Meet Ryan Weber, a bassist who started bass at the young age of 11 – over half his life ago – playing in a successful band with his brother, guitarist Sam Weber. Ryan’s response to the “superhero” question is awesome, as is his story. So he was an easy choice for this week’s No Treble reader in the spotlight.
Baltimore born Ryan Weber of The Weber Brothers began a life in music at a very young age. Ryan started playing bass at 11 years old and along with younger brother Sam on guitar, their intense passion for 50’s and 60’s music eventually landed them at the doorstep of legendary Rockabilly front man Ronnie Hawkins. Hawkins instilled in them an education and work ethic that few could endure. Ten years, eight albums, and 1000’s of shows later, The Weber Brothers continue to tour and perform constantly, all over Canada, Europe, and the US. They are currently in the mixing stage for their next album release, and plans for a CD release tour are well under way. Splitting time equally between upright and electric bass, Ryan has honed and cultivated a style all his own. “Ronnie(Hawkins) always loved upright bass, so I learned to slap one, my goal is that when I hit that string and slide up the neck you can feel the Earth shake and hear the trees moan.”
Bands & Gigs
I have been a member of The Weber Brothers Band since the minute I got my first bass, I guess even before. We have nine albums out, tour relentlessly, write songs and sing… it is my life. Also for about the past 12 years I have been the bass player in Legendary Rockabilly front man Ronnie Hawkins’ famed band “The Hawks” With Ronnie I have been fortunate to play some of the most amazing gigs you can imagine, and be put in some of the most amazing situations you can imagine. Last October we were invited down to Cleveland to play at the Rock and Roll hall of fame’s tribute to Chuck Berry. To me Chuck is number 1, the best of the best, and there we were on stage with him, and Ronnie, and Merle Haggard, amazing. Also got to meet and play with Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of The Band through Ronnie, so pretty blessed there, to learn from truly the best of the best.
- Hofner Basses
- Gallien Krueger Amps
- Rotosound Strings
- K & K Pickups
Why I play the bass
Well, Sam got a guitar so we wanted to start a band… he was nine I believe. At that point I was just going to be the singer, like Axl Rose… we noticed however that all the bands we liked had bass players in them, we didn’t know why you needed one or what one did exactly, but we knew that all our favorites had them, so we had to find one. Only problem was that in the town we lived we couldn’t find anybody our age that played bass, anywhere. So I thought I may as well do it, so I got a bass, an ARIA Pro 2, ‘The Cat Bass’ it was called. Once I got it and started on it, I really fell right in love with it, bass became my thing, a thing very very dear to me to this very day, and if you ask me, probably the most important part of the band.
My bass superpower/claim to fame
Well she’s got duck tape over the f holes… ha… and I play maybe the fastest slap upright bass I’ve seen or heard, not that speed is everything. I guess that’s a claim to fame, got a tune that we call “the fastest slap bass song there is” it’s called ‘Lay Down In the Bed You Made’
On Bass, hmmmm: Paul McCartney, Willie Dixon, Bill Black, James Jamerson, Flea, Duck Dunn, Lee Rocker, Stevie Wonder, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter, Rick Danko, and anyone else I hear, those are the big ones though I can think of off hand.