Anyone familiar with the Lowell music scene undoubtedly knows the name Ryne Clarke. The 23-year-old was in the band The Preservers, organized a house concert series pre-pandemic and was the first person highlighted in the LowellArts Featured Artist of the Month series.
In recent years, Clarke has focused on making music with The Ryne Experience, which serves as a collective to bring in other artists to collaborate on various projects. This summer, he has more than two dozen performances lined up around the state, ranging from sets at the Smyrna Bar to participating in the Trufant Concert Series.
As if that isn’t enough to keep anyone busy, Clarke also has his own studio – Upstairs, Man Studios – which officially opened last November. While he’s largely taking the summer off from producing music, the studio will be available again for recording sessions this fall.
Creating a Music Collective
Clarke’s foray into the world of music started in 6th grade when he took up the accordion, an instrument both his grandma and great grandma played. And while he spent his early years listening to his grandpa’s country albums, he has since found his musical home in the alternative and indie rock genre.
“I’m a folk singer songwriter at my core,” he says. In addition to singing, Clarke plays instruments that include guitar and the electric kazoo. His style has been influenced by bands such as The Who and The Kinks.
He played with The Preservers all through high school, but that band broke up as members graduated and went their separate ways. Clarke wasn’t ready to be done with music though.
“I wanted to keep writing songs,” he says. However, he also didn’t want his next experience to end like The Preservers, where “if someone moved away, [you’d] lose the whole band.”
The solution was to create The Ryne Experience, which allows Clarke to write songs and bring in various musicians – including his former bandmates from The Preservers – to record and perform.
It was in this way that Clarke met Kyle Kuhn. “There was a gig where they needed someone to play drums,” Kuhn recalls. Since then, Kuhn has been a part of various Ryne Experience projects, including its recent album “The Hits.” (That, incidentally, isn’t actually a greatest hits album but a collection of new songs.)
Upstairs, Man Studios Offers Affordable Music Production
Kuhn’s own band, Short Panic, has also worked with Clarke to produce music in the Upstairs, Man Studios. The studio space is a two-bedroom set-up with a jam room and a mixing room.
“You will get a really tight room sound,” Kuhn explains, adding: “You can get some cool ‘70s sound.”
The studio is designed to suit live track bands, meaning that everyone is playing together at once, and Kuhn says there was enough space for his 5-person band to record. There is also room to isolate tracks when needed. What’s more, if someone needs an instrument – or even a player for an instrument – Clarke has connections to make that happen.
“You can walk in and record a song without having anything,” Clarke says. He adds that The Ryne Experience album “The Hits” is a good example of the type of sound one can produce in the Upstairs, Man Studios.
While the studio will be closed for the summer while Clarke focuses on performances, he anticipates studio time will be available again beginning in October. In addition to Short Panic, other local groups such as Future Skeletons, The Tube Socks and Small Foreign Fraction have used the space for recording.
Studio time only costs $15 an hour, a rate Kuhn describes as “a heck of a price.”
Where to See The Ryne Experience This Summer
Those interested in seeing Clarke perform this summer will have no shortage of opportunities.
Locally, he will on the stage at Sound Check as well as one of the performers during a special Showboat Concert on May 22 that is being hosted by Chimera Design in honor of the business’s 20th anniversary.
Farther afield, Clarke will be taking his music to Barley and Vine in Flint and New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck. He’ll close out the summer with a performance at the Walk the Beat Albion music festival.
For more information and the latest news, follow The Ryne Experience on Facebook or check out the music on Bandcamp. Details about the Upstairs, Man Studios are also available on The Ryne Experience website.
All images courtesy of The Ryne Experience