Ryan Sweezey is a 25-year-old singer/songwriter from just outside of Boston, Mass., currently based in Burlington, Vt. His acoustic-based pop/rock draws on a variety of influences from several decades. His favorite artists, who come out heavily in his songs, are Augustana, Counting Crows, Matt Nathanson and Matchbox Twenty. Other major influences include Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones and the Allman Brothers. Blending together these elements with his own style, Sweezey shows a level of maturity in his writing, lyrically and musically, well beyond his years. He also displays an impressive amount of musicality built up over several years of relentless performing.
Showing an interest in music from an early age, Ryan was prone to belting out Jimmy Buffett songs before being old enough to know what most of the words meant. Upon entering middle school in 2002, he began playing sax in the school band and would continue to play alto and bari sax through the end of high school. In 2004, he started playing guitar and became a regular singer for the first time when he joined chorus in 2007. He graduated from Lynnfield High School in 2010 and that fall entered Northeastern University in Boston. A four-year member of the campus’ all-male a cappella group, the UniSons, Ryan graduated from Northeastern in 2014.
Ryan began writing his own music in 2007, and released his first studio album “No Hollywood Star” in 2012, following it up with “Fall” in 2013, both with the help of Brian Maes.
Fresh out of college in the spring of 2014, Ryan took a deep dive into the Cambridge/Somerville open mic scene, and has been a frequent contestant in the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge. After winning a Monday night contest for the first time in August 2015, Ryan made it as far as the final four in the bracket-style Lizard Lounge Main Event contest of Monday night winners that September. He has made many appearances at the Burren in Somerville, including his first full band show in the backroom in January 2016, and joined the Wednesday night Exile on Elm Street cast in the front room. Ryan is a member of Emerging Boston Area Singer/Songwriters (EBASS).
The nearly two years of being immersed in the open mic scene sparked a meteoric upswing in the quality of Sweezey's already strong songwriting, as displayed on his latest record, “Starting Over,” recorded with George Woods, which was released in 2017 with a full band at The Burren and made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign.
In October 2016, Ryan moved to Burlington, Vermont, and continues to work on his music and promote the new record while diving into a new music scene. He has already had performances at Radio Bean and radio play on The Point in his new home, but still makes trips back to Boston to perform. In October 2017, he placed first in the Semifinal Round of the Advance Music Singer-Songwriter Contest at Nectar's, advancing to Final Round at Higher Ground in November.