It was the first time for me to see Ryan Balthrop’s family perform (except, of course I have heard Ryan many times and I have seen his mom sing before as well).
Callaghan’s was all set up for a concert type show…the tables were moved out and rows of chairs replaced them…the chairs (and booths that always line one wall), were filled and most of the space remaining was consumed by standers who were eager for the show to begin.
Ryan’s sister Lauren Balthrop, his older brother Pascal Balthrop, Ryan himself and his sister’s boyfriend Tom Kreuger made up the band.
Lauren Balthrop on keyboards, guitar and vocals
Pascal Balthrop on guitar and vocals
Ryan Balthrop on guitar and vocals
Tom Kreuger on violin, harmonica and occasional vocals
Lauren told the story of a Maple Tree that lived many years right outside the window of their brownstone in Brooklyn. She shared this place with older brother Pascal. One day there was a mandate for removing the Maple trees and hers fell prey to that mandate. She said it is hard to explain the emotion but it was much like losing an actual friend. She missed everything about it, and her daily life was not the same, with the gaping hole where that tree once stood.
I watched her performance of her song “Maple Tree” several times on YouTube that night. Hearing it live was wonderful, but I wanted to get the full understanding of her lyrics.
Some of the lyrics from this song which grabbed me are:
“The view from my room looked so different…now its gone now everything has changed, It just don’t feel the same…are we the ones to blame? A stump is all thats left there. Imagine all the lives it has seen. It just don’t feel the same… Whats to be gained from all that’s lost. How I miss the way the shadows crossed…now I feel so exposed. so sorry it had to go.
It couldn’t stay forever, nothing ever does. I wish it could tell us all its stories, the past is written in its rings….”
I love this sweet song of loss. My favorite is a song that makes me think and this one certainly did that. To me, everything around us has an impact on us even plants or trees that we become accustomed to seeing daily…if suddenly they are gone, the world seems to be missing something important.
Ryan Balthrop is a good man, he is a person who does all he can to protect the environment. He loves his family. He even rescued a dog…at least he wrote a song about it so I can only assume. Ryan is a skilled artist and a skilled songwriter far above most. His song “Dog on a Runnin’ Line” tells a story of a dog he rescued who had been treated horrifically. I absolutely love this song…some lyrics from it are:
“I found him busted and broken on the side of the road”….”Beaten and Starved half to death”….I brought him home..he keeps me company and I keep him fed.”…”I did what I could, what can ya do when you rescue a dog from another man’s Boot!”
This is a song that not only makes you think, it makes you emotional; well at least it makes me emotional.
Ryan has a very talented family. I particularly loved his sister Lauren Balthrop. She makes me think of EmmyLou Harris when she sings. Her voice is at least as good. Lauren is also a beautiful young lady and she handles herself well on the stage. I will buy any CD Lauren puts out; and I recommend her for your listening pleasure as well.
Ryan’s mom Angele is where all of the music talent started. She is an excellent vocalist herself. He had her join them on stage when they performed “Runaway Train of Thought”. This is one of Ryan’s songs and it is excellent. Great writing. I could have listened to that song all night.
Ryan Balthrop is one of the most talented, kind hearted men I have ever met…but he is a complex fellow and sometimes unpredictable. Often he might say something shocking.
It was a night to remember. The Balthrops, plus Tom, put on an awesome show. I enjoyed it and so did everyone who was in Callaghan’s tonight. Look them up and buy their music, you can thank me later.
Thank you Ryan Balthrop for your exceptional music
Thank you Lauren Balthrop for making me FEEL the music
Thank you Pascal Balthrop for your beautiful music
Thank you Angele Calametti Balthrop for your beautiful voice and family
Thank you Tom Kreuger for adding to the show with your violin,harmonica and vocals.
Thank you Callaghan’s and JT for booking such talented folks