Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: His Most Stable Relationship Partner: Beer

By Ed Malin

Ryan Adam Wells is on tour to share stories and artfully twangy songs about his first love and most stable relationship partner. The show is called Beers About Songs, and you should catch it now in the 12th annual Frigid Festival.
Beer is certainly something you can enjoy by yourself. With good friends, you may enjoy it even more. What happens when those around you have different taste in beer? I smiled when Ryan related how one girlfriend kept their fridge stocked with bottles of Rolling Rock, because “why have more than one kind?”  Ryan, like many others among us, simply smiles and says “it was not my favorite”.
photo by William T. Hardin Photography
Ryan has been telling us about himself. His large, Catholic family has known some ups and downs, yet he has an optimistic personality and describes himself as a “happy drunk”.   He enjoys talking about Storm, his favorite female character from the X-Men.  Perhaps at 6’4” he is quite simply too tall.  His long hair shows a natural sense of being at ease.
Well, during college he meets a lovely woman named Alicia, who shares many of his interests and loves him. Naturally, she wants to spend all of her time with him. He sings the song “If 5 is Company” to show what he was feeling about this relationship. Cheerily, he tells us that one year into the romance he was merely a 21 year-old idiot.  Soon enough, a new love emerges between a 21 year-old idiot and a 22 year-old idiot. Life is uncertain. Beer does not come and go. Beer stays with you. The taste of Shiner Bock is the taste of peace.
If you are out of college, perhaps you look back and think, what strange people. We hear tales of being a theater major.  We are given to understand that tarot cards are nice of course, but if you’re going to spend all that time playing cards you could choose poker instead and at least make some money.
The story winds through Austin, Texas and Bloomington, Indiana, nice places where people have an easy time being good to themselves. Of course, alcohol isn't for everyone. Ryan's father proudly earned his forty years sober chip. Some relationships are abusive, and we live in an age where we must talk about them. Ryan gently suggests we treat the problem, not the symptoms.
This is a lovely show which is getting a lot of buzz in the festival. Most importantly, it features a slew of well-written songs. Check them out at the show and buy a CD and a beer cozy to support the artist.