The material below was copied as-is from my previous website when I was more actively writing/recording/playing music. I’ve left it unedited for reference, and might get around to updating it eventually.
Reviews for Home:
“An immediately arresting
collection, Home’s 12 original
acoustic folk songs explore, from an
intimately human perspective, the abundant
hope to be found in Christ. Home’s
simplicity belies the richness of experience
behind its making. The son of Wycliffe Bible
translators, Ring has been soaking up
international experiences of one kind or
another for 30 years.” - Arsenio
Orteza, WORLD Magazine
“Hiram Ring has the gift of the
troubadour. He has literally traveled the
world and carries with him a journeyman’s
grace in his writing and singing. What makes
his sound so unique isn’t his voice or even
his chords, rather there’s a sincerity in
his voice. From his strumming to his
articulation, the listener is almost forced,
or should I say chaperoned, into believing
Hiram’s poetic lyrics.” - Greg
Jones, Ear To The Ground
Reviews for Breathe Deep:
“What makes this album, Breathe Deep, so good is Hiram’s penmanship. He is a great songwriter/wordsmith. Combine that with the airy guitar-based folk of his musical style, it makes for an enjoyable listen… It is poetic, musical, and honest. Hiram has put together an excellent album full of hope…” 4/5 stars! - Robert Boynton, The Phantom Tollbooth full review
“Breathe Deep is built upon Ring’s Acoustic Folk sound and his love of African Rhythms, melding two distinct sounds into one you won’t forget… a songwriter and word smith… Ring writes and sings music about what he knows, believes, feels and sees… artistically mature and intelligent songs… Breathe Deep is an incredible listen.” 5/5 stars! - Wildy Haskell, Wildy’s World full review
“In addition to being an incredibly nice guy, Hiram is an unassuming, yet extremely talented singer/songwriter… On Breathe Deep, Hiram takes us on a journey, one both personal and universal… You know you are listening to someone very well aware of his humanity, and not interested in putting on airs and pretensions.” - Ken Mueller, Inkling Media full review
Hiram was born in Ghana, a country in West Africa near the equator. It’s a country known as the home of rhythm and syncopation that attracts musicians from all over the world to study the drumming styles of its many people groups. Hiram’s parents were involved with one of those people groups, the Buem people, to help them develop an alphabet, literacy programs, and to translate the Bible into the Lelemi language.
“In Ghana, people and relationships are the focus. Ghanaians are generally peaceful, friendly, and exuberant. And this comes out in their music.” His experiences of living in other cultures gives him a rounded outlook on life. “There are positives and negatives of each place I’ve been to. But it means I can see things from outside the box and appreciate the good with the bad.”
As for his music? “I really love rhythms and beats - I get into arguments with my friend Matt all the time, he’s a classical composer and says things have certain time signatures, but I think more in terms of beat patterns. He would say I like the 3/4 or 6/8 time signatures, probably due to my drum lessons in Ghana. But I also grew up learning Simon and Garfunkel songs by ear, figuring out picking styles, and highly influenced by classical melodies. So I guess it’s kind of a folky/rhythmic sound. With a horn section.”
Played on WJTL/Lancaster, WXPN/Philadelphia, and impressing crowds from Norway and Spain to Richmond and Philadelphia, Hiram’s music elicits comparisons to Jack Johnson, Ray LaMontagne, and other singer-songwriters in that vein. His guitar-accompanied singing strikes a chord with listeners. “Song-writing is a learning process, really. I think often our expectation of quality in music is lower than it ought to be - I try to keep the bar pretty high when it comes to creating my own music. It took me six years of writing before I played at open mics. I wasn’t going to settle for something less. I still run stuff by my friends - people who I trust. Hopefully as I continue to write music that will need to happen less and less, but it’s important as a musician, as a person, to have accountability…”
What is Ring Records?
“When I first started playing music locally, I decided to create a small business to help me keep track of my music expenses separately from my personal expenses. I discovered that to register a business there are various fees involved, which in Pennsylvania are waived if your business contains your name. So, ‘Ring Records’ was born… my friend David Altrogge created a sweet logo, and branding has begun.
“Since 2006, I have been recording my own music and working with friends to record theirs. This small business has become a tiny label which records and releases quality music and tries to help artists develop in their skills and understanding of the recording process and the industry - because the more we learn, the more we can refine our art of creating music.”
For more about Hiram, his life and music,
visit the Links page to
find articles about him.
Hiram lives and plays music in the Lancaster-York, PA area but likes to travel.
He and his nine siblings grew up between American and African cultures, and when he picked up the guitar at age 16, these were the songs he began secretly writing. In early 2006, Hiram finally decided to share a couple of his songs with the world, and he started to play at open mics around Lancaster, PA, while working full-time in commercial construction to pay off his college loans. Soon he was working with Tony Guyer, former road manager for Nashville bands such as Sixpence None the Richer, recording songs in Tony’s house.
Following a summer in central Asia doing language survey, Hiram and Tony commenced work on an album, pulling in musicians Cliff Lewis (bass) and John Haughery (drums). Hiram returned to construction full-time and for the rest of the year they recorded whenever their schedules aligned. On March 31, 2007, they released the ‘Go From Here’ EP - four songs different enough that they wouldn’t make it onto the full-length album. The EP was picked up by WJTL/Lancaster. Health concerns pulled Tony away from the project, and in August Hiram started recording songs on his own, around his vocals and guitar.
Hiram spent the month of September in Spain, and when he returned to Lancaster in October, he began working with Matthew Monticchio (jazz pianist, composer) and David Green (bass) to record a Christmas album for 2007 with some other local musicians. The result, ‘Word >>> Flesh’, received local radio airplay on WJTL, was picked up by Borders Bookstore, and sold over 500 copies in 2 weeks. During the same time, WXPN/Philadelphia picked up the Go From Here EP.
Katie Becker, who wrote and recorded a Christmas song for the project, began recording with Hiram. In April 2008 one of her songs and one of Hiram’s songs were selected to be on the Music For Everyone benefit album. Hiram spent the months of April, May, and June in Odda, Norway, visiting his uncle and recording a full-length album for Norwegian singer-songwriter Ove Danielsen.
Returning to Lancaster in July, Hiram continued work on his own album and Katie’s, but also began recording a second Christmas album with Matt, David, and others. In September Katie’s EP ‘Firstborn’ was released, and in November ‘Love >>> Begotten’ hit the shelves of four local Borders stores and was played on WJTL and WXPN. The album sold over 600 physical copies.
Hiram continues to write new music for himself, friends, family, and church, and his first full-length album, “Breathe Deep” was released on February 7, 2009. This album and the other music he has made is available on iTunes and wherever digital music is sold.
He is currently working on ‘Home’, which is planned for release in 2013.
Reviews for the EP, Go From Here:
“Sublime is a good word for Hiram Ring’s music; it has a property of smoothing things out, of improving your mood. Mine can certainly use some improving. How about yours?” - Hank Shiffman, disordered.org
“‘Go From Here’… unleashes a rare talent,
hidden in suburban outskirts of Pennsylvania
(USA). If”Go From Here,” the song, is
anything like the future (full length)
album, then I think Ring will have to get
used to being in very high demand.
Everyone has an “introduction” faze that lets the world know they are here and to listen up; I believe “Go From Here” is it for Ring. Hiram’s sound is laid back-acoustic, with adventurous lyrics. His songs lead you into his world of self questioning, yet scream of one man’s confidence behind the journey of understanding their passion.” - Richie Freeman, PensEyeView.com
“Hiram, a missionary child, was born and raised in Ghana and the musical influences of his travels have influenced his music today. The songs on”Go From Here” are spiritual and uplifting. The CD lends itself to an agreeable unplugged gig perfect for coffee-shop stages and other more intimate settings.” - Ken Wiegman, AlphaOmegaNews.org
Review of ‘Breathe Deep’ by Robert Boynton on The Phantom Tollbooth Album Review
Review of ‘Breathe Deep’ by Wildy Haskell Album Review
Review of ‘Breathe Deep’ by Ken Mueller, Inkling Media Album Review
Review of Hiram’s CD release for ‘Breathe Deep’ by Andrea Cumbo Show Review
Review of ‘Breathe Deep’ by Ken Mueller Album Review
Article on Hiram in the York Daily Record’s FlipSide PA
Article on Hiram at Pen’s Eye View.com
Article on Hiram in Lancaster’s New Era