Ryan Benton is a pianist, guitarist, bassist and vocalist originally from Richmond, Virginia. While Ryan's style is eclectic, having studied classical piano as well as many other genres, Ryan loves energetic music that includes improvisation. A lover of 60's soul from labels such as Motown and Stax, Ryan's vocal style recalls the raspy blues style of John Fogerty, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, Dr. John and Buddy Guy. As a seasoned and studied musician, Ryan finds himself playing performances ranging from acoustic folk, to standard jazz, to rocking funk.
Ryan's acoustic act features a variety of songs ranging from folky to funky, all focused on thoroughly entertaining a crowd. From favorites like Billy Joel and Tom Petty, to blues and jazz tunes from Dr. John and Cab Calloway, to fun 80's groups like Men at Work to funk like James Brown and the newest tunes from groups like Imagine Dragons, Ryan uses his mastery of improvisation to give performances that sound like a whole band.
Ryan leads The Voodoo Blues, a New Orleans style Blues and Funk group to spread his love of New Orleans artists and deliver a thoroughly good time. Featuring great original music as well as New Orleans style funk and blues and Dr. John, Tab Benoit, The Meters, and funky NOLA arrangements of modern tunes, The Voodoo Blues seeks to bring the fun and whimsy of NOLA to you.
Ryan also regularly plays jazz on piano or guitar with area artists, including the Junk Jazz Sextet and as a solo act, or in various group combinations.
Ryan's love and study of music originated in Richmond, where piano lessons at a young age led to performances throughout Richmond. Richmond proved to be a very musically inviting town, possessing great musicians and teachers, many of whom taught at Virginia Commonwealth University. From there Ryan majored in music specializing in piano at James Madison University. Ryan continues to perform extremely often and practices daily.
Stay tuned to Ryan's musical endeavors as The Voodoo Blues embarks on recording an album starting late 2015 and Ryan reaches more and newer audiences with his band and acoustic act.