C2C Country To Country



When Ryan Kinder played the world-famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for the first time, he turned that Grand Ole Opry performance into a specialmoment. Kinder set aside his guitar, walked away from the microphoneand moved to the edge of the stage –a stage that’s hosted such signpost acts as Johnny Cash, Don Henley and Dolly Parton –todeliveran impassioned version of his gospel-tinged ballad “Still Believe In Crazy Love.”

With the instruments out of the picture, Kinder put the focus solely on his voice, wringing a complex set of musical influences and aton of emotion out of a one-of-a-kind set of pipes.

Born in Knoxville, he was raised in Birmingham, Alabama, a sort of crossroads of the South thatconnects Nashville’s country and Muscle Shoals’ swamp-rock with Mississippi’s blues, Atlanta’s R&B and New Orleans’ gospel-inflected gumbo.He put his first band together in high school and continued practicing that passion while attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. After two years of travelling back and forth between Alabama and Music City to chase his dream, he finally quitschool and movedto Nashville, where he could pursue his craft fulltime. 

The Nashville creative communitytook notice, and executives with Warner Music Nashville were already scouting him when he played at the annual CMA Music Festival.The crowd tripled in size during Kinder’s set; Warner Nashville president/CEO John Esposito, who plays drums and guitar, liked what he saw and signed Kinder shortly after.

His musicianship and especially his songwriting has evolved in a way that combines his influences with his personal outlook and experiences. Kinder’s beliefs, his history and his future are wrapped up in his songs.

Kinder is co-producing his first complete major-label album, putting all of his influences into the songs, the musical bed and the guitar playing. The sound draws ona hugetapestry of American culture and finds its way into the world through a one-of-a-kind voice. The vowels and the consonants bend a listener’s ear, but it’s the heart behind his wordsthat makes them lean in to hear him the way the fans did when he sang a cappella in that first Ryman performance.

“We don’t give the public enough credit,” he says. “When it’s not the real you, they can smell it. So I don’t worry about where my musicfits or predict how it will be received. I do what makes me happy, put out the best music I can and just let it happen.”