PORTLAND – Though he has never competed in a Reindeer Records Rock-Off, 17-year-old Ryan Woodbury of Gray is a local singer/songwriter with a bright future as a performing artist. Later this month, he will host Reindeer Records’ 25th Annual Rock-Off at McAuley Performing Arts Center, where 19 high-school rock bands will compete for the title Best High School Rock Band in Maine.

Woodbury picked up his first guitar at age of 14 and hasn’t stopped playing since. In 2007, he gave his first public performance at a local talent show. Since then, he has developed a fan base as he continues to cultivate his original material and advance his recording goals.

A senior at Gray-New Gloucester High School, Woodbury’s style reflects influences by John Mayer, Eric Clapton, B.B. King and James Taylor. Besides being a frequent performer at local open-mic shows, he can be heard every Saturday at Mount Abram Ski Resort.

Born into a musical family, Woodbury had opportunities to perform all of his life, but never picked up the guitar until his mom started playing in 2005. Some of his songs have a serious side while others are humorous and catchy. He is hoping to release his first CD this summer but admits, “It’s something that can’t be rushed.”

Woodbury said he can’t imagine doing anything else with his life besides writing and sharing his music. “I write from the heart and it just seems to flow,” he said.

The Rock-Off 25 Showcases are slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15 and 22. The all-ages shows are open to the public. General admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. For more information, contact Reindeer Records at 857-9002 or visit mainetoday.com/rockoff.


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