Man in cowboy hat with guitar on stage

Image by Dylan Azari. Photo taken at Nick's, Worcester, MA

Summary: Sean writes and performs heartfelt emotional Americana songs that explore relatable themes such as love, loss, and overcoming fears. His first love is to perform in songwriter shows to a listening audience, but he is also for cover shows at your venue. If you are a musician, he can help with instrument repair, live sound, and recording. Please reach out for rates and availability.


Sean Ryder is a singer/songwriter living and working in Central Massachusetts. He writes Americana songs that blend elements of traditional country, rock, and folk with classical orchestral and choral music. Sean’s influences include Americana artists such as Jason Isbell and Lori McKenna; country artists including Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves; and rockers like Neil Young and Prince. He channels these diverse influences into genre-crossing songs that have been described as “deep and overflowing” and “desolate and beautiful” by local music writers.

Sean received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1995. While at UNH, Sean trained as a choral singer under the direction of Cleveland L. Howard II as part of the University’s Concert Choir, performing in venues throughout New England, Washington DC, and Montreal. After finishing his degree, Sean attended graduate school at Yale University where he studied Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, earning a Doctorate in 2001. While in New Haven, he performed with the New Haven Chorale for a year before taking an extended hiatus from music to focus on his research career.

Sean rediscovered his passion for music in 2012. He started writing and performing again, joining a folk trio called the Root Land Band. This evolved into a folk / original music duo with the exceptionally talented vocalist and violinist Miriam Smith (Smith & Ryder). Sean also joined the country rock cover band Backyard Swagger in 2014. In this group he plays electric guitar, sings harmony and sometimes lead vocals, and runs sound for the band. He also performs in the acoustic cover duo Solace with Lynn Gerrits.

Sean released the EP “In Pieces” with Miriam Smith as Smith & Ryder in 2016. In 2017, he released his self-produced debut solo album called “The Rise and The Fall”. More recently, Sean has begun recording his next album, releasing singles “Autumn in New England” and “Without You” on all streaming platforms.

Wait, did you say biochemistry? Check out Sean's research here.


Man in cowboy hat on stage in front of a crowded audience

Image by Diane Davis. Photo taken on stage at the Woodshed, Brewster, MA

Current Month Gig Schedule

Please check back frequently new shows are announced all the time!


Solo Performances: I love to perform! I am available to play my original music to a listening audience in just about any context, from house shows to songwriter rounds to venues that cater to songwriter performances. I love open mics and am happy to meet new people and make new friends in the music community. I am available to perform cover shows in your restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or private event. I can be the acoustic guy in the corner of the room or I can be the focus of the party as you need. My set lists span the decades and include hair bands, classic rock, current pop music, modern and traditional country music. I can draw from a repertoire that includes hundreds of songs suitable for a wide variety of audiences. Contact me through my website, or reach out on Facebook to book a show.

Solace Duo: I perform in an acoustic duo with Lynn Gerrits called Solace. We perform a blend of 70's rock and country, with a sprinkle of pop favorites and more than a dash of attitude. We focus on fun, engaging songs and making a personal connection with our audience.

Backyard Swagger: This is a premier full on party band performing Country and Rock cover music. Featuring the powerhouse vocals of Diane Davis, Backyard Swagger brings the party everywhere we go. Lights, fog, props, you name it, we are there to ensure our clients have a great time dancing the night away. We play nightclubs, bars, and private events. In this band I play rhythm guitar, sing male lead and harmony vocals, and run the sound system for the band.

Performance Videos


Man on stage with cowboy hat, large beard, and a tenor banjo

Image by DubzPhoto. Photo taken at Whiskey on Water, Worcester, MA

Summary: I am available to help you record your own music, run sound for your band's next gig, or make repairs to your stringed instrument. Please contact me for rates and availability.

Live Sound

Do you need a sound guy for your band's next gig? I'm able to cover sound for audiences up to 200 people indoors or outdoors. You worry about the performance, let me handle the sound. I have a variety of set ups depending on venue and how complicated your needs are with up to 32 input capability. I can provide wireless or wired microphones, stands, drum mics, main speakers, subs, monitor speakers, and/or wireless in ear monitor systems depending on your needs and preferences. Stage lighting too. No job too small (but some jobs too big!). I mix from the audience to make sure you sound your best. Please reach out to discuss needs and availability. I've worked with multiple local bands and have provided sound for large center of town shows, including the Franklin 4th Carnival and Leicester Town Common.

Band on stage with fog

Mama Kilsmith performing at the Franklin 4th of July Carnival

Recording Services

I would be delighted to help you record your music. I have built a small recording studio in my home perfect for singer-songwriters. I can help you with simple projects like recording live demos or with more complex projects like producing your next album. Let's talk about your vision and how I can help. I also have a mobile recording set up and can live track your band at your location of choice (rehearsal space, etc). If I am running sound for your band, I can capture audio stems from your show and provide you with the isolated stems or remixed tracks of your performance.

Living Room with warm light and couches

Many Hats Studio in Paxton, MA

Instrument Repairs

I fix broken things. It's what I do. I hate throwing things away, and few things make me happier than saving something from the garbage pile. I work on my own instruments and I've performed a number of repairs for local musicians as well. Pick up swaps, new electronics, fret leveling, regluing seams, bridge resets, and set ups, I got you covered on all of that. I also build electric guitars and cigar box instruments. I've worked on instruments that have been turned away by pro repair shops due to price / value concerns. Got a sentimental connection to an instrument? I get it. I can help. Let's talk about what you need and what I can do for you. If I don't feel comfortable or if your instrument is extremely valuable, I'll tell you up front that the job is bigger than me and I will point you to full time repair professional that I trust.

Cigar Box Guitars

A pair of cigar box guitars that I built. The one on the left I frequently use in live performances. The one on the right was built for a client.



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