Album Review of
Astral Café

Written by Robert Silverstein
November 22, 2021 - 5:28pm EST
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American guitar hero Jimmy Ryan is back in action with a new album that some long-time fans are calling his greatest musical achievement to date. Released in the Fall of 2021, the 13-track Astral Café finds the guitar legend behind the Flyin’ Ryan Brothers sound in impeccable sonic form. As the co-founder of The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers, Jimmy Ryan and his brother Johnny Ryan released seven well-received albums between 1999 and 2011. Jimmy is well renowned for his majestic, inspired instrumental guitar tracks and Astral Café brings his sound back alive and well in the roaring ‘20s.

Another side of Jimmy revealed on Astral Café displays his skills as a rock vocalist. A pair of vocal tracks here are quite exciting in their own right. Another major influence running through the lifeblood of Astral Café is the Flyin’ Ryan Brothers sound itself and a track here also spotlights Jimmy’s younger guitar-playing brother and co-founder of the band they took to soaring heights, through till what turned out to be their final album Under The Influence back in 2011. Although Jimmy Ryan released his solo album, 21st Century Riffology to favorable critical acclaim in 2017, the 2021 release of Astral Café proves to be his greatest album yet.

No rock guitar genre is overlooked on Astral Café - featuring new takes on his soaring rock instrumental sound and inspired symphonic fusion instrumentals coupled with the two tracks featuring Jimmy’s vocals. Every track here has something to offer long time Flyin’ Ryan Brothers fans. Astral Café is so well recorded with its strategic lineup of tracks, that newer fans will get turned on to a pinnacle moment in Jimmy Ryan’s music history.

Key to the instro rock sound of Astral Café is drummer and album co-producer Dan Van Schindel, whose style combines both power-rock combined with a jazz-fusion dexterity that worked so well on 21st Century Riffology. FRB fans that miss the guitar interplay between Jimmy and brother Johnny will note the appearance of Johnny Ryan on the album’s eight-minute closer “Quiet Flight”. After seven albums with the Flyin’ Ryan Brothers, and now with Astral Café - four solo albums, Jimmy Ryan has earned the musical acclaim he so rightly deserves.