Meet Ryan Tilby
Picture late Spring in 2008. I have just returned from a week long trip in Monaco. Cherry blossoms and tulips are fading while summer perennials make their debut. All on the outside appears splendid. But on the inside, I am dying. It is my quarter-life crisis; the kind where all I can do is think about how to get through the next five minutes. In an effort to regroup, I cancel all appointments and commitments. On the list of people to call is Ryan Tilby (guitar teacher/band member/friend).
"Hey Ryan," I force my fake happy voice. "Hey, I'm calling because, well, I need to simplify my life right now and I just can't take lessons anymore. It's kind of hard to explain," my voice starts to crack, "but, well . . ." I can't hold back the tears.
There is awkward silence.
I say goodbye.
Moments later, a text comes in.
Ryan says: Things happen for a reason.
I take a deep breath and somehow feel a bit better.
That's how my friend Ryan rolls. Low maintenance and easy going, it's near impossible to make enemies with this guy. When I think of my "nicest people I know" list, Ryan comes out in the top five. If you came to the Love for Nie Nie concert in Provo, then you saw him on stage playing bass. But you've probably also seen him on stage playing banjo, guitar, electric guitar, and mandolin with either Sam Payne, Peter Breinholt or Ryan Shupe. The guy has wicked skills.
Ryan Tilby and Ryan Shupe at the "Love for Nie Nie Concert"
Ryan has a sweet wife, Brittney, who is also very musical. Together, they have two children: Westin and Lily. As a touring musician, Ryan is often gone on weekends and sometimes for a week or two at a time. How does he balance this? Our friend, Sam Payne, says of Ryan:
"Tilby's always drawn a hard line on the fatherhood front, and the husbandhood front, and the general integrity front, and it hasn't compromised his artistry--it's enhanced it. Some say that in order to really fulfill one's potential, an artist has to make the art his only master. I hope a million young artists get to know Tilby
before they buy that line."
The Tilby Family
An exciting new element that Ryan is bringing to his career is the release of a solo album of hymns on guitar. If you're looking for a soothing album to bring a spirit of peace into your home minus the frills and cheesy ornamentation (which, in my opinion, ruin the simple beauty of hymns), this is the album for you. Buy it now on itunes or at Deseret Book. (I think I should start doing infomercials).