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Born: San Antonio
Age: 28
Single: “New Hometown”
Twitter: @MikeRyanBand
Playing more than 150 shows a year, San Antonio native Mike Ryan has developed a passionate fan base in the Lone Star State and beyond by headlining revered venues like Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth and Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. His 2014 album, Bad Reputation, yielded three No. 1 singles on the Texas Music chart and helped him cop the 2015 New Male Vocalist of the Year at the Texas Regional Radio Awards. Last week, Mike released the first single, “New Hometown,” from his upcoming third studio album, which he hopes to drop in the early 2017.
Family Band-ing
“Music was always a big part of my family. My parents were in church choir every Sunday, so I got plenty of experience singing. I was in choirs in middle school and high school. My grandfather was a band director and he put the first instruments in my hands and taught me a few things. He really lit the fire in me and showed me the way music can affect people—it can put a smile on your face. You can speak to people through music. My father was in a lot of off-Broadway musicals, so I remember watching my dad onstage when I was little and it was inspiring. Music has always been in my blood.”
Crocodile Rockin’
“I was a child of the 1990s so that era of country music really resonated with me. Every night before going to sleep, I was listening to county radio. I liked rock, too, but I was able to identify more with country music. When I started writing and playing, country music was the natural fit. I feel most comfortable in that genre. But I still love classic rock. In fact, I saw Elton John perform in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing. The best concert I’ve ever been to. He’s almost 70 and has more energy than any show you’ve seen. It was inspiring.”
Open Mic
“I went to college at the University of North Texas [Benton, Texas] and had just started playing guitar and went around town playing open mics. Within 30 miles of where I lived, there were literally hundreds of open mics. I just went out and started playing. After a couple years of acoustics shows I put a band together and hit the road. I decided in college that I wasn’t better at anything than music—and nothing was more fun that music. I finished up school in 2009 and hit the road and have been doing music full-time since. It’s been a good ride so far—we’ve already had three No. 1s on the Texas Music chart and I’m working on my third studio album now.”
Big Gigs
“We’ve played several headlining shows at Billy Bob’s, so that’s always a bucket-list item and Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa was another one—it was so cool to play on Bob Wills’ home turf. We’ve definitely seen the crowds at my shows growing over the last few years, but I try to put on the best show possible, whether it’s for 10 people or 10,000. I think I heard it from Jack Ingram first, ‘10 or 10,000, give them hell.’ That’s what we try to do. Find someone to connect with, that’s what it’s all about.”
Album Outlook
“We’ve got five or six songs recorded already for the new album, and we’ll probably have about five or six more that we’ll cut and record for the rest of the album. We’re looking at releasing the full-length album in early 2017. I’m hoping the new album is the next step in an upward trajectory.”
New Hometown
“We just put the new single, ‘New Hometown,’ out last week and it’s had a great response online. We’ve been playing the song live for several months now, and it’s the same story there. It’s really cool to put it in people’s hands and get their reactions. I wrote it with Chris DuBois and Brent Anderson, and it just kind of tells the story of a guy who’s trying to figure out how to get by after a breakup and how those small towns feel even smaller after a breakup. I think it’s a song that most folks can probably relate to in some way.”
Check out the lyric video for “New Hometown.”

main photo by John Shearer

Source: Country Weekly

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