I met Ryan at this year’s Harvest Gathering and it was interesting how quickly we were finding things we had in common. Ryan’s story is a pretty remarkable example of the impact Harvest Gathering can have on people’s lives. He’s a musician and heavily involved in Michigan’s festival scene and shares his music and story from Maddie’s Circle at Earthwork Farm.
The Drinks: New Holland Incorrigible Reserve, with bee.
The Music: “Wealthy Street” on intro and outro, © and courtesy of Drew Nelson. Ryan and Jack play “Please” and “Blind Eye” © and courtesy of The Change from their album, Fight or Flight
"Ryan Williams" from Local Spins’ John Sinkevics:
It’s fair to say Ryan Williams was destined to become a musician and event promoter.Born in Chicago and raised in Memphis, Williams – a singer and multi-instrumentalist who now makes his home in Grand Rapids – grew up in a family that featured a grandmother who performed as a backup singer with bluegrass pioneers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
Williams was given his first guitar at age 6, and later embraced the music of Memphis, from blues to soul and more. “From about age 14 through 18, I was down on Beale Street every Friday, Saturday night just soaking up as much as I possibly could,” he recalls.
These days, the 38-year-old musician who’s also long been involved with Michigan’s festival scene fronts The Change, an eclectic, genre-spanning band formed during a December 2015 jam session.