At a very early age Ryan took an interest in music, in particular the guitar. As an infant, Ryan would crawl over to his father Patrick while he was playing and listen intently.
At two years old, Ryan received his first real acoustic guitar, made by Harmony.
At around seven years old, Ryan's interest in music intensified. He became well acquainted with the music he had grown up listening to from his parents record collection of classic hard rock. Soon he was trying to recreate the sounds he heard coming from those albums by such artists as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and Stevie Ray Vaughan. From these early influences, Ryan discovered new artists.
New inspiration developed from these new artists such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Chris Duarte, Ian Moore and Joe Bonamassa.
Gathering inspiration from all of these influences helped shape the sound which would soon become Ryan's own.
In his second year in high school, Ryan's first band won a city wide talent competition, allowing the him to open for internationally known Latino singing sensations Sparx and Lorenzo Antonio. The concert was held at Sandia Casinos outdoor amphitheatre to a sold out crowd, exceeding 5,000 people.
Ryan won the contest the following year too. Since then, Ryan has performed at many of the most prestigious venues and festivals in New Mexico, Texas, and southern Colorado.
As well as playing with many well known blues musicians in the southwest, Ryan has also had the opportunity to jam with Mississippi Delta Blues legends Kenny Brown and Cedric Burnside at the Thirsty Ear Festival.
He has since opened, and played for the likes of Phil Brown, John Hammond Jr. , Buddy Guy, Joe Ely, Ozomatli, Reckless Kelly, Junior Brown, Tim Reynolds, Shannon Curfman, Shemekia Copeland, Blue Oyster Cult, Gov't Mule, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Joe Bonamassa and many others as well as being asked to sit in with the likes of his heroes Wes Jeans, Chris Duarte and Ian Moore.
At the 2006 Guitar Center "Guitarmaggedon" Ryan was named the "Next King Of The Blues" champion for New Mexico and was most recently voted in 2007 "Best Blues Act" of the year by The Weekly Alibi's (Readers Poll). Ryan also took home the 2007 New Mexico Music Award for "Best Musical Production: Blues" in addition to being nominated for "Best Musical Production : Mainstream/Rock".
Now 20 years of age, his debut CD "Forward In Reverse" available and he is presently playing shows throughout the southwest U.S. backed by his band.
The album’s pace is set with the sounds of blues harmonica combined with slide guitar on the intro to "Right In All The Wrong ways" and never lets up.
"Joyride" sounds like early Bad Company before morphing into a full blown guitar workout with two extended solos. Aficionados of great guitar will love this track.
"Texas Special", a tribute to SRV, is the only time McGarvey truly travels this route and it is well worth the journey. With a passing resemblance to "Scuttlebuttin'", it's a model for this facet of his playing style. Featuring lightning quick fingerwork, this live favorite captures perfectly what the legendary bluesman was all about.
"Someone Like You" brings a touch of modernity to the proceedings.
"Second Time Around" is an acoustic workout with its delicate picking providing a change of pace to the blistering guitar work featured elsewhere.
Tough, hard rocking blues is what you get with “Crying Over You”, bringing the sound of classic Chicago guitar based blues to the modern age.
Next comes the instrumental "Mystic Dream". Beginning with an intro similar to recent live renditions of Joe Bonamassa's "Mountain Time", with a middle eastern vibe, it has a spaced out, psychedelic feel. It builds in intensity until exploding guitars take flight. This track alone would serve notice that McGarvey is poised to become one of the cream of the crop of new blues rock players.
The last track is another high note, a down and dirty blues, "Blue Eyed Angel Blues". With strong vocals and more explosive playing, it's a fine end to a very strong debut.
Whereas artists like Joe Bonamassa are dragging the blues kicking and screaming into the new century, it's players such as McGarvey who are it's future. Purists will probably wince when they hear some of this, but seeing as earlier (and sometimes the same) said keepers of the blues museum felt the same way about Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Page, Hendrix and Jeff Beck in the past, he seems to be in good company.
Preview the future of the blues today without hesitation. You won't be disappointed. In the crowded blues rock multitude, McGarvey stands out as the real thing.
Let's hope we see him over here soon.
"Ryan's playing has the passion and exuberance of youth, but its further lifted by a deep dedication to his craft. His technique is awe-inspiring, but it's the dawning subtleties and emotional range that hints of the greatest possibilities--"- Ian Moore
"Look for this young lion in the future because he's looking for his own sound and what I've heard so far, I like it."- Chris Duarte