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  • Writer's pictureNiko Schauble

John Ryrie - The man behind the Pughouse logo

The first time I met woodcut artist John Ryrie was sometime in 1990. I was playing regular gigs with my 10 piece ensemble 'Tibetan Dixie' in various venues in Melbourne. Our repertoire included a song called 'Henry', about a chook by the same name that lived (and died) in my wife's, Kate, garden.

At one of the concerts John introduced himself to me and handed me a wonderful print inspired by the above song, which very quickly became the band's emblem and featured on the cover of our first CD 'Nothing Too Serious', released in 1992 as well as our tour poster. The CD included several tracks by the Berlin version of Tibetan Dixie, recorded just a few months before I emigrated to Australia in 1989. Here is 'Henry':

It felt natural to include John's iconic artwork in the band's second release 'Ya-it-ma Thang', recorded in 1992 featuring the great Arthur Blythe.

When I opened Pughouse Studios in 2012 I was looking for an image that would represent our business and asked John to create a logo. I was sure he would come up with something brilliant and of course he did:

Following the death of bassist Charlie Haden in 2015 I had the idea to produce a tribute album consisting entirely of bass solos. What started as a small idea became a large project with 50 bass solos from bassists from Australia, Europe and the U.S.

John created this brilliant woodcut for the project. The album is available Bandcamp.

You can see John's prolific creative output on his Instagram feed. Several of his works are in a collection by the National Gallery of Victoria.

John is also a talented guitarist! You can see him playing on his Facebook profile.

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