Ryan Salimans love for music started as a child in Colorado, where he played the snare drum and piano, before teaching himself guitar around age 11. He wrote songs, landed lead singing roles in plays throughout middle and high school and began playing in a band. At CU Boulder he shifted his focus from theater to music and continued to perform with his band. After graduating and recording in Denver, Saliman moved to New York City as a solo artist. He created a music series, "Folk Off," and founded the first iteration of The Band of Strangers, a transient group of musicians that performed at NYC venues including Rockwood Music Hall and Banjo Jims. After 9 years of dreary winters and bartending, Saliman packed his bags and headed to Los Angeles. He currently plays throughout the city as a soloist and with The Band of Strangers, which he revived in 2011. Saliman is the groups primary songwriter and on 5/31/13 released their EP, When the Light Gets In, a six-song gem full of brutal and honest lyrics lain over blazing guitar riffs and bellowing bass.
Lianne Ward grew up in Massachusetts and began playing piano at age six. She sang and wrote songs throughout her childhood and eventually found herself attending the Berklee College of Music. She took her talents to LA after graduating and has been performing and recording there for four years. After hearing her sing, Ryan Saliman invited her to collaborate with him in 2011, and she became one of the original members of The Band of Strangers. The sole woman in the group, Ward holds her own with dreamy vocals and solid instrumentals.
Born in the Philippines and raised in Pennsylvania, Johnny Abella has been making music his entire life. He began playing classical piano at age seven, but - after discovering Jimi Hendrix as a teenager - traded in his keys for guitar strings. Taken by the thrill of live performance, he began playing at blues bars while studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, and eventually co-founding and playing for a burlesque troupe. Abella currently plays with Honey Pie Jones, The Chromium Heart, and with his sister, singer Mary Beth Abella. He joined The Band of Strangers after meeting Ryan and Lianne at a burlesque show and quickly fell into place.
New York-born guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist Matt DelVecchio has taken his music around the world and back again. After studying music at the University of Miami with greats like Matt Bonelli (bassist for The Bee Gees), he made his way to LA, where he worked in a recording studio before deciding to devote all of his time to making music. He has performed with artists like Katy Perry, Tristan Prettyman, Sara Barellies, Matt Hires, Cary Brothers, Jay Nash, and Meiko, and at venues and festivals including Red Rocks (CO), The Wiltern (CA), Life is good festival (MA), Austin City Limits, and Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), as well as at festivals in England and Portugal. DelVecchio was introduced to The Band of Strangers by drummer Chris Lovejoy in 2012, and has been playing bass with them ever since.
Born in New York City and raised in Texas, Chris Lovejoy started playing the drums in junior high school and went on to study the tympani, snare drum, mallets, drum set, and congas. After graduating from the University of North Texas, he moved to New York City, where he studied and worked with greats including Mino Cinelu, Bashiri Johnson, New Kingdom, Family Of God, and Charlie Hunter. Lovejoy is often touring, performing, and recording with various LA-based artists, such as AM, Paper Sun, Tristan Prettyman, and Chris Pierce, and he has appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live and MTV's Advance Warning. A friend recommended Lovejoy for The Band of Strangers in 2011, and hes still keeping the rhythmic core.