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Carla Ryder: Press

“Carla Ryder is getting more serious now with her songwriting. Her new material shows impressive depth and flashes a stunning poignancy at times (witness new song “Yellow Curtains”). I can’t wait to hear more of what she comes up with."
-- Steve Morse, former staff music critic at the Boston Globe for 28 years who now teaches the online Rock History course for Berklee College of Music

Steve Morse - Staff: Berklee College of Music (Sep 15, 2017)
"This girl can tear it up!" That's what you'll say after listening to the latest release by Carla Ryder. The record kicks off with "House of Yesterday." "The world won't wait for you," Ryder warns in her pop-oriented chorus. "Three Mondays Gone" is another well-crafted tune, with layers of electric guitars and background vocals providing a wall of sound to accompany the catchy chorus. "Gettysburg" is a high-energy folk tune about family ties, "Ex-Patriot's Song" is a mid-tempo political rocker and "Take it Away" is a country-flavored ditty with rhythmic acoustic guitar and a sing-along refrain.

File Ryder between Sheryl Crow and the Pretenders, but don't miss out on Til the End of Counting.
Mare Wakefield - Performing Songwriter Magazine, June 2007
In the daytime, she's a speech therapist for the Boston public schools. At night, she's an aspiring rock singer who seems to get better with each appearance. Carla Ryder is almost too versatile to categorize, but she has fun trying.
''I just tell people that I play in a rock band that dabbles in pop, folk, and country," says Ryder, who is remarkably free of attitude. ''A fan gave me the best description by saying, 'You are Joni Mitchell kidnapped by Joan Jett.' "

Whatever one might call her, Ryder is rising through the ranks. The Braintree native started out singing in the popular cover band the Mudhens (''We'd do obscure covers from the Go-Go's to Led Zeppelin") but is now turning out original material at a fairly prolific pace. She has released two solo records -- ''Pulling Down Sky" and ''Acoustic & Live" -- and just issued her first CD with the Carla Ryder Band.

It's called ''Til the End of Counting" and is produced by the increasingly hot Adam Steinberg, who has worked with Amy Fairchild, the Dixie Chicks, and Katie Terrio. It's a highly intelligent record, and Ryder's songs pull from literature (Larry McMurtry's ''Lonesome Dove" inspires one track), from politics (''Ex-Patriot's Song" is based on America's sometimes misguided foreign policies), and even from her observation of children at the Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan, where she is based by day. That particular track is ''Just About Nothing," which is about handling fear.

''I wrote it during a lunch break at school," Ryder says. ''I have a coveted room with a window, and I was looking down at all the little girls doing their steps and their jump-roping, and they were all so fearless. They're so resilient, and I thought, 'Why do we get so afraid when we grow up?' "

As a performer, Ryder appears to have no fear herself. A bubbly extrovert, she is performing a Tuesday residency this month at the Lizard Lounge (the ''Soul Low" series from 7:30-8:30 p.m.). She'll finish it next week, and it's hard to imagine the finale being any better than this past Tuesday, when she captivated a crowded house with her literate originals and romping covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival's ''Lodi" and the Rolling Stones' ''Dear Doctor."

Her six-piece band adds to the appeal. Backup singer Tara Cojerian could be a star in her own right, while guitarist Jon Metters, bassist Scott Bressler, drummer Ian MacMillan, and keyboardist Dave Weiser (the newest member) all have undeniable charisma.

''We're at such a zenith with this band," Ryder says. ''Personally and musically, we're at a great spot. And they're all my best friends."
Believe it or not, a singer-songwriter on the rise can't ask for a better backdrop than an underground café in Cambridge, MA. The likes of Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman polished their stagecraft at the world famous, Club Passim. It continues to hold tight to its position as New England's epicenter of roots music through the ebb and flow of the genre's popularity. With special guests Vanessa Trien, Babson College alumna Carla Ryder turned up the heat on August 13 for one of Club Passim's best shows in recent memory.

Vanessa Trien displayed an instantly accessible acoustic-pop style. Lyrically, her songs were poetic with imagery that endured long into the next song. Fans, at first restrained, soon were singing along and singing Trien's praises between songs.

After ending Trien's set together, Carla Ryder took over the pole position. She did so flanked by one of the best backing bands in New England. Scott Bressler on bass and, Jon Metters on acoustic guitar were aided by vocalist Tara Cojerian in their support of Ryder's set.

"The Turning", a track from the "Pulling Down the Sky" CD, was an early highlight. Ryder's catchy hooks and breathtaking vocals were in top form. Between songs, Metters and Bressler's off the cuff banter with Ryder was almost as entertaining as the music. The chemistry of these performers has made a great local artist event better. Midway through the set, Venessa Trein joined the crowded stage for another sing along.

"Nevada", her contribution to Boston's Best singer-songwriter compilation CD, ended the night on the right note. Soon, fans crowded the budding star. Watching Carla on stage and amid her fans, it occurred to me more than once that this was not the typical workday of Babson alumni. Though her career path is not typical, her accomplishments, which include national tours and opening for Bob Dylan, are no less remarkable. A CD headed by producer Adam Steinberg (Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow) is on the ever brightening horizon of Babson's very own acoustic hero.
Pat Keating - Babson Business Journal
A blizzard of random thoughts

Carla Ryder: Watching this charismatic young rocker captivate a crowd as she plays ''Spinning to Crazy,'' you know she's destined for big things.
Scott Lehigh - The Boston Globe
Caught in the Act

The Carla Ryder Band from Boston took the stage next, oozing folk-flavored groove right from the opening chords from guitarist Jon Metters' hollow-body Gibson. Carla's bluesy tenor voice, a sort of cross between Natalie Merchant and Alannah Myles, led the way through a solid set of eclectic original material from her "Pulling Down Sky" and "Acoustic & Live" CDs. New to the group, drummer Aaron Jackson proved his mettle well, locking with bassist Scott Bressler to bring the only dancers of the evening to their feet. The kid can play. An enthusiastic cover of "When Will I Be Loved" was a crowd-pleaser, some dubious vocal harmonies notwithstanding.

Unfortunately, the only way to catch her wonderful power-funk arrangement of "Guy's Night Out" is to catch Carla live--this track isn't on either of her solo discs. Carla is steadily gaining national recognition with her insightful lyrics and solid solo performances. Looks like her decision to leave the Mudhens was the right one.
Robert Bryant - Face Magazine (Portland, ME)

On her latest CD, singer-songwriter Carla Ryder offers up a 13-song set of cheery and introspective well-crafted tunes. Backed by musicians on bass, guitar and vocals, Ryder delivers the goods, providing memorable melodies and catchy choruses that manage to stay in the head for days. For a live recording, the sound quality is crisp--though obviously taken from the soundboard--and the energy and joy of live performance shines through in both the songs and the between-song banter.

Lyrically there's a little bit of cleverness, as in the infectious "Spinning To Crazy": "The more things change the more they stay insane." But for the most part the words are not so much clever as well phrased and thoughtfully crafted. The highlights here come in songs about relating and relationships, like the poignant and sweet closer, "What I Have"--which almost made this reviewer cry. "East Coast Thing" is a sassy take on intuition and working on relationships, while "Please Don't Go" delves into the tail end of a destructive and abusive coupling.

Ryder's stories are fleshed out with a minimum of strokes and convey emotion through melodic and instrumental choices. As a guitar player, Ryder is more of a strummer and picker, but her chord progressions often take interesting and unexpected turns. She shines vocally, swinging for the bleachers at one moment and almost whispering the next.

When Ryder harmonizes with her backing vocalist, the effect is a little Indigo Girls-meets-Ani Difranco. "Nevada", "The Turning" and "Matter of Time" feature bright and catchy choruses. I have woken up humming them before I can figure out what they are. Even the less-memorable songs have a good deal of charm, and that's a rare thing. Overall, Acoustic & Live is a good introduction to Carla Ryder. So will be her shows at Burlington this week--Friday at Radio Bean and Saturday at 135 Pearl.
Colin Clary - Seven Days (Burlington, VT)

As if Carla Ryder's dual careers as speech therapist and budding folk-rock
star weren't enough, she's developed a third role: soccer-poetry coach.

Braintree's Renaissance woman will be in her musical mode Saturday night when she performs at the Festival of Women Songwriters at the Somerville Theater. Ryder expects to go on stage about 10 p.m., and the all-star lineup also includes Colleen Sexton, Rachel Davis, Jenny Reynolds and Dianne Ziegler.

But getting back to that fascinating poetic soccer gig, it developed out of Ryder's day job as speech therapist and reading teacher in the Boston school system.

Last fall she became involved in as a volunteer for third- to fifth-grade girls in an afterschool program, which offers two days a week of poetry and songwriting, alternating with two days of soccer games.

"I know almost nothing about soccer`" Ryder said, laughing, "so those days I just try to stay on the sidelines, and be supportive but out of the way."

When the girls work on their poetry, though, Ryder feels right at home. "I'm trying to help the kids discover the joys of creative writing. We do poetry and also try some songwriting," she said.

"The school system had a citywide poetry slam, and we competed in that. My team of girls choreographed a poem all about how it felt to score the game-winning goal in your soccer game. We found there is a certain synergy between music, poetry and soccer."

Ryder's music career is cruising along nicely too, as this Saturday's gig will be followed by a headlining show next Saturday at New York City's famous Bitter End nightclub.

Longtime fans know that Ryder was the lead singer of the rock quintet The Mud Hens for six years, before leaving to establish her solo career in 2000.

Her solo debut CD, "Pulling Down Sky,'" made many best-of-the-year lists, taking her delightfully quirky cinematic lyrics and the rock/folk/Celtic/country sounds of her Mud Hens years and redeploying them in simpler settings.

Last year Ryder released "Carla Ryder Acoustic and Live," a collection of live and studio performances. It is available only at shows, or online at, or at Ryder's web site (

The good news is that she has plenty of new material for her next album, but the not-so-good news is that it probably won't be released until November. Her tasks keep her schedule full, and this summer she has wedding plans, too.

"I am fortunate to have afternoons and school vacations free to write, play and promote my music," Ryder said. "But this summer will be pretty busy. I'm marrying Chris Roussin, who fronts his rock band, The Quick Ones (who have a headlining gig April 5 at The Kendall Cafe in Cambridge)."

Ryder books a full slate of shows during February school vacation week. In September she'll begin recording her next album. "We're in pre-production now, fine-tuning the songs in concert, and checking out producers and studios," she said.

Ryder's solo act became an almost instant hit on the coffeehouse circuit, her observational style offered a breath of fresh air on the folkie circuit, and her various formats - solo to quintet - were adaptable to any size room. The amazing thing is that Ryder's music still rocks as hard as it ever did, even in acoustic duo settings.

Her lineup of bandmates includes bassist Scott Bressler, guitarist Jon Metters, backup vocalist Tara Cojerian, either Jim McGathey or Billy Beard on drums, Quincy's Jim Gambino on keyboards, and Swinging Steak Steve Sadler on mandolin, dobro and assorted instruments.

In the duet setting, Bressler is her most likely cohort; the others shift in and out as the occasion demands.

"Every show is different," Ryder said.

"Depending on the venue, I can go folkie or total rocker."

The new Ryder material still has that trademark sound of intelligent writing set over syncopated rhythms, and music with a surprise in every chorus.

"I'd like to say the new music is more rockin' but some it is more folk, too," Ryder said. "I guess I'm sort of splitting it down the middle. There's no easy way to pigeonhole my new songwriting."

As she looks back on her first two years as a solo act, Ryder feels her dual careers are going just fine. She is energized by working with the children in
school, and her music career is thriving

"I couldn't be happier in the way my band has developed and help me define my style," Ryder said. "I've had the same group working with me all two years, and I know I'm really blessed to have them. I'm really proud of them and what we've accomplished."

Now if someone can just explain a penalty kick to her....
Jay Miller - The Patriot Ledger
Artist: Carla Ryder
CD: Acoustic & Live
Home: Boston, Massachusetts
Style: Singer-Songwriter
Quote: "Her latest performance confirms that she's one of the hottest female
vocalists on the East Coast."

By: Erik Deckers
(here's the direct link to review)

Intro/general thoughts: She's back, she's back, she's back! Carla Ryder is back, acoustic and live, on her latest CD, "Acoustic & Live." And with more of the same great music that made her a fan favorite, both with the Mudhens and on her last solo CD, "Pulling Down Sky," Ryder deftly avoids the sophomore slump that afflicts so many other artists.

>From beginning to end, Ryder up and down the musical continuum, playing anything from folk to rock to pop to a Latin-influenced song. Each song, replete with Ryder's sweet vocals, is equal to every other song in its quality and craftsmanship (craftswomanship?).

Highs: Definitely "The Turning." This song is one that fits one of those sad-but-happy moments of a person's past, and is made to be on your life's soundtrack.

Outstanding performance: It's Carla's album, it's Carla's music, so the outstanding performance is, what else, Carla's voice. Although she's got some excellent musicians backing her up, Carla's vocals are the best instrument on the whole album. Her latest performance confirms that she's one of the hottest female vocalists on the East Coast.

Lows: Three of the four secret tracks at the end of the album are the movie equivalent of outtakes and snappy band banter. While it was cute, it detracts from the rest of the album for those of us who like to set a CD to "Repeat All" and listen to it over and over.

Fans: If you like Carla Ulbrich, Robin Pearl, or Jill Dawson (all reviewed here on , then Carla Ryder is someone you don't want to miss.

Foes: If you expect your singers to sound like Tom Waits, Buster Poindexter, or Kim Carnes, you won't like Ryder's strong, soaring, and crystal clear voice.

Summary: You can tell your friends what it's like to be in love, drive on the Autobahn, or drink a really fine bottle of wine, but they'll never really know what you're talking about until they experience it for themselves. That's the quandary I'm in now in trying to explain how great "Acoustic & Live" is. I can't properly tell you how great this album is, you just have to hear it for yourself. Visit Carla's website and get it.
Erik Deckers -
As year 2000 creeps to a close, it's time to recap some of the year's best music. Bear in mind we don't see hear or know it all, so this list is subjective and based on the shows we did get to attend and the CD's that struck us as outstanding.


Carlos Santana, Great Woods, August 1
Steve Earle and the Dukes, Avalon and Lupo's, July
Dick Dale, the Middle East, May
The Reverend Horton Heat, Lupos and Avalon, May 4 and 6
Matchbox 20, Avalon, June 6
Joan Osborne, Avalon, October 3
Martina McBride, South Shore Music Circus, July 9
City of President's Blues Fest, June 25
Peter Green, The Roxy, Sept 6
Reba McEntire, Great Woods, August 26
Carla Ryder, The Beachcomber, February 3
Jerry Jeff Walker, The Roxy, June 14
Guy Clark, Blackthorne Tavern, October 15

Beachcomber, February ?: I'm not sure of the date, but it was a Thursday when I decided to check out the solo show of the then-Mudhens lead singer. There were perhaps a dozen people present for the late set, but Ryder in a duo setting uncorked one of the most arresting sets we've heard. Her solo shows bring all the lyrical depth and quirkiness of here work with the rock band, but with added warmth and more focus on her voice. I was wary when she announced she was ending her show with a Patsy Cline cover but after she'd belted it out with rock n' roll passion and a soaring vocal range we never heard in the Mudhens, I was floored. The Braintree songwriter has had a busy year establishing her solo career, but on that night it was obvious she was going to make it happen.
Jay Miller - The Patriot Ledger
Whole Lotta Jammin' Going On

Dexter Freebish is only one of the three up-and-coming musical performers at tonight's sold-out Christmas Jam at the City Auditorium. Opening at 7:00 pm is Carla Ryder, former lead singer of the Boston-based Mudhens, who charmed a small audience at a recent perfomance at Borders in Concord. Ryder's first solo disc, Pulling Down Sky, is a textured, rhythmic record that puts her engagin voice front and center. Her songs examine relationships with the intesity and wonder of a child staring into her first snow globe, but with none of the naivete.
Steve Varnum - The Concord Monitor (Concord, NH)
Issue # 203
Jumping off the Band Wagon
Carla Ryder
The Same Funny Story

The Mudhens have a solid fan base and three impressive albums, the last two of which were produced by Anthony Resta (Duran Duran, Collective Soul). They've charted on AAA Top 40, toured with national acts, won numerous prizes, and are known for the somewhat quirky element of having the only euphonium player on the scene.

Though the Mudhens are gearing up to begin recording their fourth CD next month, Carla Ryder won't be with the band in the studio, nor on the subsequent tour. Longtime Mudhens fans responded to Carla's departure with a mixture of regret and well-wishes for the willowy singer and her killer pipes. "I needed something that was a bit more "folky", explains Carla. "I loved the music we made in the Mudhens, but the band is pretty grounded in where they want to be and what directions they want to take, a I felt that I couldn't commit to them geographically or personally."

After six years as the most recognizable Mudhen, Carla's yearning for a return to the simplicity of the acoustic coffeehouse venues led her to record a more Lillith Fair-like, stripped down album called Pulling Down Sky. In a recent show at the Kendall Café, Carla confides that the title explains what she felt like as she turned thirty this year. The CD release party was at the International in Boston on May 5th. In a funny self-realization moment, "I've sound that the styles are very similar," admits Carla, "And since each of the Mudhens contributed something to the album, it has a definite Mudhen flair. I'm finding that I love doing the acoustic shows, however, I actually miss the full band setting and sound, so I'll probably split my time between both." For CD and show information check out
Lexi Kahn - The Noise (Boston MA)
Ready for Takeoff:
Fans of folk-flavored pop should take a close look at Brighton, MA-based singer/songwriter Carla Ryder, whose new single, "Spinning to Crazy" is receiving supportfrom CHR/Pop WJYY/Manchester, NH. Last week the station played the track 14 times.

Other smaller stations in the region are also playing the singe, as well as other songs from Ryder's debut self-released solo album, Pulling Down Sky. This isn't the first time around for Ryder.The veteran artist recorded three albums over six years with The Mudhens. That group opened for such acts as Neil Young, Bob Dylan and 10,000 Maniacs.

Ryder's new album has sold around 1,000 copies since its release in April. Ryder says the album - three songs can be heard on - "is about half electric and half acoustic. I purposely kept things pretty tempered and tried to have a lot of fun recording it." Since getting added to WJYY around a month ago, Ryder has received calls from a handful of major-label A & R reps. She promptly capitalized on that and quickly arranged a showcase at the House of Blues in Boston. That went so well that she plans another one in New York in late September. She also plans to tour with a six piece band in order to beef up her sound. Ryder self-publishes her songs and has yet to sign with a manager.
Steve Wonsiewicz - R & R, The Industry's Newspaper, Launching Pad (Los Angeles, CA)
Carla Ryder CD release party, Newton, MA - Pulling Down Sky

I will never forget the time when I first saw Carla Ryder perform, she was the lead singer with a band called The Mudhens and it was at one of the Harpoon Brewery Parties. I was thinking to myself that she (Carla) has a very unique voice, it was noteworthy to keep track of the band wherever I could. I would see them play at other Harpoon events and only once elsewhere - the Karma Club in Boston.

Well, Carla is now solo and she held a CD release party at the Attic. Her debut release is called Pulling Down Sky, the CD itself has great color to it, with sunflowers (with a redone on the cover) and foreground of an evening sky. I always thought Carla has a distinct voice, soft and subtle for the slower ballads types, and then harder and energetic for the more upbeat tunes that trademarked the Mudhens. With influences such as Nanci Griffith, Carol King, Madonna and Bob Dylan, you can see it in Carla's eyes - that this has been a goal of hers and she's stepping in the right direction to make it as a musician/singer/songwriter.

Pulling Down Sky, which was recorded at The Research Kitchen in Sharon, MA, offers an 8 song folk/pop mix that will energize you in Carla's storytelling. I especially enjoy "Stretched Out," "Spinning to Crazy" and "Crowded Room." Please excuse my liking to upbeat songs. It's such a wonderful voice to keep in ones mind, and a new website to have as a favorite - the website looks better than some national bands'! On a more intimate side, "One I call Friend" - with backing vocals by Tara Cojerian has an opening chorus with beautiful tone and accompanying acoustic guitar.

Carla was great on stage, very relaxed, funny at times and composed. I know that Carla has a lot ahead of her, and she was in very good spirits, the Attic had a mix of fans, family and friends to check her out, some fans didn't make it in because the place was packed. IT is going to be great to see Carla playing this summer. She did have an amazing time - as you can see it in her personality and her note of thanks to members of her family and of course the band. Not to leave out the rest of the band, especially Tom Groleau (who also plays with the Mudhens) and was a big help on the album, playing drums and a little guitar, Scott Bressler on bass and keyboards and Jon Metters on guitar. Has Carla found her fire? You will just have to see for yourself. Good luck on the road Carla! Keep writing great songs.
Jeff Cabral - New England Entertainment Digest
(On a scale of 1-11....AN 11) Easily one of the best albums in a long time, the lead singer of The Mudhens has delved into the world of solo careers with a passionate, touching and exquisite debut called Pulling Down Sky.

Opening with the upbeat, radio-friendly "Spinning to Crazy" and ending with the emotional and passionate cover of Rickie Lee Jones' "Stewart's Coat," Ryder weaves together a collection of eight songs that highlights her great voice and songwriting skills. "Spinning to Crazy" has a great vocal hook, catchy chorus and Ryder really digs her teeth into this one with a celebratory look at life. Her energy, songwriting skill and strong voice really usher the listener in. Yet, despite this upbeat and robust pop song, Ryder has actually crafted a mellow, poppy folk album. It's subtle and emotional with tales worth telling. Take Ani DiFranco, remove the punk and angry attitude, and add musical influence that's more than guitar. A prime example of this Ani DiFranco comparison comes with the impassioned "Please Don't Go" and lyrics such as ""Saw you look at that guy. You're a nag, you're a whore. So you loosen your blouse, get the meals done on time. You look straight ahead but he won't change his mind" ". The divergent styles and influences really make this a fresh and interesting collection of songs. "Hottest Season" follows the pop opener and it's perhaps the mellowest on the CD. Sometimes such a drastic mood or tempo or volume change would make for a harsh transition. Yet, Ryder's acoustic guitar intro is so soft, so lush that it greets you from the pause between songs like a kiss on the cheek. And it's the best tune lyrically; closely followed by "One I call Friend."

I thank the supporting cast as well in helping Ryder's tunes become so full and complete. Whether it's additional percussion, harmony vocals or cello, the accompaniment is perfect. The cast includes fellow Mudhens Pete Chandler, Tom Groleau, Dave Ford, plus other are scoundrels such as Two Ton Shoe's Jake Shapiro. Pulling Down Sky is a gem that should emphatically please any pop, folk or singer/songwriter fan.
William Huffman - Jam Music Magazine, NH
Ryder has hit her stride with solo CD

Braintree's Carla Ryder has produced the most fully realized debut album to come out of the local area in years.

The former Mudhen's lead singer has crafted a gem of a record, Pulling Down Sky, which takes many of the elements that made her work with that rock band so appealing and reframes them in a new, simplified setting.

Most of the songs have an acoustic focus, yet many rock almost as hard as the Mudhens, with the same quirky, often syncopated rhythms. There is increased emphasis on Ryder's singing and lyrics, which connect with palpable emotional force. The main thing is that Ryder had developed a solo style of her own. After listening to this disc a few times, you'll instantly recognize a Carla Ryder tune whenever you hear one. That's a remarkable statement about a debut, since most developing artists tend to sound derivative, or are searching for a style. Ryder is confident and in control, and the result is unforgettable.

The album title comes from the first song, "Spinning to Crazy,"which is a poetic look at a romantic encounter from initial doubt and confusion to joyful abandon. The arrangement mirrors that progression deftly, with Tom Groleau's solitary guitar soon enhanced by a quartet including lap-steel and 12-string guitar, organ, bass and Tara Cojerian's superb vocal harmonies.

Ryder is the first pop songwriter I've encountered in 30 years of listening who uses the word "harbinger." There's also a line that says "We obviate all the impending doom" and not only makes it work, but makes it upbeat. Ryder ends the eight song CD with a cover of Rickie Lee Jones' "Stewart's Coat," delivering a soaring vocal performance over just a piano and cello. It's the albums most stately piece, and yet you almost wish she'd Ryder-ized it; thrown in some of those marvelous left-hand turns that spice up her own tunes. Ryder's album was produced by Chris Lannon, and the overall sound is flawless. The album's only drawback is that at 33 minutes long, it leaves you wanting more.
Jay Miller - The Patriot Ledger
Looking for a few good singers in the wake of Vega? Somewhere along the line, the careers of a couple of our favorite female chanteuses imploded. Natalie Merchant? Buh-bye. Suzanne Vega? Off the radar. Others have emerged to carry on where they (for the time being) have left off, but Go! Finds ourselves on a near constant search for singers local or national to fill the niche. Tonight we re-introduce Carla Ryder.
Hayley Kaufman - The Boston Globe, Go!Tuesday
Best Rock/Pop Albums - 2004

We were big fans of the Mud Hens, and then also fans of Ryder's solo work after she left that rock band. Here the Braintree native is back with a rock sextet, and another dozen of her warmly enriching original tunes. Her lyrics might be direct and simple, or poetically inscrutable, but Ryder's music is always impossibly vibrant and pulsing with possibilities. And there's something about her high alto voice that resonates, making her clever words strike home. Go ahead, listen to this and try not to feel good: we dare you.
The Carla Ryder Band
"Til the End of Counting" (CD,, 2004)

After six years fronting the Mudhens, Boston's Carla Ryder switched to a dual path of solo coffeehouse gigs, on the one hand, and rocking shows with her Carla Ryder Band, on the other. The result of those varied experiences is a versatile approach to folk-rock. Til the End of Counting serves up a rich casserole of dynamic vocals, good-to-excellent songwriting, and crisp production by Adam Steinberg, featuring prominent guitar and percussion. When announcing the apparently delayed release of this disc, Ryder said, "You'll see it was worth the wait!" She got that right.