Down to the Wire
After a couple of years playing on the lowcountry South Carolina music scene, Ryan Bailey & Cumberland Belle are finally ready to unveil their debut EP, 'Down To The Wire.' Recorded at Charleston Sound, the lowcountry's premier recording studio, the bulk of the material was tracked live, with minimal overdubs rounding out the sound of the record. 'A lot of our favorite records were made that way; a lot of Ryan Adams stuff, Tom Petty stuff, so it made sense for us to do the same. Plus we're just used to playing live, and we wanted to bring that same vibe to the tracks. Jeff (Hodges, chief engineer at Charleston Sound) had the same thought, so it just clicked,' according to Bailey, singer and songwriter for the band. 'I've started a couple of solo records over the past couple of years that are still unfinished, but this is the first thing really seeing the light of day, and I'm quite proud of it. It's raw and well put-together at the same time. I'm excited for people to hear it.' In their relatively short amount of time together, the band has shared the stage with such diverse acts as Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish and country music mainstay Confederate Railroad, as well as notable South Carolina acts such as Danielle Howle and Owen Beverly. 'We sort of ride that fine line between country and rock and roll, so I think that helps us appeal to fairly diverse audiences. There's a little something for everyone,' Ryan elaborates. And while this is the band's first official recording as a unit, Ryan's song 'Still Alive' has received radio play as far away as the Netherlands. 'I'm like the Hasselhof of Dutch Alt-Country,' Bailey jokes. As far as the individual songs, 'Most of the tunes on this project were written as stories. Some of them are fictional and some are pseudo-reality, but I think they're all relatable,' Ryan says. 'There are a lot of people out there that are dealing with difficult things, and I hope these songs can bring some comfort in the fact that they're not alone, and there is hope beyond circumstances. I hope people can relate to these songs, and gain some comfort and hope from the stories they tell. Things get better, maybe not always immediately, but they do get better...'