For R. Scott Bryan, a career in music came into focus early. As a child growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, Mo, Scott heard the Beatles on the radio. And suddenly everything made sense.
“It was a crazy time to be a kid,” recalls Bryan, “trying to make sense of the Kennedy assassination and all the other things that were happening in the world. But then I heard the Beatles sing ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and all those other great tunes that featured simple, direct lyrics and great vocals. It inspired me then… and it still inspires me now.”
Bryan soon found he had a natural gift for music, one that blossomed into a rare ability to sing and play everything from guitar and bass to keyboards and percussion – and do it all exceedingly well. That versatility led to Bryan’s first big break, when superstar Sheryl Crow – a former St. Louis resident – returned from California in search of a versatile musician who could handle the multi-instrumentalist role in her band.
“I knew Sheryl from her time in St. Louis, and she happened to be back in town and came out to see me play with a local band. The next day she asked if I wanted to tour with her in support of her debut recording, Tuesday Night Music Club.”
Bryan spent the next five years with Crow’s Band -- playing keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel guitar, percussion and singing vocals. During that time Crow and her band opened for the Eagles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Steve Winwood – and the group appeared in videos with legends Eric Clapton, Don Henley, James Taylor and Emmylou Harris. Bryan also honed his songwriting skills with Crow, co-authoring the 1996 Top Ten U.K. single “Hard to Make a Stand.”
Bryan moved back to St. Louis in 1999 to ultimately raise his sons after the death of his wife Nancy in February 2000 from cancer – but his commitment and passion for music continues to expand his passion in many directions. In addition to touring regularly around the country with longtime friend Peter Mayer (guitarist with Jimmy Buffett’s band for the past 18 years), Bryan recorded his debut CD as a leader, Somebody's Thinking… and also performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with his own group.
Bryan is currently in the studio recording a new CD of his own compositions, with a creative approach to songwriting based on the music that first inspired him.
“Music is a universal thing, a spiritual connection. I want my music to have that same directness – that same accessibility that first inspired me. As long as I can be true to that goal, I know I’m giving my best to the music.”