Pictured:  Cave Creek musician Ryan Sims.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Sims/Hive Records
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Local musician Ryan Sims releases new EP, music video, announces performance at Great American BBQ Fest


Tara Alatorre

CAVE CREEK – Ryan Sims sits casually at Local Jonny’s, one of his favorite spots in town, sipping on coffee in a chair when I walk in to meet him; relaxed in a corner of the restaurant he is ambiguous.  But Sims' low-key profile is humble, for an acclaimed Americana musician that has been touring the country while promoting his new EP, “My Side of the Story."

Sims' latest collection of songs has made him very busy, keeping him away from his cherished hometown. Just days before we meet, Sims had been mixing it up with country music producers, agents and celebrities at the Nashville Country Radio Seminar and Convention. He was promoting his newly dropped single "Black and Blue," and its music video that he released in November with Hive Records.
“I think this most recent record is my best work to date,” Sims said.
His video for the single “Black and Blue” premiered on the country entertainment website The Boot, which is being received well.
“The Boot has been wonderful for me,” Sims said.
“I will be touring with High School Nation performing in front of 75,000 students in the month of March all over the Southwest, and The Boot is allowing me to do a social media takeover, and they are going to let me run their Snapchat.”
Sims also recently announced that he will be a main performer at Chandler’s Great American Barbeque and Beer Festival on March 24, which is one of Arizona’s biggest festivals of the year.
Sims is not new to touring or headlining; he has been playing music since he was 17-years-old at various open mic nights and coffee shops in the Town of Cave Creek, and when he was 19-years old he started performing professionally. 
“I am a singer/songwriter first and foremost," he said. "I like to write about everyday experiences, but I want the lyrics to be clever and accessible.”
Sims has years of experience not only as a musician, but as a singer and songwriter too, he co-founded the band EastonAshe in 2006, and has released four solo artist albums.
His acclaimed band, EastonAshe, toured nationally becoming a local favorite, and gained a popular following. They won the L.A. Music Awards Independent Rock Album of the year, after selling over 10,000 copies with no label affiliation.
Then, in 2009 Sims was awarded singer/songwriter of the year at the Phoenix Music Awards for his lyrical work on the band's albums. In 2011 the band broke up amicably, and Sims was invited to become a contestant on the FOX Network talent show the “X-Factor.”
His time on the "X-Factor" gave him a huge fan following as a solo artist. Now he is full steam ahead with his newest EP "My Side of the Story," and is on the cusp of booking a European tour that would include 20 cities in a month.  As well as performing at Chandler’s Great American Barbeque and Beer Festival on March 24, which is one of the Valley’s largest and most anticipated events of the year, with four stages that draws in over 100 exhibitors nationwide. 
Sims will perform at the festival right before the country music headliner, Russell Dickerson, whose single “Yours” went platinum and soared to the top of country Billboard charts this year.
Although Sims loves traveling the world as a musician and experiencing success with his EP “My Side of the Story,” deep down he is still a Creeker at heart and does grow homesick while touring.
“I have seen most of the world that I wanted to see, and Cave Creek was without a doubt my favorite,” he says.  “This is my forever and ever home.”
He recounts his first-ever gig, fondly remembering that it was in the same building where we are sitting in today, which seems like a lifetime ago to Sims now.
“I love Cave Creek, this town has given me the ability to do this,” Sims says.  “It is not just my home, it is my heart.”
If you would like to see Ryan Sims perform he runs an open mic night when he is in town at Larry Cocktails every Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. 
For more information about where to purchase music or upcoming tour dates for the Ryan Sims Band visit ryansimsmusic.com. To purchase tickets to the Great American Barbeque Festival or more information visit, chandlerbbq.com.