Ryan Beaver possesses the type of voice that was God-given to sing country music. His tenor lies somewhere between Drew Womack and Tim Rushlow of Little Texas fame…with a hint of Stoney LaRue every now and then.
Its a smooth instrument and Beaver pairs it masterfully with hard country lyrics on his fantastic sophomore album, Constant. This is what traditional country music should sound like in 2011 and the fact that Beaver is able to permeate the traditional themes of honky-tonkin’ with healthy doses of Texas attitude all while avoiding cliches is an exciting thing for your ears to witness.
“For A While” is the album opener and does a good job of previewing the cool ride Beaver has in plan for the listener. The lyrics detail how despite what’s going on in your life, Saturday night seems to make the problems melt away for a few hours. It is the upbeat companion piece to a song like “Sunday Morning Coming Down”. This song is optimistic and carefree…don’t worry about Sunday morning, just concentrate on the good times Saturday night has to offer. That Saturday night/Sunday morning balance has long been a hallmark of country music and Beaver adds a fresh spin on it with this tune.
He follows that up with “Beale St.” an analyzation of what he calls “the saddest street in the South.” Anyone who’s visited the famed avenue can tell you that the lore of the blues oozes out of each piece of concrete you walk over…it has the ability to spook you in the moment or put a fright into your love life. This song delves into both.
By the time Beaver tackles “How About You”, the optimism has faded and he’s become a lonely, jaded lover who’s looking for a female companion that’s just as hopeless as he is. The tempo picks back up with “Hate”, even if the protagonist in the songs is still not back to the sunny side of life. With lyrics about consequences and salvation, this song means serious business as it talks about how heartbreak can turn a heart full of love to an ugly monster of hatred.
As the first few seconds of “Let Me Be Your Saturday Night” roll into your headspace, you know that you’ve ridden the swing of emotions from a good time Saturday night through the damnation of the week back to a free-wheeling Saturday night again. Here, Beaver’s grown courage and has decided that heartbreak be damned, he’s going to seek happiness…even if its just for one helluva memorable Saturday night. The title track comes near the end of the song sequence and it is again a reflective rumination of both what’s happened in the previous eight tracks and what’s happened to all listeners prior to listening to this album.
The ride comes to a close with “One More Song” and is a lovers tale of dancing through one more song just so a man can hold the woman he loves close for another three minutes and change. This should prove to be a popular track with the ladies and the dancefloors of the venues that wisely book Beaver and his band to pack ’em in.
Ryan Beaver has crafted a record along with producer and famed guitarist David Grissom that he should be proud of…full of heartbreak and hope…love and redemption… a classic sound that manages to remain contemporary.