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MP3 Ryan Meyers - Learning to Dream

Soulful acoustic pop.

11 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, ROCK: Acoustic

Ryan Meyers took his first guitar lessons as a student at Sacred Heart School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Little could he have imagined that within a dozen years his faith and musical talent would come together in a fresh way to reach out to young Catholics with the message of Christ''s love through the innovative genre of contemporary Catholic music.

In his debut album with Disciple Records, "Learning to Dream," Meyers - now an accomplished guitarist - mingles heartfelt lyrics with soulful and energetic acoustic pop music to take his listeners on a journey into today''s world through the eyes of faith and hope.

"This album is introspective - almost confessional," says Meyers. "It reflects the things I was thinking about when I wrote it, things like relationships. Are they strong? Will they last? It deals with horizontal and vertical relationships - with others and with God."

Meyers says he finds lyrical inspiration simply by paying attention to life. Whether he is sharing his belief that God is always with him ("Sometimes in Silence") or sharing the plight of society''s most marginalized people (a homeless man, a prostitute and an unborn baby in "Invisible People"), Meyers'' work has a clear focus.

"I am especially trying to reach out to Catholics in their late teens," he says. "They aren''t used to being preached at, and they don''t know what to think about Christian music. I am catering to a less religious or spiritual audience, while still drawing them to this type of thought - and I want them to enjoy the music at the same level as the mainstream stuff they listen to. I want my music to have a crossover appeal."

A big fan of recording artists ranging from Bebo Norman and Elton John to Ray Charles and Switchfoot, Meyers seeks to constantly broaden his musical horizons. And as the Director of Youth Liturgy at Sacred Heart Church in Hattiesburg, he is well acquainted with the audience he is trying to reach.

"I grew up in Sacred Heart Church," says Meyers. "I''ve lived in Hattiesburg since I was two."

From his early years, Meyers says he could pick up any stringed instrument and play it, but he didn''t start to perform until his first semester of college. That was when he met and teamed up with fellow musician Doc Harrison to form the Christian praise and worship duo, "The Elusive Dudes."

"That''s when it became evident to me that I wanted to become a professional musician," he says.

With religious roots in the Catholic church, Meyers says, "I have no clue what I''d be like without my Catholic faith. It''s such a huge part of who I am, how I think, everything. There have been quite a few times where I''ve thought that things would be a lot easier - especially in music - if I detached myself from it. As many hardships that come with being a Catholic, especially lately, I can''t find any instruction that''s truer to the message of Christ."

Today Meyers is married and the father of a 6-month old girl, Anna. As he continues to expand his music ministry to an ever-larger audience, his desires remain the same.

"I hope my music will make people think about things in a new way," he concludes. "I hope it''ll make them tap their feet. I mostly hope it''ll make them smile."

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