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Motivating Music

Local Musician Ryan Vanderburg Shares His Soul

Article by Julie Brown Patton

Photography by Phillip Slaughter

Originally published in Frisco City Lifestyle

Singing hope into dark places,
joining those who light spaces. 
Let's send love into action,
inspiration not distraction.
Healing music let it be,
Life is more than you and me. 

Reaching others' emotions through powerful lyrics and motivating performances is the goal of musician Ryan Vanderburg.

Ryan says he has many stories to tell, so he pours his heart and soul into "demanding attention" from audiences when he performs. "I try not to be just background music if at a restaurant, for example," he quips. "I channel energy and emotion into playing and singing, trying to put my own spin on songs. Usually, I'll pick out someone in the crowd and select a song that might make the turn their head toward me, and then I know we've connected."

He's been on an organic musical cycle from earlier in his life to where he is now, performing at private events and writing his own music and lyrics.

Starting out with a passion for guitar playing and thinking that was his musical gift, Ryan says he learned over time that he also could sing and carry performances. He always sang harmony with his brother, Caleb, when they grew up and eventually both joined a rock band called Shatter Me. He says the band members toured regionally until they dispersed during 2011 into different US geographies. 

"Then, someone suggested I should play at a Mexican restaurant in North Fort Worth. So, I did. And I began to see there was a following there each week when I performed. It was wonderful for all the tables on the patio to be filled, and then I realized it was many of the same people, who then brought their friends. They began to book me for parties and weddings, and things just kept growing from there, until music became my full-time job," Ryan recalls. 

Music feeds Ryan's Christian soul, too. "I have to do it. It's like a calling, I'm called to play, write and to tell stories. You can even communicate through just the way you arrange a song, even without the words," he adds. 

Through Ryan's performances, he says he hopes people pick up on his message of "living for more than ourselves." He says people often search for hope in dark places or materialistic things, so he tries to inspire others to realize love can be action, not just an emotion. 

To see Ryan perform in-person, head to Nosh & Bottle Market, 370 West Las Colinas Boulevard #100 in Irving any of the Friday evenings of April. He'll be playing there either from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.; check the blog page of the website for updates regarding individual Friday nights. The market is located at the Toyota Music Factory. 


  • Photo by Chris Smith, Ivey Photography
  • Photo by Chris Smith, Ivey Photography