Amidst the bluesy guitar and the marching drums, Ryan Zimmerman tells the story of a woman who has scorned him in his new song "Ain’t Nothin’ Special". He’s brimming with rage, but he quickly finds someone else to distract him. A woman he describes as ‘Ain’t Nothin’ Special but she’ll do’. As Ryan speaks his truth and croons along with the music, you can’t resist the tapping of your foot on the floor or the infectious way the music enters your body. This simple and classic roots style song, uses a simple chord progression, grooving bass and moderately timed drums to create a feeling of happiness. As Ryan Zimmerman sings about taking his new girl to the bar and having a few drinks, you can’t help but giggle at the thought. His fantastic storytelling puts you right on the seat next to them, observing how he’s not so into his new girl and how he blissfully drinks the alcohol. The music guides your mind to imagine what the bar would look like in its entirety, full with laughing patrons, clinking glasses and an old jukebox stocked with old blues and roots records. As the music keeps its pace, your mind is filled with the thought, ‘Life is what it is, sometimes it’s even a little funny, but everything’s alright.’ It is the testament of a good song and songwriter, to make listeners feel and Ryan Zimmerman’s expertise shines through in "Ain’t Nothin’ Special."
This Long Beach Island, New Jersey native, got his start performing around the Jersey Shore. He currently lives on the famous coast and dedicates himself to music. The artist has toured extensively with Zach Deputy, The Hope Social Club, Michael Allman, American Trappist, and Marshall Crenshaw, as well as headlined his own events all over the country. Ryan just finished recording a new album, with Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls at the helm and will be releasing it this fall along with a subsequent tour. This music is powerful, and Ryan won’t stop until he plants roots everywhere.
Listen to "Ain’t Nothin’ Special" here.
Hello Ryan, welcome to Buzz Music and thank you for being here! "Ain’t Nothin’ Special" is a fun tune and we love it. How did you come up with the story that this song is based on?
To be honest it's an older song I wrote that I just got around to recording. I always liked the bluesy raw feel to it. The subject matter is rather subjective to a younger version of myself when I lived more of a reckless lifestyle and I think that comes through in the song to say the least. Kinda semi-autobiographical, I guess.
Your writing is very descriptive! Throughout the entire song, I felt as though I was within the world of this song. How long have you been songwriting, to have become this good?
A long time and thank you for the compliment. I love writing songs. I have a treasure trove of songs I want to record and I'm always writing new ones. It's just not a quick process for me and that's not intentional. I wish I could just hammer out three or four songs a day but my process seems to go at a lot slower rate. Ideas get revised, songs get structured, lyrics changed and moved around. I really don't have any rhyme or reason to it but it is a long process for them to come to life and suppose that's not a bad thing.
You got your start on the famous coast of The Jersey Shore. What is the music scene like out there?
The music scene on the Jersey Shore is extremely interesting and unique, to say the least. Along the coast, there is a heavy punk rock and indie rock scene going on with Asbury Park being ground zero for it all. That seems to be the cultural epicenter at the shore right now, but other spots are starting to come to light more and more. Atlantic City is starting to be more open to original acts with places like The Anchor Rock Club opening. I'm hoping the culture comes back in AC stays on an uphill swing. I live on Long Beach Island and places like Bird and Betty's are bringing in big-name original acts. It's very seasonal here. In the summer it's as busy as a street in Manhattan and in the winter you might as be in Alaska. With that being said a lot of the businesses cater to the tourist crowds and offer a lot of cover bands and acts which I myself also get involved with. Its great pay and also a good place to try new material on attentive ears. I always slip an original song or two into my cover gigs.
You’ve toured successfully with other bands as well as hosted your own shows around the country. What are your future plans, to grow your musical career?
I just want to keep going. I've been a worker bee my whole life so that's the only way I know how to keep crunching. I played over 200 gigs in 2019 and I don't plan on slowing down anytime soon. I usually stick around at home from late spring to early fall and make money playing at the beach then taking my show on the road in the off months with some money squirreled away. I basically took the old business model of my old bartending career and adapted that to my music career. It seems to be working so I'll just keep plugging away.
What can fans anticipate next from you, Ryan?
Well I just got done a winter tour and I have some regional shows at the end of the winter then hitting the road again in March and I'll be out there pretty much till mid-May when I get home and do the whole process again. I don't plan on doing any more recording until later this year. I might possibly do a single or two but nothing long scale. I'm focussing on my live show right now with my solo gigs and full band shows as well. I started a project with my friend James Sattler called "The Fiddler and the Rye" It's a guitar and fiddle duo. Kinda like a psychedelic punk rock bluegrass thing. I would like to work on that some more so keep your eyes peeled.