Ryan started out in music at the age of 9, playing guitar, not impeded by the fact that his dad, the late Pete Mitchell-Smith, was a well known blues harmonica player and frontman of Pete Mitchell-Smith`s Blues Crew.
Ryan`s first major public performance, apart from having a tantrum in a spiderman mask near the fruit and veg in Morrisons, was to play "Johnny Be Goode" at a Barnsley pub with his dads band, at the tender age of 12.
Ryan went on to get his B.Tech Diploma in Music Technology at Wakefield College. He started guesting with Dr Blue while studying at Derby University.
His performance piece for his degree was a regular in the Dr Blue set- Peter Greene`s "Stop Messin`". If you can picture the scene...a hall filled with over 1000 students...a long afternoon of performers playing downbeat set pieces from classical to folk. Yawns in the crowd. Enter Ryan, stage left. . On drums, Dan the Man, hard hitting superstar. On bass, the superb Paul Baxter. And, on guitar, the secret weapon - Dr Rod.
Suffice it to say, at the end of the song the entire audience stood up and nearly brought the hall roof down...and ultimately Ryan gained his First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music. Of course, there was a lot of form filling in as well...
After Derby he gained his PGCE music teaching qualification at Leeds.
His full story is on his website: Ryan Mitchell-Smith.com
His stunning harmonica style while influenced by his dad, also draws on a host of other influences- Paul Butterfield, Stevie Wonder, William Clarke, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sting, John Mayer, Little Walter, The Dave Mathews Band, Blues Traveller et al.
He lists his hobbies as XXXXXCensored. The body part he would most happily dispense with? "My knees". Favourite website? "nicecupofteaandabiscuit.com" Must have piece of kit: "Kettle"
Shure Unidyne III S545 Mic (as used by Paul Butterfield)
Hohner Special 20 harps
Line 6 POD & foot pedal... custom programmed by Ryan so don`t bother asking what his settings are!!
Triple Tongue, Lungs and Sweat Glands
Other Kit: Fender USA strat, Gibson Chet Atkins Guitar, Fender Twin Amp, Martin Acoustic, Takamine Acoustic, 12 string acoustic, Vester jazz bass etc..
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