The Short Version
Same Same but Different is an acoustic duo made up of Ryan Casselman and Chris Sue, two friends from Toronto. They play songs that you probably know; their setlist is diverse and covers a wide range of genres and eras. They are serious about having fun, and place professionalism and musicianship on the same level as entertainment and good times.
Ryan Casselman and Chris Sue met through some mutual friends in the early 2000’s, while both were attending school in Toronto (Humber College and York University, respectively). It wasn’t long before the two were making music together; Chris was the singer in the band Avenue Road, and Ryan joined to play tenor saxophone and some guitar. As so often happens, Avenue Road eventually stopped being a band as different members stepped away to pursue various career, family, and musical opportunities.
Fast forward a few years, and Ryan had continued playing music in Toronto, both solo and in various bands, while Chris had gone travelling in South Asia with his young family. If asked, they would likely have considered each other friends, but it’s fair to say that they had lost touch.
Then, in early 2015, the two ran into each other by chance at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill. Ryan was working in the guitar department and Chris was looking for a ukulele case, so they crossed paths. By some miracle, they actually followed through with their plans to meet over coffee and catch up, and this was when they realized how close they lived to one another and, more importantly, that they were both looking for a new musical project. Same Same but Different took shape shortly after that, and they’ve been playing regularly ever since.
While Chris was travelling in Thailand, he noticed a phrase that was popular among street vendors.
Chris: This watch looks really nice, is it a real Rolex?
Vendor: Oh yeah, same same, but different!
They play songs you likely know, but since they’re two guys with guitar, ukulele, and percussion, they don’t always play them the way they were recorded. Same same, but different!