RyLee Madison
 | RyLee Madison


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Where Does The Time Go may be RyLee Madison's fourth album, but on many levels it feels and sounds like her first, unveiling an artist and songwriter who has undergone a dramatic personal transformation since her last release in 2006. It's accurate to say Where Does The Time Go has been over five years in the making, an album that would never have come to be if it were not for the journey she has been on since 2005. The process began with an unmaking: the breakup of a long-term relationship resulting in RyLee stepping down from the role of a full time stepmom, almost driving her to the point of an emotional break down. She credits her guitar, her ability to write songs and the friendship of the man who would become her Tennessee husband, Clay Krasner, for getting her through. "I was broken and lost; so much of my identity revolved around being a mom for over ten years." On top of that she moved 1,800 miles away from family & friends, has continued to help a friend with his battle with terminal brain cancer and, most recently, experienced the loss of one of her best friends with the passing of her grandmother, Leah. The result is a collection of material that required countless hours of production with detailed attention given to the sensitive nature of her songs. And so, the decision was made to co-produce the new album with her husband Clay (a Nashville session player and touring musician of 14 years) along with a collection of great musicians, many who are personal friends. Though it was a scary decision to make, she feels it has been the best decision for this album. "I didn't write just for the sake of writing. I wrote to tell a story that people could connect with. And I've spent countless hours writing and rewriting the lyrics and moving around melodies until it said just what I needed it to say. I ended up rewriting the title track, "Where Does The Time Go", four times with the last lyric edit only days before mastering. My grandmother had passed away and I wanted to pay tribute to her by underlining how life is fleeting. I couldn't have done that if I had recorded the way I had in the past." Though RyLee has been making her name in Canada and Europe as a country music artist with ten singles to date, including "Family", "Simple Life", "Me & Cinderella" & "Be Yourself", more importantly she's been honing her skills as a songwriter for over fifteen years. Since debuting with the life of rylee in 2002, she has proven she can find songs hidden everywhere. Phone conversations, childhood memories, breakups and the everyday life of those surrounding her have all been subjects of her heartfelt, honest and deeply moving songs. But the last five years has brought a noted change to her as a songwriter and performer. "I have to say this is the RyLee I've been waiting to hear. 'December Leave Me Alone' is fab. You are singing like a star and the song is great. If the rest of the recordings and songs are like this I smell success." - Ken Tobias Life experience is evident in her music. The songs on Where Does The Time Go represent RyLee's own life story written from the heart with hopes to inspire those who listen, such as the encouragement to forgive in "The Beauty of Forgiveness" or to believe in oneself in "Be Yourself." The song "December Leave Me Alone" marks the end of a relationship while "Feels Like Something" celebrates new beginnings, and "Plenty of Angels" and "I Wish" look to a power much greater than us. There is also a little fun thrown in with songs like the tongue-in-cheek "Run" and the playful "It Can't Be That Bad." "RyLee Madison already made her mark as a clever and compelling songwriter on her previous albums. With her latest Where Does The Time Go CD, RyLee evolves as one convincing storyteller, giving us an insight at times into her captivating personality."- Paul Kennedy Ironically, the new album would never have come to be if it were not for the coaxing and encouragement from her husband. Clay had spent a few years in Nashville working with ace guitarist and hit songwriter Lee Roy Parnell, which trained his ear to recognize a great song when he heard one. He would review RyLee's new songs as she wrote them, silently making notes of those he thought were exceptional and true to her, waiting until late 2008 when he started suggesting she should consider making a new album. "There were songs pouring out of her that needed a platform to be heard. We all want to be heard and I think RyLee has a strong and unique voice that definitely has something to say on this new project. And it's worth listening to." - Clay Krasner However, making the new album was not without its share of battles. Track ten, "December Leave Me Alone", is one song on the new album that RyLee did not want to record. That song is RyLee's own personal story about the heartache she endured during her first December away from the three children she had raised. But convinced the song was a track that needed to be included on the album, Clay went ahead and recorded the bed tracks for it during one of RyLee's trips home to Nova Scotia. Upon her return to Nashville Clay announced, "You're going into the studio next week to sing." RyLee was not impressed. The emotional tug-of-war was strong enough that by the time the entire album was complete, RyLee had fired Clay four times over that one track! But he was right to include "December Leave Me Alone" as it has quickly become one of the favorites on the album rich with emotion and a powerful delivery. The album features the work of stellar Nashville musicians such as guitarist Shayne Hill (Sawyer Brown), guitarist Scott Bernard (Kenny Loggins), drummer Steve Brewster (Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley), keyboardist Charlie Judge (Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood) and bassist Krasner to name a few. Though the recording process was an unconventional one that involved toting a hard drive and charts from studio to studio capturing much of the album in a series of layers, it is certainly far from a compromised sound. Steve Brewster is quoted as saying "she's doing it all for the right reasons" and that it was both "an honor and a pleasure to be involved". Some tracks were also "flown in" via the internet, including acoustic guitar and background vocals by Dave Gunning from his studio in Nova Scotia, and piano by Troy MacGillivray, recorded in a hotel room in Boston. Since Dave and Troy are both from RyLee's home province of Nova Scotia, she felt it was important to include two of Nova Scotia's finest on the Celtic-flavored track "Salt in the Air" (a tribute to Nova Scotia). The fruit of all Madison's labor can be seen in the awards she's received and the stages on which she has played, including the 2013 ECMA Country Recording of the Year, five Music Nova Scotia Awards (NS, Canada), five East Coast Music Award nominations (Atlantic Canada) and two Just Plain Folks Award nominations (Los Angeles, California). RyLee's apparel, awards and childhood instruments were on display from 2005 to 2007 in the Hank Snow Country Music Hall of Fame, NS, Canada; she was the face of country music station FX101.9 on billboards throughout Halifax, NS from 2003 to 2005 and she was rated the seventh most played female artist on Canadian country radio in 2003. A special Music Nova Scotia Humanitarian Helping Hands Award was given to her upon her return from disaster relief assistance with the Canadian Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. RyLee has traveled to Europe, performing at Festival Country Rendez-Vous in France, Whelan's Pub in Dublin, Ireland, Half Moon in Cork, Ireland, and Róisín Dubh Pub in Galway, Ireland. She has performed at the famed Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, the CCMA Songwriters Café and Gospel Show, Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Contact East, the Jubilee, the Music Nova Scotia Awards show and the "Tribute to Sylvia Tyson" during Country Music Week. She has shared the stage with 2004 "Nashville Star" runner-up George Canyon, Ken Tobias, Chely Wright, the Good Brothers, Dave Gunning, Steve Fox and more. Perhaps the greatest compliment of all is that RyLee's songs continue to be recorded by artists such as Diane Chase, Samara Yung & John Landry, Charlie A'Court and most recently by Cape Breton's Aeslin Debson. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, her music may have carried her to Nashville, but her hometown of Halifax plays an important role. RyLee says, "Nashville is my second home. I've created family here with my husband and friends but my first home will always be Nova Scotia." Much like the line out of "Salt In The Air": I may have moved away, taken my things, but you can't take the salt from the blood that runs deep. Deep in the culture of beautiful sounds, Nova Scotia, Canada's ocean playground, home. RyLee will always be a Nova Scotia songwriter who makes the journey to her homeland several times a year, making time to create new memories with family and friends all the while collecting material for songs that will be added to her catalogue some day. It is the pace at which the past five years have gone by that gives Where Does The Time Go its greatest meaning. "It's been five years since my last record, I've been married for three years already, the kids have grown, my Nan passed. Where does the time go?" Capturing that idea, RyLee's song of memories in "Where Does The Time Go" conjures images from her life, remembering them like they were yesterday. While for many time can bring about change, in five years it is evident that a substantial amount of growth has happened in RyLee, both personally and professionally. The result is an album that has captured her journey beautifully.

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