Somewhere, somehow, Ryan Tennis is probably playing music right now. The Philly singer-songwriter has logged quite a few frequent flyer miles this year, between his summer tour in Colombia and the autumn European run he just completed with percussionist Joseph Keim. Both excursions mixed up busking shows and venue performances, and we caught up with Tennis and his band in the between-time this fall when he and his full band were home in Philly.
Joining him and Keim in the studio are Andres Mordecai of El Caribefunk on percussion, alongside Philly scene staple Shawn Hennessey, with Maxfield Gast on saxophone, Brahm Genzlinger on bass, Nate Graham on keys and Christopher Farrell on guitar. The music is a breezy fusion of folk, salsa and reggae, with touches of South African styles in the mix — no surprise, considering that Tennis has headed up tributes to Paul Simon’s Graceland at various stages around the region.
Three of the songs in their Key Sessions set come from Tennis’ recent EP Two Days on the Fence, which you can read a review of here. The band celebrates the EP’s release at MilkBoy on Saturday, December 9th with Ginger Coyle and the community-based drum line West Powelton Drummers. Details on that show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Below, watch videos of the title track, as well as a new tune called “Morena,” and stream the session in its entirety.
Ryan Tennis, The Key Studio Sessions