About the single’s sound, Ryan says… “This new single was co-written by mentor/friend/boss/legend Stevie Van Zandt. I feel myself going back to my Texas roots. This song is a good example of the sonic direction our band is headed.”
On the subject matter of the song, Ryan continues: “Super proud of this tune. I was raised in the South, going to church 3 times a week. I don’t really go to church anymore. I guess you could say I’ve seen the light. Haha. This song deals with the struggles of being raised in the church, but not following that path.”
‘Can I Get An Amen’ will feature on the follow-up to 2019’s critically acclaimed ‘This Is The Sound’, with the new album to be released later in 2020 – once again on Stevie Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool records.
The track is backed with a cover of the Duran Duran classic ‘Ordinary World’.
“Why?” says Ryan – “…because we like to pick challenging covers and make them our own. Plus, the lyrics to that song really spoke to me on a personal level.”
Ryan will also be embarking on a short ‘storyteller’ tour of the UK in February 2020, four solo acoustic shows at unique and intimate venues. Ryan says of this ‘Songs & Stories’ show (which will be filmed as part of a forthcoming documentary on his life in music): “These shows will be unlike any shows I’ve ever done. I guess I don’t realise how truly insane my life has been, but apparently it’s crazy enough to make a movie about. I am so excited to hit the road, tell my story and play the songs that have been written along the way”.
Also relating to the live experience, for which Ryan and the band are renowned for, Ryan says: “We ended the year on a super high note. Our first U.K. Holiday Hoedown, which was a magical night and a full house at M.F.N in Nottingham. It’s something we hope to do every year from now on. That was followed by a sold out show in New York City with Jesse Malin & Lucinda Williams. It was one of those extra special nights. Bill Murray was even there! …but that’s a whole other story. Haha.”
Tickets are available now at: ryanhamiltonmusic.com
Ryan Hamilton & the Harlequin Ghosts: potted history
“This generation’s Tom Petty”: Michael DesBarres (Rock god, Actor, Radio Personality)
Based near Fort Worth, Texas, singer/songwriter Ryan Hamilton released his first solo album, the critically acclaimed ‘Hell of a Day’, back in 2015. Prior to this, Ryan had experienced success across North America and Canada with former band Smile Smile (to be subject of a documentary for a 2020 release).
February 2017 saw the first release under the banner ‘Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors’ – with the album ‘the Devil’s in the Detail’ hailing the introduction of the ‘Traitors’ – UK based band members Mickey Richards on drums and Rob Lane on bass. It was a perfect musical blending of Ryan’s ‘country’ roots and his band-mates love of rock. Single ‘Heavy Heart’ was playlisted by Kerrang! Radio, as later was the follow-up ‘Smarter’, also put into heavy rotation by XS Manchester.
These tracks, along with the charity single (for Samaritans) ‘F**k You Brain’, written & recorded with former touring buddy Ginger Wildheart, have in turn been voted Classic Rock Magazine’s ‘Track of the Week’. Little Steven/Stevie van Zandt has not only bestowed upon the band the honour of ‘coolest song in the world’ multiple times now, he also play-listed half the album on his Sirius XM show, Little Steven’s Underground Garage.
Upon signing to Stevie Van Zandt’s ‘Wicked Cool’ label in June 2018 the band underwent a name change and are now Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts. 2019 singles Mamacita and This Is The Sound were each playlisted on over 100 UK radio stations and syndicated across the US (they are also a big hit in Peru!).
Earlier in 2019 Ryan and the band completed a West Coast tour of the US. By personal invitation, Ryan also played Adam Duritz’ (Counting Crows) ‘Underwater Sunshine’ festival in NYC and The Alarm’s Gathering festival in both Wales and NYC. In December 2019, Ryan topped-off a very successful year by opening for Jesse Malin and special guest Lucinda Williams, at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC.
Debut album (under the new band name) ‘This Is The Sound’ was released on Wicked Cool May 2019 – here are just a few of the glowing quotes so far:
“Pretty much unrivalled by anyone. There is a warmth about his gigs and a skill in his song writing. He has become the King of the three minute pop rock song”: Maximum Volume
“Riff-driven guitars, catchy chorus’, gritty addictive vocals, teetering between old style Brit punk and straight up old school rock n roll”: Music Junkie
“This Is The Sound is just spectacular!”: Adam Duritz (Counting Crows)
“Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts offer a bygone brand of rock that thrusts and quivers, unleashing go-getting electricity”: Glide magazine
“An album of masterful songs guaranteed to lift your spirits and make you smile”: RPM