Ryan Lindsey

White Paper Beds

S/R

The debut solo album from Stillwater native Ryan Lindsey sounds alternately like Self, Elliott Smith and From Bubblegum to Sky. From the smooth funk on "Summertime" to the straining strings and pedal steel on "What I Am," Lindsey knows just where to put some prickly notes to pique your interest (like the deviant piano flourish on "Put Your Trust in Ross"). In addition to stellar composition, the self-taught piano man manages to make every song sound different, not out of earnest eclecticism, but out of creative might. Part of his industrious will comes from the artist's bout with mono in 2004. Lindsey was hospitalized and the album's title references where one lays their head in such a place. It was a three-and-a-half-week hiatus from playing, but when Lindsey returned to the ivories his writing was on a fast track for the 12-song disc. Some other locals managed to make the mix, including Starlight Mint Allan Vest on cello, Nathan Price on drums and producer Chad Copelin of Black Watch Studios on a vast array of instruments. Still, these are the supporting acts on a debut that clearly casts Lindsey in the starring role. Rightfully so, too: The man coaxes music out of the piano like a woodsman taming wildlife. The piano sings to him, and he sings back with a voice honed in church choirs yet right at home in dive bars. Luckily, now we can all listen together. An official CD release party for "White Paper Beds" will be July 3 at Opolis with Cheyenne and Kelpie.

-- Josh McBee

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