- "The Ballad of Cody Byrne: And Other Stories" is a fiction collection containing two short novels, ten short stories, poetry, and lyrics.
- The titular novella tells the story of Cody Byrne, a twenty-four year old aspiring writer who has never been in love. As his own family is torn apart by potential infidelity and a bitter divorce, he meets Amara Reston, a free-spirited college student who lives in the apartment next to him. With Amara at his side, love leads the way to experience as Cody's sheltered scholarly life gives way to the many beautiful and often painful events that mark the passage into adulthood.
- The other stories in the collection range from the gritty realism of "Earthward," a coming of age novella set in Central Oregon, to historical dramas with flashes of sci-fi and fantasy, such as "Isabel," "The Curse Of Sprout," "The God Of The Island," and "Diotima: A Prologue."
- Ryan dedicated the book to the memories of two of his greatest influences, Jim Harrison and Leonard Cohen, both of whom passed in 2016
Here's the lead single for our first studio album. We're hoping to complete the full album by December, so we're raising funds through Patreon. Please consider helping us to make this album a reality by becoming a Patron! https://www.patreon.com/ryangregoryfloyd
The Story: After Ariadne helped Theseus defeat her brother, the Minotaur, she escaped Crete on Theseus's trireme. On the island of Naxos, Theseus abandoned her in the middle of the night. Some say Athena told him to do it, for she knew that Dionysus craved her as his consort, and the sacred lady of the labyrinth deserved nothing less than divinity...
Feeling like the end of something
Nothing's left, we did our best
Couldn't win her gypsy soul
Yet still I find she loves my mind
Mama's got a fire burning hot
Couldn't leave it if she loved or not
So caught, the end of something
Where did I think this would lead me?
Texas pines, she's divine
Still it seems just like that story
Hemingway and Marjorie
Mama's got a fire burning hot
Couldn't leave it if she loved or not
Mama's got a fire burning hot
Couldn't leave it if she loves or not
So caught, the end of something
The end of something.
released June 20, 2017
Ryan Gregory Floyd - Lead Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Will Darvill - Backing Vocals, Violin
Daiki Hirano - Drums
Jake Brigell - Bass
Jake Gold - Piano
Written and Produced by Ryan Gregory Floyd. Co-Produced and Mixed by Adam Keil. Recorded at Music Shed Studios in New Orleans, Louisiana.
© 2017 Ryan Gregory Floyd, Hummingbird Songs & Stories.
So long, Chris. Thanks for the music.
Thank you all.
For listening, for sharing, for caring.
I have been back in New Orleans about a month since completing my first tour of the Southeastern US. It was quite an adventure, and I miss everything about it but the driving (4400 miles, all told ;)
I'd like to express my thanks to the many people who made me feel welcome when I was traveling alone and far from home.
Many thanks to:
Gerard and Moni in MS
Jeremy and Cousin Wendy in GA
Joe, Keyamo, and Megan in WV
Sam, Kyle, and Uncle Dave in DC
Claude, Muram, and David in VA
Zachary, and that awesome couple that let me stay at their beach house in NC
Jillian in SC
And so many more.
And thank God for those national forests that nourished my soul when my body needed rest.
I'll be in New Orleans for the next two months working on my first professionally produced studio album (lead single drops in a month) and what I hope will be my second book. I'm raising funds to help finance these projects through Patreon. If you're interested in becoming a Patron (and getting hand-written letters from me) I encourage you to have a look at the site here.
In August I head to Oregon to play some shows on the west coast, do some camping, and make some money the old-fashioned way (landscaping). My plans for the fall are still developing, but I'll be sure to let you know. The tour really opened my mind to some new possibilities. If you live in VA or NC, look out because I might be relocating your way in the next year.
Alright, that's all for now. Thank you all for being the best part of the journey.
Today is the Spring Equinox, and I thought it fitting to release my newest live album today. It's called "Friday Night At NOMA," and I recorded it live with my band at The New Orleans Museum Of Art on February 3rd. It features 12 tracks, including 5 covers of songs by artists like Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Chris Isaac. It was a really special night for us, and I'm happy we were able to capture it. The album is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and pretty much everywhere else. Have a listen!
Today I'm launching my first Patreon Campaign! For the cost of buying me a cup of coffee once a month, you'll get all the songs and stories I've made and am going to make. At the moment, that means I'll mail you a signed copy of my first book, my compilation CD, as well as copies of my two forthcoming albums (scheduled for 3/20 and 6/20 releases). Plus you'll have exclusive access to my Patreon feed and my entire back catalog of music for download or streaming! Head on over to https://www.patreon.com/ryangregoryfloyd for more info on becoming a patron! Thank you!
I am thrilled to announce some initial dates for my 2017 Southeastern US Tour! I'm adding more dates each day, but here's an outline of where I will be over the next few months. Hope to see you on the road again!
I went to a place where I could howl at the stars and they would not take me away in a straitjacket. I wanted to speak to the gods again. I'd lost the sound of their voices. By gods I don't mean Zeus and Apollo. I don't know what I mean by it, exactly. I like the idea of small gods, of every little rock and tree, of every bird, ant, and fly. I wanted to return to the tiny worlds I remembered losing myself in as a child. I came to this place in the desert mountains because I wanted to heal something that felt broken in me, though I could not say what it was.
I'm a thirty-two year old male, light-skinned though I tan easily. I grew up in this place, in a mountain town before moving to New Orleans when I was seventeen with my mother and sister. New Orleans, that place that has mostly been my home these last ten years of my life as a grown man, or nearly grown, as we shall see.
My thoughts begin to slow. I begin to edit, to read over what I have written and to grow irritated with myself. I am a white man, after all, and who wants to read my story? Is this even a story? My kind have had their day and it's time for new voices to be heard. Am I to be silent then, when silence means death? To flow is all, to let these words fall where they may. I have been silent most of my life, and I have suffered for it. I prefer to ride these currents of consciousness wherever they will take me. There is no destination, just a journey.
I wake most days feeling like death itself. My mind roves over years of my life, fixating on the girl I most recently loved and the band we created. They've all moved on without me and I accept it.
I am losing the thread of the story, though where does all this begin, anyway? Fifteen years ago I sat on the side of a desert mountain for three nights, alone and without food. I decided I was going to become the man I have become. My name is Cody Byrne. And this is my confession, and I hope, my salvation.
The story I would like to tell begins nine years ago in a grand old house on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. It begins in a bedroom of this house where I am sitting staring at the words I have written in my notebook: will I ever have a girlfriend? I was twenty-four years old and I'd never had more than a few short affairs or unrequited love interests. I'd had sex, but the closest I'd come to a relationship was the love I'd felt for the daughter of my Dad's girlfriend when I was only twelve years old. So, kind of like my stepsister. I don't even know if you can call it love at such a young age.
So I'm sitting there in this bedroom and I'd like to write a story, but all I've written are these words: will I ever have a girlfriend? The grand old house belonged to Dolly Mayer, the grandmother of my stepfather, Mo. She lived to be 103 years old, a real New Orleans aristocrat, dining regularly in places like Galatoire's and Antoine's, a notable philanthropist as well. Her father had been a wealthy landowner in northeast Louisiana, and Dolly moved to New Orleans when she was only twelve years old. I can still remember her eyes as we sat out by the pool in her backyard when I was only seventeen and recently arrived. There was a light in her eyes and it shone on me. I felt like she approved of me. She passed away in a nursing home in northeast Louisiana about eighteen months after Katrina, and her grandson Mo moved in to her old house with his wife, Elaine, my mother. I'd come to help them move to Memphis but there had been a change of plans. One morning in November my mother woke from a nap and told me, "I have to divorce Mo." I was stunned. That night she disappeared and Mo and I went looking for her. I found her at Madigan's sitting alone in the back courtyard. She was irritated with us for not respecting her privacy. We sat and talked together awhile, and she drove me back to Dolly's house where we sat in the car arguing about it all.
"I don't understand why you want to do this. We finally have a family here."
"I have not been happy with Mo for a very long time."
"But Mom, you've done this to me too many times. Please."
"I'm not doing this to hurt you, Cody. I can't sacrifice my needs as a woman to stay with Mo."
"Are you having an affair?"
"No, I'm not having an affair. And what if I was? Would you just hate me and never love me again?"
"I just don't understand it. You never said anything about being unhappy."
"I didn't want to worry you, Cody."
"But that makes it even worse. You don't say anything at all and then it just blows up and you're gone. It happened with Dad, it happened with Olsen, and now with Mo."
"I want to share a quote with you: 'Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause; He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.'"
I was surprised to hear her quote these words of Sir Richard Francis Burton, the Victorian era explorer who had been one of my childhood heroes. I recited the rest of it.
"'All other life is living Death, a world where none but Phantoms dwell, A breath, a wind, a sound, a voice, a tinkling of the camel-bell.'"
I was surprised in that moment by what felt like having my own words thrown back at me. There is something in these words that I fail to understand, something about the appearance of them in this conversation that makes me pause. I feel the living death of silence, or since silence is rare, of whatever ambient sounds happen to surround me. Right now that sound is of the wind sighing in the trees around me on a remote mountain side in Oregon.
As summer fades away here in Central Oregon my thoughts return to New Orleans, where I'll be returning on October 1st. I've been here in Oregon for the last four and a half months, by far the longest stretch I've spent outside of New Orleans since 2010. I felt like I needed that time away, to clarify my relationship to the city I've called home for fifteen years now.
Most nights here I've slept out under the stars, to the sound of owls and the joyous yipping of the coyotes (what sweet music they make!). Like Dracula sleeping in his Transylvanian soil, I felt some deep and old connection to this environment where I lived from the ages of 7-17. Like Neil Young said, "all my changes were there." Well, not all of them, but a lot of important ones.
Most days here I'd wake in the mornings and write, work a landscaping job in the afternoons, and play music in the evenings. It has been a simple, restorative period for me, but one also laced with a sense of exile. I started seeing a therapist, and tried to dig deep into all the things I've been struggling with for most of my life. At last, I decided that if I didn't want to feel like I was giving up, the only solution was to just not give up, to do whatever doesn't feel like giving up.
And so I'm "walking to New Orleans" once again. There are changes on the horizon. I'd hoped to finish a novel by now, but I only made it to 20,000 words, or halfway for a short novel. Nonetheless, I've resolved to move forward with publishing something, most likely a collection of the short stories and longer works I've written over the years. I have to accept that you've got to start somewhere, with all things. I'll do my best to post updates here of the changes ahead. If you'd like to follow the journey, feel free to subscribe below.