD, "Lay Me Open," was recognized as exceptional by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and put on the top 10 list across all genres. The St. Paul Pioneer Press called it a "heart-on-sleeve triumph" and listed it in its top releases. It was nominated for the 1996 Minnesota Music Award for Best Folk Recording.
Ryman's latest release, "Falling Down To Heaven," earned her the 2002 McKnight Composer Fellowship.
Always attracted to music, Ryman started to compose when she could play her first two chords and feel two conflicting emotions simultaneously. Inspired by the 1960s folk revolution, she was playing the coffeehouses by high school and college, but keeping original compositions to herself.
Succumbing to societal pressures to get a "real job" her music went into the closet, literally. After 15 years of marriage, two children and a career as a speech pathologist, Ryman could no longer ignore the feeling that something was missing.
She pulled her guitar out of the closet and started composing. She said, "You can't repress 20 years of your musical soul and expect it to trickle out. I was writing song after song after song."
Admission for Ryman's performance is $7 for adults, $5 for students/senior citizens and $3 for children under age 12. For more information contact GRAA at (320) 632-0960 or www.greatart.org.
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