Ryan Alfred (left) and Katherine Byrnes are Sweet Ghosts.
Ryan Alfred (left) and Katherine Byrnes are Sweet Ghosts.

Hailing from the windswept Sonoran Desert, Sweet Ghosts is a new band led by seasoned musicians Ryan Alfred and Katherine Byrnes.  Their music is rooted in the folk and country tradition of songwriting, but has branched away from the form and subject matter of traditional songs.

They combine “stunning, unpredictable harmonies” (Tucson Weekly) with a colorful instrumental palette where acoustic folk instruments blend with orchestral touches and subtle synthesizers.

Sweet Ghosts will bring their unique songs to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday (March 15) at 11:30 a.m. when they will appear in concert.

Having toured with Calexico for six years, Ryan Alfred is also a member of Woven Oak Trio. He also composes and has produced albums for Tucson’s Ryanhood and Carlos Arzate.  He and Ben Nisbet co-composed the music for Art.If.Act Dance Project’s “Impetus,” blending pulsing electronica with chamber instrumentation.

As a featured soloist and ensemble singer, Katherine Byrnes has performed with the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble, and has toured the US and Europe with Americana star Amos Lee. She performs as a headliner throughout Tucson and is currently recording an album of jazz standards with Linda Ronstadt arranger Jeff Haskell.

Sweet Ghosts’ debut album, “Certain Truths,” was recorded over a period of two years during breaks from Katherine and Ryan’s heavy touring commitments. The album was recorded at Wavelab Studios and mixed by Ryan at the studio that he shares with Calexico.  Sweet Ghosts is working on a new album, slated for release in 2017.

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

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Sweet Ghosts Bring Folk Up To Date: March 2016
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