Ryan Tennis

Ryan Tennis

EPK

Bio

RYAN TENNIS - TWO DAYS ON THE FENCE

"I wrote these songs with the intention of giving people hope and positivity in their lives. In general, we're inundated with negativity - from the news to Facebook, it's so easy to get bogged down. I'm not one to write protest songs, but in a way I did that by writing songs to make people feel good. There's a lot of power in that message, the audacity it takes to feel joyful in tough times." - Ryan Tennis

On January 12th, singer-songwriter and guitarist RYAN TENNIS will release Two Days on the Fence. The five-song EP is a rousing and enriching collection of all-new material that draws inspiration from the genre-bending musician's recent travels around the globe, particularly on the sounds he heard in South America and performing with South African musicians.

"Musically, I wanted to explore more powerful rhythms than you get with the usual acoustic singer-songwriter thing," Tennis says. "My band can play a lot of incredible grooves, so I know I can throw anything at them and they'll turn it into genius stuff that makes people move."

A longtime Philly resident, Tennis chose the Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the nearby neighborhood of Germantown to record Two Days on the Fence. The studio's expansive live room proved to be the perfect environment for Tennis and co-producer Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) to capture the vibrant, telepathic performances of the singer's well-oiled Clubhouse Band - Joseph Keim (drums), Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards) and Christopher Farrell (guitar). The group's inventive and virtuosic interplay forms a rich, colorful rhythmic bed for Tennis to embroider the music with soaring melodies and robust vocals.

Over the years, Tennis has seen his music embraced by audiences in America, Europe and South America. However, he rejects the label of "world music," because it "misses the American roots to describe what I do. I'm more folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean." The songs on Two Days on the Fence finds Tennis and his band fleshing out every contour of those rhythms, particularly on the rousing party cut "Down & Up," which he wrote as an undisguised homage to funk legends the Meters.

Two Days on the Fence is Tennis' sixth release, and he views the EP as an important step in his development as a bandleader. In the past, he admits he used to impose his ideas on the group, but with the addition of new drummer Keim into the fold, Tennis is embracing the beauty of letting go. "Joseph and Shaun find these pockets in the grooves that are unbelievable," he explains. "Everything becomes bigger and more expressive when I just let them fly."

Tennis points to the luminous instrumental track "Strange How It's Changing" as an example: "We just started jamming and it unfolded. Earlier, I wouldn't have had the faith to just let go, but now I have the seasoning to allow that kind of magic to happen. These guys are just too good - I'd be crazy to try and stop them."

Despite his multi-genred approach to music, Tennis admits he was a late bloomer when it came to songwriting. Sports occupied much of his time during his teens and into college. "I didn't start playing music and writing songs until I was about 23," he says. "I wasn't very good at first, but I enjoyed it - I felt a sense of purpose I hadn't experienced before. Discovering all of these sounds from all over the world seemed to unlock something in me - it was almost spiritual - and I think I bring the athleticism and determination from my past life into my music. If it moves and grooves and makes you feel good, I'm in."

With Two Days on the Fence, the singer-songwriter noticed a dramatic change in his compositional approach than on previous albums. "On my last record, The Easier Mile (2015), I spent a lot time crafting the songs, but you can only force things so much," he notes. "On this record, I'm more about being in the moment." He cites the soaring title track as an example of this newfound attitude: "It's a love song I wrote about trying to work out a long-distance relationship. I realized that I couldn't control everything; all I could do was can stand up tall and own the things I said and did. That came out in the lyrics: Whatever was meant to happen would happen."

Tennis recently wrapped a triumphant six-week tour of Europe and a knockout homecoming pre-holiday show in his beloved Philadelphia. On the release of Two Days on the Fence, he heads back to South America in mid-January for a month-long tour of Columbia, after which he'll return to the U.S. in February to launch an East Coast tour that includes an appearance at Folk Alliance International.

Two Days on the Fence is out January 12th on iTunes and Spotify.

Press Releases

February 19, 2018
GLOBAL MUSIC STAR RYAN TENNIS RETURNS FROM MONTHLONG TOUR OF COLOMBIA TO LAUNCH U.S. TOUR SUPPORTING LATEST RECORD, TWO DAYS ON THE FENCE

East Coast Leg to Celebrate Mounting Cultural Influences From Singer-Songwriter's Most Recent World Travels

"[Ryan Tennis] gets straight to the heart of the music."
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"Ryan Tennis and the Clubhouse Band have a community vibe, riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progressions with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion."
- 88.5 XPN The Key

PHILADELPHIA (February 19, 2018) - Global music sensation RYAN TENNIS is returning from a monthlong tour of Colombia this week to launch the East Coast leg of his long-awaited U.S. tour behind his brand-new studio EP, Two Days on the Fence. True to his reputation as a cross-cultural sponge, the soulful Philly singer-songwriter will be bringing more of what he and his percussionist, Joseph Keim, most recently absorbed throughout Colombia to these upcoming shows in New York, Boston and Washington.

The East Coast tour will feature Tennis and Keim in the same unique duo format (Tennis on guitar, voice and foot percussion; Keim on backing vocals and his one-of-a-kind full body percussion/dance style) and culturally energized rhythmic cohesiveness they've gained at over 120 shows in nearly 50 cities through eight countries across three continents.

"There's a kind of deep relaxation of the soul that comes after you've spent a few weeks in a place where people are so warm to each other and where they put so much value on friends, family, fun, and flow," says Tennis, "There are just things that chemically change in your brain and your body when you're getting so many smiles and hugs and dances and warm greetings. I've spent more time dancing in the last month than in the previous six months combined, and I've heard some destructive salsa bands that reach a depth of groove and rhythmic energy that you just don't encounter so much back home where the winters and the people are colder. Colombia has had some really tough things going on inside the country for a long time, but the spirit and the social intelligence of the people of this country is just so powerful and advanced. I'm continually learning when I'm here about how to really connect with people and enjoy my time spent with the people around me."

Two Days on the Fence finds Tennis and his virtuosic Clubhouse band, the aforementioned Keim (drums), Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards), and Christopher Farrell (guitar) - locking in with telepathic precision on five luminous new cuts that draw heavily on sounds and rhythms Tennis absorbed during prior travels throughout South America and his performances with legendary South African musicians Bakithi Kumalo and Morris Goldberg, both of whom performed on Paul Simon's historic Graceland album.

Before departing for his latest South American adventure, Tennis completed a triumphant pair of knockout 30th Anniversary All-Star Graceland tribute shows with Kumalo, one of Simon's original Graceland musicians, in Philadelphia and Washington. Tennis has, in fact, been compared to Paul Simon, as well as artists such as Ben Harper and Bill Withers.

Co-produced by Tennis and Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) and recorded at the expansive Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Two Days on the Fence contains five tracks that Beehive Candy hails as "rich with musical quality and Ryan Tennis's engaging and vibrant vocals. Funky and soulful tunes rub shoulders with more gentle acoustic moments, the musical arrangements are superb and the diversity of ideas remarkable." The songs range from soul-enriching ballads to exuberant, body-moving groovers, and they see the inveterately creative singer-songwriter spreading the waters of his influences ("a lot of folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean sounds") while micro-targeting his lyrics to soothe today's information-overloaded society.

The upcoming live music video for the title track of Two Days on the Fence was filmed in Paris during Tennis' most recent European tour. Having won over audiences in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Colombia and Argentina, he's looking forward to expanding his global reach in 2018.

"When you come to one of my shows, you're going to get an explosion of funky soul music mixed with Afro-Caribbean beats and textures," Tennis enthuses. "It's a welcoming environment, so come on and shake off your troubles. We'll have you moving in no time!"

Two Days on the Fence is available on iTunes and Spotify.

RYAN TENNIS 'TWO DAYS ON THE FENCE' U.S. TOUR DATES
Wed. Feb. 21: Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
Fri. Feb. 23: Pearl St. Warehouse, Washington, DC
Sat. Feb. 24: Club Passim, Boston, MA

More Dates to Come ...

January 12, 2018
OUT TODAY! GLOBAL MUSIC STAR RYAN TENNIS PRESENTS NEW EP TWO DAYS ON THE FENCE

Triumphant All-Star 'Graceland' Tribute Shows with Bakithi Kumalo to be Followed by Monthlong Tour of Colombia Before U.S. Tour Begins

"[Ryan Tennis] gets straight to the heart of the music."
- Philadelphia Inquirer

"Ryan Tennis and the Clubhouse Band have a community vibe, riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progressions with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion."
- 88.5 XPN The Key

PHILADELPHIA (January 12, 2018) - Having wrapped a pair of knockout All-Star Graceland tribute shows here and in Washington DC, and a triumphant six-week tour of Europe, global music sensation RYAN TENNIS celebrates the release TODAY of his brand-new studio EP, Two Days on the Fence.

Next week, Tennis heads to South America in for a month-long tour of Colombia. He returns to the U.S. in February to launch an East Coast tour, which includes an appearance at Folk Alliance International.

Co-produced by Tennis and Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) and recorded at the expansive Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Two Days on the Fence sees Tennis and his virtuosic band - Joseph Keim (drums), Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards), and Christopher Farrell (guitar) - locking in with telepathic precision on five luminous new cuts that draw heavily on sounds and rhythms Tennis absorbed during his extensive travels throughout South America and his performances with legendary South African musicians Bakithi Kumalo and Morris Goldberg, both of whom performed on Paul Simon's historic Graceland album.

"I wanted to explore more powerful rhythms than you get with the usual acoustic singer-songwriter thing," Tennis explains. "My band can play a lot of incredible grooves, so I know I can throw anything at them and they'll turn it into genius stuff that makes people move. I'm flat-out amazed at what they did on the new EP."

Over the years, Tennis has been compared to artists such as Paul Simon, Ben Harper and Bill Withers. The songs on Two Days on the Fence range from soul-enriching ballads to exuberant, body-moving groovers, and they see the inveterately creative singer-songwriter spreading the waters of his influences ("a lot of folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean sounds") while micro-targeting his lyrics to soothe today's information-overloaded society.

"I wrote these songs with the intention of giving people hope and positivity in their lives," Tennis says. "In general, we're inundated with negativity - from the news to Facebook, it's so easy to get bogged down. I'm not one to write protest songs, but in a way I did that by writing songs to make people feel good. There's a lot of power in that message, the audacity it takes to feel joyful in tough times."

The upcoming live music video for the title track of Two Days on the Fence was filmed in Paris during Tennis' most recent European tour. Having won over audiences in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Colombia and Argentina, he's looking forward to expanding his global reach in 2018.

Earlier this month, he sold out a pair of all-star Graceland 30th Anniversary shows (featuring original "Graceland" bassist Bakithi Kumalo) in Washington, D.C.) and Philadelphia.

"When you come to one of my shows, you're going to get an explosion of funky soul music mixed with Afro-Caribbean beats and textures," Tennis enthuses. "Everybody in the band sings backing vocals, so it's a loud and joyous sound. It's a welcoming environment, so come on and shake off your troubles. We'll have you moving in no time!"

Two Days on the Fence is out TODAY on iTunes and Spotify.

Two Days on the Fence - Track Listing
1. Down & Up
2. Two Days on the Fence
3. Strange How It's Changing
4. From the Water
5. Segundo Piso

RYAN TENNIS U.S. TOUR DATES
Sat., Feb. 17: Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, MO
Wed., Feb. 21: Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
Sat., Feb. 24: Club Passim, Boston, MA

More Dates to Come ...

December 19, 2017
GLOBAL MUSIC STAR RYAN TENNIS ANNOUNCES NEW EP "TWO DAYS ON THE FENCE" AND TOUR DATES FOR 2018

East Coast Trek to Include Pair of All-Star 'Graceland' Tribute Shows with Bakithi Kumalo

"Ryan Tennis and the Clubhouse Band have a community vibe, riffing full-tilt on a rootsy chord progressions with vocal harmonies, trumpet and bongo percussion." - 88.5 XPN The Key

PHILADELPHIA (December 19, 2017) - Having recently wrapped a triumphant six-week tour of Europe and a knockout homecoming pre-holiday show in his beloved Philadelphia, global music sensation RYAN TENNIS and his seven-piece Clubhouse Band will release a brand-new studio EP, Two Days on the Fence, on January 12.

Co-produced by Tennis and Tom Spiker (Calvin Weston, Sun Ra Arkesta, G. Love) and recorded at the expansive Rittenhouse Soundworks studio in the Philly suburb of Germantown, Two Days on the Fence sees Tennis and his virtuosic band - Joseph Keim (drums), Shaun Hennessey (percussion), Brahm Genzlinger (bass), Maxfield Gast (sax), Nate Graham (keyboards), and Christopher Farrell (guitar) - locking in with telepathic precision on five luminous new cuts that draw heavily on sounds and rhythms Tennis absorbed during his extensive travels throughout South America and his performances with legendary South African musicians Bakithi Kumalo and Morris Goldberg, both of whom performed on Paul Simon's historic Graceland album.

"I wanted to explore more powerful rhythms than you get with the usual acoustic singer-songwriter thing," Tennis explains. "My band can play a lot of incredible grooves, so I know I can throw anything at them and they'll turn it into genius stuff that makes people move. I'm flat-out amazed at what they did on the new EP."

Over the years, Tennis has been compared to artists such as Paul Simon, Ben Harper and Bill Withers. The songs on Two Days on the Fence range from soul-enriching ballads to exuberant, body-moving groovers, and they see the inveterately creative singer-songwriter spreading the waters of his influences ("a lot of folk, soul and Afro-Caribbean sounds") while micro-targeting his lyrics to soothe today's information-overloaded society.

"I wrote these songs with the intention of giving people hope and positivity in their lives," Tennis says. "In general, we're inundated with negativity - from the news to Facebook, it's so easy to get bogged down. I'm not one to write protest songs, but in a way I did that by writing songs to make people feel good. There's a lot of power in that message, the audacity it takes to feel joyful in tough times."

The upcoming live music video for the title track of Two Days on the Fence was filmed in Paris during Tennis' most recent European tour. Having won over audiences in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Colombia and Argentina, he's looking forward to expanding his global reach in 2018. On the heels of the EP's release, Tennis heads to South America in mid-January for a month-long tour of Columbia. Prior to his departure, Tennis will lead a pair of all-star "Graceland" 30th Anniversary shows (featuring original Graceland bassist Bakithi Kumalo) in Washington, D.C. (Jan. 5) and Philadelphia (Jan. 6). He returns to the U.S. in February to launch an East Coast tour, which includes an appearance at Folk Alliance International.

"I can't wait to get back out there and play," Tennis enthuses. "When you come to one of my shows, you're going to get an explosion of funky soul music mixed with Afro-Caribbean beats and textures. Everybody in the band sings backing vocals, so it's a loud and joyous sound. It's a welcoming environment, so come on and shake off your troubles. We'll have you moving in no time!"

Two Days on the Fence is out January 12th on iTunes and Spotify.

Two Days on the Fence - Track Listing
1. Down & Up
2. Two Days on the Fence
3. Strange How It's Changing
4. From the Water
5. Segundo Piso

RYAN TENNIS U.S. TOUR DATES
Sat. Dec. 23: Dogtooth Bar & Grill, Wildwood, NJ
Fri., Jan. 5: Pearl Street Warehouse, Washington, DC**
Sat., Jan. 6: Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore, PA**
Wed. Feb. 21: Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
Sat. Feb. 24: Club Passim, Boston, MA

**Graceland All-Star 30th Anniversary Tribute

More Dates to Come ...

Ryan Tennis

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