Review: Ryan Martin John at The Grace Emily Hotel

Words by Nathan King

Steeped into Adelaide’s musical landscape, The Grace Emily Hotel is a rite of passage for all bands and solo artists. Often the first step for budding musicians and local heavy weights, it’s a time capsule of Australian pubs of yesteryear. It is also where Ryan Martin John brought a cavalcade of local acts for an evening of euphoric folk rock on Friday night, celebrating his debut EP Solar.

First to don the stage was Banjo Jackson, a local favourite to many in attendance. Fresh after releasing two albums, Infinite Tenderness and his debut self-titled solo album Banjo Jackson, Jackson was not short on string arranged hits for all in attendance. Playing suitably subtle songs like ‘Mortgage’ to lead single ‘Western River Cove’, his brief yet beautiful set spanned his career so far leaving many eager to see what Jackson gets up to next.

Following Jackson to the stage was Alana Jagt. Having spent several years sharpening her vocals by featuring on many local artists releases and finessing her fret board skills as one half of Buffalo Boyfriend, Jagt is now going solo with possibly her finest work yet. As a contrast to Banjo Jackson’s at times soaring harmony’s, Jagt takes a more snug approach to her music and the admiration of her bedroom acoustic aesthetic left a clear impression on many in the cosy venue.

To conclude the evening was man of the hour, Ryan Martin John, who took to his mantle place. Sporting a who’s who of local Adelaide musicians in his backing band and a well-tailored EP of material to work from, John had all enthralled from the first song. Delving into his debut EP Solar in a slightly rearranged order, there was a sense of different influences due to the subtle yet key differences between tracks. Visually and audibly John, whether directly or indirectly, wears his influences from the likes of Father John Misty on his sleeve. However, this in no way hinders his creativity and the definite effect his music has on people.

Listen to Ryan Martin John's debut EP 'Solar' on bandcamp now.