Since our beloved Mr. Kelly is through with having major life threatening crises and nightmarish adventures, hopefully he will have the opportunity in the coming year to begin serious work towards a follow-up album. In Time is a great pop-rock album, with lots of original songs and a wide variety of subjects and themes, but it is decidedly angst-ridden. Placed side by side with Neil Byrne’s Sensitive Souls EP and his Pale Blue Jak album, Faces, Ryan’s songs seem especially gloomy. I really love Ryan’s “The Village That They Call the Moy”, though I usually just refer to it in conversation as “that Moy song”, but even this lovely gem is sad, talking to a guy who is from Moy and loves his hometown, but who had to leave Moy to find work. I would love a new Ryan Kelly album, whether it has any happy songs or not, but considering how several of Ryan’s gloomy songs turned autobiographical after the fact, maybe if he writes a few new songs that are happy and hopeful, his life will fulfill those songs instead.
A lot has happened over the past 2 years. Even without knowing much about Ryan Kelly prior to his joining Celtic Thunder, I think it’s safe to say that these past 2 years have been a pretty crazy roller coaster ride for him. 2 years ago today(roughly, since Amazon lists the release date for In Time as the 11th), Ryan released his first solo album, In Time, a project he was rightfully proud to share with the world. Since that day, Ryan has completed several more tours with Celtic Thunder, including one in Australia, and he has teamed up with fellow Celtic Thunder singer Neil Byrne for an acoustic set, which they have brought to parts of the US this past spring on their first Acoustic By Candlelight tour. Ryan also won 2011 award for “Top Solo Performer in Concert” from the Irish Music Association, and he was presented the award at one of the Acoustic by Candlelight shows.
In addition to all this traveling and singing, Ryan actually left Celtic Thunder last year, missing the summer rehearsals the rest of Celtic Thunder had prior to their 2011-2012 tour season. Most of the details of what happened last year have vanished off of the internet entirely, but from what was said earlier last year, it would appear Ryan had met a woman with whom he wished to share his life, and of course being constantly on tour is hardly a pleasant way to start off any serious romance. By the end of the summer ‘something’ happened, something very unpleasant and that ultimately resulted in Ryan being back in Celtic Thunder. He’s once again single now and seems pretty ok with staying single for awhile (sad, but I never had a chance with him anyway, I’m sure). I know only bits and pieces, but enough to know it was a very rough year, and one I don’t blame him for not talking about. There are lots of details that once were floating around on the Internet about what happened, but of course in a confusing mixture of truth, half-truth and unsubstantiated rumor. But, for those newer fans who occasionally run across comments relating to fans supporting and believing in Ryan last year, yes Ryan put his fans through a lot last year, and I know some of the ones who weren’t all that loyal and dedicated moved on last winter. By the time Ryan nearly died this summer, he had a lot of well-tempered fans to watch his back.
This year started out well, with the Celtic Thunder Australia tour, Celtic Thunder promotions tour (PBS and QVC appearances), and the first Acoustic By Candlelight tour. By the time the guys returned to Ireland it seemed that Ryan was fully recovered, better than ever, in fact. But, only days after Ryan and Neil returned home from their Acoustic By Candlelight tour, Ryan was in an accident which left him in a coma for several weeks(What a Difference a Day Makes). Was he changing a lightbulb? Did he trip and fall down a flight of stairs?
Whatever he did, he is all better, once again, and on tour now(What Happened To Ryan Kelly in June). And, if the saying is true, that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Ryan’s in great shape now and ought to have smooth sailing for the rest of his life. As another fan put it, Ryan scared the crap out of a lot of people, but so long as he doesn’t do it again, I suppose he’s forgiven. Whatever the next year brings, In Time is an excellent album that will continue to impress new fans for years to come, and Ryan has thousands of fans who will continue to have his back should any new adventures come his way.