Strays Don't Sleep: First New Music In 15 Years / 10.30.20 


Friends & Listeners, 

I’m truly happy to announce we’ll be releasing new Strays Don’t Sleep music on October 30th this year.  

For press inquiries please reach out to Rachel Hurley at Sweetheart PR. Rachel's email is

This picture was taken by Audrey Spillman.  

You can keep up with all things Strays Don't Sleep on my page for our work together right HERE. Or via Instagram & Twitter.

Strays Don’t Sleep is a musical project Neilson Hubbard and I started to express our more ambient folk leanings. We both love Christopher Nolan movies and The Blue Nile. That was our initial spark as a duo, those shared loves informed what we did together. As well as our disparate instincts regarding melody and minimalism.  

Our first album came out about 15 years ago. This is the first new music since. So... 

We’ll be releasing an EP called A Short Film for a Long Story on October 30th, 2020 

Don’t let the notion of an EP cause any pause, it’s a complete thought musically and lyrically. And such distilled expressions speak to a certain philosophy I’ve been motivated by lately, we’re living at a vast, empowering and dangerous buffet these days. The future will be what our hearts and minds and sense of community allow. I feel and believe it’s this challenge that insists we be more purposeful about what we lay out there to be experienced, what we inhabit, and what it contributes.  

I can’t wait for you to hear it. More details soon. I’ll be keeping you updated.  

Stay smart and good out there.  


Rivers is Now Available pretty much everywhere we listen... 

Friends & Listeners,

Thank you all for being so kind and welcoming Rivers, particularly those of you who purchased the "Process Single" on Bandcamp. As I've said so many times, it's your generosity that keeps our engines humming. It's appreciated more than you possibly know.


I'm happy to report that Rivers is off to a beautiful start as it finds its way from my room to yours. If you haven't heard it yet, below are a few places you can find it. 


Here’s a bit of the lyric video for Rivers, view the full lyric video right here:


Again, here's the exclusive “Process Single” on Bandcamp:


And here's a list of where you can find Rivers on the Streaming Sites: 


RIVERS is Now Available! 


...And slowly just like this a new song drifts my rooms to yours. Rivers is available now via Bandcamp (Go HERE). Releases everywhere else digitally on Friday. 

If ya can, please make your first listen via good headphones or speakers... Maybe even in your car? We paid a great amount of attention to the details in this recording and I want your first experience with it to be as beautiful as possible.



Best Always,

M. Ryan

My First Interview In A Long Time... 

A few weeks ago I sat (safely distanced) with my dear friend Clay Steakley for an interview for his fantastic "online-zine," Outer Voice. I welcomed him into my home and creative space and now you're invited too. 

It begins like this:

"Matthew Ryan makes two special afternoon drinks, one from incredibly strong coffee brewed on his stovetop in a Moka pot, and the other from vanilla chamomile tea — one to perk you up and one to even you out. Hot drinks like this could seem out of place on a Tennessee August afternoon, but Ryan is a creature neither of the summer nor of the expected, and he defies both so calmly that it seems only natural to accept a hot chamomile tea on a muggy, 90-some-odd-degree afternoon..."

We go on to talk for some time. There's a video as well as a beautiful essay. Hope you'll take a moment and check it out. Just go HERE or click the image below.

Coming Soon: My 1st New Song of 2020... Releases August 19th on Bandcamp // August 21st Everywhere Else! 

‪Friends & Listeners,‬ 

‪My first new song of 2020 will be released to streaming & digital purchase sites on August 21st.‬ The song is called RIVERS.

‪An exclusive 5 Track “Process Single” will be released on Bandcamp on August 19th. You can read all about that here:‬ 

RIVERS - Exclusive 5 Track "Process Single"

If you choose to Pre-Order the “Process Single” please know that there will be no immediate download of a track. I wanted to preserve the full experience for you upon its release on Bandcamp on August 19th. 

The cover art was a collaboration between Gillian Stoll and I. And the song itself was made all the more better because of the talents of Brian Fallon, Brian Bequette, Corey Siegel and Hans DeKline. 

Hope you and yours are healthy and hanging in there. So far so good for my gang. 

Stay positive. 

Yers truly... 



"Farewell" - New Song & Video for You... 



This just came out this morning. It’s available pretty much everywhere world-wide where you listen and stream music. It’s called “Farewell”. It’s a cover of one of my favorite early Rod Stewart songs. It was written around the time that I was born. That was yet another time of turmoil, confused compasses and eventual hope. Martin Quittenton and Rod Stewart wrote it. 

We did this hoping to warm your ears a little. This is such a strange and hard time we’re all moving through. For me, music is always an essential sense of fight, good fight and shared experience. A sense that we are here to make what’s beautiful not only possible, but real. 

All love, gratitude and respect to Dave Coleman and Kevin Salem for making this beautiful noise. Dave did most of the heavy lifting, Kevin batted “clean-up”. I got the joy of just singing to the determined noise they made... 

It’s hard to believe with what we know of Rod Stewart now, all that he’s accomplished, that he inhabited these words. I love its simple story of defiant hope, youthful optimism. Sometimes strings are chains. We have to know when change is not only preferable, it’s necessary. 

The video was made by my dear friend Tom Sierchio. Our hope was to express the circular nature of our conflicts and how we crash sometimes, but we have to keep going. And besides all that, those cars are badass. 

Thank you to Joe Maiocco for designing the cover art you’ll see on the listening platforms. And always love to Hans DeKline for his beautiful mastering work. 

Finally, if you’re inclined: Save, share and playlist this song or any songs you love. It really does help artists like myself that are fully independent. 

Here it is on Apple / iTunes: Matthew Ryan "Farewell" on iTunes

On Spotify: Matthew Ryan "Farewell" on SPOTIFY

YouTube: "Farewell" Music Video Directed by Tom Sierchio on YouTube

Hope it warms ya up a bit. 


M. Ryan


An Invitation To Revisit An Album From Nearly 20 Years Ago... 


Friends & Listeners,

It’s a strange sensation. I knew early on albums were photographs. Home movies of found footage from and for the wilderness. Quietly offered, hopefully with a time defying dignity. Fields to be discovered and contrasted with the soulful maps, wisdoms, questions, and notes of others. Music is always a collaboration. Song and listener. Musicians and song. Amp and feel. Pencil and quiet.

Concussion was recorded and produced by Richard McLaurin in his home on Idaho Avenue in the early summer of 2001. Direct to 2inch tape. We lived down the street from him then. It was a beautiful and hard and hopeful time. Concussion was my third official album release. 

This album is where Lucinda Williams offered her monument of a voice to Devastation. Craig Krampf played his amazing drums and brought many of the songs to warm muscular life. I always remember Clay Steakley, Mack Starks and I digging in with "Pogues-like-abandon" for the gang vocals on my cover of The Clash's Somebody Got Murdered (which was later included on a full-length track by track tribute to Sandinista). Laughing and yelling all three of us in a guest bedroom around one of Richard's amazing mics. Jeff Black's harmonica on Drift (the opening track), hearing that happen, it was pure lightning.

My only thought before recording was: Very little compression, let the levels, words and sounds sort it out. Make it feel like weather, a humid summer in the south in particular. I wanted the music to welcome the ambient noise of living, to collaborate with it, not dominate a room. Tire noise. Traffic. Birds. A conversation. Rain.

Richard did an absolutely masterful job of capturing such a pure and minimalist americana noir. 

Richard McLaurin, Clay Steakley, Craig Krampf, David Henry, Ray Kennedy, Mack Starks, Jeff Black and Lucinda Williams. That’s the beautiful gang on these recordings. I'm so grateful always to all of them. Their friendships and their talents. All work is collaborative in music. And that makes it feel like play. Even with songs as "heavy" as these. Joy isn't always trumpets and wild kicks in the air.

Summer 2001, a few months before September. I love these songs. I’m grateful to finally make them available to you again. 

I never really know what I’m writing about in the moment. I just follow the river. Stay true. Don’t interfere with what wants to be said. Trust that it will be useful for someone somewhere sometime. I think now these songs were about choices, what happens when we let our darker drivers take the wheel. There’s a lot of death in these songs. Literal and figurative. There’s also a lot of sorrow too. But most of all there’s a want for redemption, a day that breaks with lessons learned and the dark stuff...? Just a passenger. Maybe in the backseat mumbling. Even better in the trunk while you drive to an isolated location to drop ‘em off forever. Somewhere where they can’t even get close to the wheel. 


Please give a listen and share. It helps. I always hoped this album would eventually be rediscovered. Making it available again is the first step. You welcoming it is step two. Everything after that is magic.

More to come. You and yours, stay healthy and smart.


M. Ryan

Busy With More Beauty For You Together Alone... 


Working on more beauty for you guys with some of my closest friends across the wires. Today, a vocal. Yesterday a mix of something else. The back and forth is slow and beautiful. Love the gang I’ve come to know. There’s more to share ahead. And more after that. 

If you love that version of “Heaven...” we offered last week please keep advocating and sharing it. Your words give context and context means everything.

Click the image below to watch the beautiful video my friend (Tom Seirchio) made for Heaven Is a Place on Earth


Again... Always.

M. Ryan

Something Beautiful For You... 


I quietly released a new song for you with the help of some wildly talented and generous friends today. Just below is the video for it. I hope you’ll take a moment and watch and listen. This beautiful video was made by my friend and filmmaker Tom Sierchio. A special thank you to Molly, Neilson, Joe and Hans for their beautiful talents on the music. 

All respect to Ellen Shipley & Rick Nowels for writing such a beautiful song. And of course to Belinda Carlisle and her strong and beautiful voice that tattooed its melody on all of us.

This was all done remotely and made us feel closer. Give it a look and listen. Please share it if you love it. It’s also available on all the streaming sites. Please consider saving and play-listing it. 

Here it is on APPLE

Here it is on SPOTIFY

Here’s the vid directly on YouTube

And here's the HYPER LINK that guides you to all the streaming sites you can find the song as its made available.

Thank you for listening. Hope you and yours are healthy and staying hopeful.

Be patient. There’s more beauty ahead.


M. Ryan 

2 shows with BLACK FLAG just added! 


As I've said, I'm enjoying being home and writing a new album but have reserved the right to do something that caught my heart. And this is one of those situations. I'm happy to be opening for the seminal punk gang BLACK FLAG for two nights later this month.


Here are the dates:

January 29th at Iron City in Birmingham, AL

January 30th at The Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN


Hope you'll join us!


Click the image below for more details and tickets.