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Cuyahoga Falls resident's new album highlights his ukulele skills

by April Helms Special Products Editor Published: October 10, 2015 12:00 AM
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Oct. 17 will be a banner day for singer/songwriter Daniel Rylander of Cuyahoga Falls.

On that day, Rylander will officially unveil his new album, "The Memoirs of a Poolside Romance," at a music release party at Musica in Akron. The concert will start at 9:30 p.m. This is the second album for Rylander, who grew up in Stow.

Rylander, who also is known for his acting work at local theaters such as Weathervane and Ohio Shakespeare Festival, said he got his start in music at a young age.

"I started playing the drums when I was about 6," he said. "I played in a band, Trademark Mistake, for pretty much all of high school. It was around that time that I taught myself piano and guitar and began to explore my writing style in different ways. When the band broke up, I continued to hone my writing skills and write songs, but wasn't really doing anything with it until these past couple of years. I just recently started playing the ukulele as well, which has been an extremely fun avenue to stroll down for the last three years."

A family tragedy is the impetus for Rylander to look at performing on a more full-time level.

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"I would say I got serious about pursuing a musical career when my older brother was killed in Afghanistan in 2012," he said. "I co-wrote a song with my uncle that we performed at the funeral and it was very well-received. After some encouragement, I went into Creekside Audio in Norton and met with owner/producer, Wes McCraw to record the song, and eventually the rest of the [first] record, Strawberry Skyline, became the product of it. It was my older brother's death that made me really realize that no one is promised tomorrow, and we all need to make the most of who we are today; in the here and now. So I'm chasing this dream of music to the fullest while I can."

One day, Rylander said he would like to make music a full-time career. Right now, his "big boy job" is working for Market Track in Solon, he said.

"The nice thing about the company is you can kind of make your own hours, so I try to get their early, leave early, and spend the rest of my day either sitting in front of my computer handling the more 'business-side' of the music, rehearsing with my band, or playing gigs," he said. "It allows for a little more financial security to off-set the musical expenses, but juggling the two full-time jobs doesn't allow for very much sleep, ha ha. Like I said, the goal is to make music the sole, full-time gig."

Rylander said his new album takes "a more poppy approach" than his debut work.

"Like I said before, learning how to play the ukulele has been so awesome and I wanted to make a stripped-down, ukulele-focused EP," he said. "So that's what I did. Every song on the record, with the exception of one or two of them, is fashioned around the ukulele as the primary instrument. Ukulele has become increasingly popular and I wanted to try my hand at creating something that kind of played into that popularity, but still maintain my own originality. I'm really pleased with how this record turned out and I think I accomplished my goal.

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"Two of the songs on this record are originally off of my debut record, Strawberry Skyline. I stripped them down, changed the arrangement and 'uke-ified' them, so to speak. That was an extremely fun process for me. Another one of the tracks off this new record is a similarly stripped down version of a song on my next full-length album. Overall, I really enjoyed the process on this record. Finishing a few songs that I began to write years ago and approaching them in a fresh, new light was good for me. Being in the studio and kind of finding the 'broader sound' to really bring these songs to life was rewarding, and helped to kind of refresh my own identity of who I am as a musician. It gets really easy to fall into a pattern and I found myself in a creative drought. These songs, this record, really helped me take a large step away from that."

For details, visit www.danielrylander.com online.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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