Deering Does Nashville with Ryan Cavanaugh

by Lacey Ann

We caught up with Ryan Cavanaugh on a sweltering, summer day in Nashville. Easily one of the best players in the world, he is constantly pushing into new styles - even making his entire last album, The Realist, completely improvised. His unrelenting pursuit to be better, he said, is actually no different than the motivation to level up in a video game.

If you've never heard Ryan play, do yourself a favor and take a listen. He has an innate ability to demonstrate how banjo can fit into just about any musical style. He said it best himself when he said, "I like to freely paint with the banjo because modern nomenclature is so mechanical. I wanted to sweep that away." He mixes a unique playing style, multinational inspirations, and a tricked out pedal board together - seemingly trying to find every tone and sound the banjo is capable of. 

Check out more of Ryan's work here: and watch for his upcoming international collaboration with Debashish Bhattacharya, an Indian classical composer and slide guitar player.



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