The Storm Lake Pilot Tribune featured a story about my new album in their July 08, 2010 Edition.  I have posted the article below.

Path of Greatest Resistance

BV grad was losing hope for a singer/songwriter career, until 1.5 million YouTube visitors came to the rescue

Former Storm Lake resident Ryan Knorr is making a big hit as a singer/songwriter – not only because he’s handy with the guitar, but because he also has a talent for exploiting social media.

Ryan, a 2007 graduate of Buena Vista University, has utilized the internet to get his music to fans all over the world, piling up well over 1.5 million YouTube video views. His own online store is moving copies of his independently-released new CD, ‘The Path of Greatest Resistance.’ Integrated technology allows his web visitors to stream full albums online.

He says that his music is catching on because he uses lyrics that are easy for everyone to relate to.

His following online is beginning to translate into popularity on the road as well. Ryan just returned from a performance in Canada over the Fourth of July holidays – a 1,500-mile drive from his current studio in Des Moines to St. Theresa Point in Manitoba.

At just 25, Knorr is en route to becoming a household name. He uploaded his first performance in 2007 and reached a million views in just 24 months as he seeks to stand out amid the crop of new artists.

“I’m a do-it-yourself artist and it’s challenging, but also rewarding in that I control my own destiny,’ he says. ‘I don’t make music for fame or fortune; I just want to be able to reach out and connect to people with my songs.”

Thousands of new viewers a day seem to agree.

Ryan grew up in a tiny working-class Minnesota town that didn’t have a stoplight. “It didn’t exactly lend itself to big world possibilities,” he says. With little to do, he spent hours practicing the piano and teaching himself to play guitar. He wasn’t ready to follow his musical dreams, however, and opted for college – a safer route.

Knorr said he shed much of his natural shyness when he arrived at Buena Vista, and met his future wife. Hoping to combine his love of performing and a practical need for a career, he worked with a professor to propose a Music Production and Technology curriculum, which the university eventually accepted.

“For an independent musician, being in a music production program not only accelerates your career (because) you can get ahead recording your own music, but it’s a great excuse to continue to write original material,” he says.

Early in his academic career at BVU, Knorr completed his first album, “Emotion,” while on summer break in 2004. He returned to campus determined to spend his late nights experimenting with the equipment, and result was a more polished sophomore offering, a seven-song accoustic album, “Reverie.”

After graduation he followed his fiance to Des Moines. Reality of college debts set in and he began to fear that all of his efforts in music would be for nothing. A series of real-world jobs were brief-lived and unfulfilling. A few days before his wedding, he sat alone in his small apartment strumming his guitar when a series of near-random chords caught his attention; a melody followed and he scribbed down a few phrases… within a few minutes, he had a song that expressed how he felt about his life situation and confusion – “What About Me.”

He decided to play it sitting in front of his computer so he could capture it on the webcam – a reference so he could go back and improve it later. Then he uploaded it to YouTube, expecting nothing. He reflected that YouTube might be a good way to keep in touch with family and friends and show them he was still working on music. But the weight of debt quickly eroded his dreams, and Ryan put his guitar away in a closet. He confided to friends that he didn’t think he would ever play again. Months passed. “There was no drive, no passion – you can only get knocked down so many times before you don’t feel like getting up again,” he recalls.

Then he noticed that his primitive YouTube videos were making an impact. A couple of cover songs he had recorded were nearing 100,000 views, and people were leaving encouraging comments.

He brought his guitar out again and sat down to try to write a song – if only to see if he still knew how. The music flowed, and he began to think about a new album/ By the time he had booked a studio, his videos had reached a million views – a total surprise to him.

He did some of the recording in a home studio he had set up, and teamed with studio musicians at The Sonic Factory in Des Moines to produce songs from the stripped-down emotion of “Meant to Stay” to a rousing rocker “Blue” to a piano and string ballad, “Cold Tonight.”

“For a journey that seems like it has taken forever, it has just begun,” he reflects. Drawing on the Midwestern work ethic he grew up with, he works two full time jobs and then spends nights on his music and recording careers. Ryan says he makes time to read every e-mail, message and YouTube comment that is written.

He doesn’t know that he will ever become wealthy from his performing, but plans to continue to use technology to share his music with the world – he found his fans one computer screen at a time, and realizes he will only go as far as they take him. “I’ll share with everyone who will listen,” he says.

It’s an unconventional path that will always be met with resistance… just the way this high-tech musicians likes it.