Sweet, soulful, country music songs with a Texas twist. That’s the best way to describe the style of rising country music star, Mike Ryan. Approaching #1 on Texas radio charts for country music, the San Antonio native is starting to gain attention from the national country music scene.
Ryan is currently listed as a Pandora and The Boot Artist to Watch For in 2018. His single, ‘Sad Song,’ was featured as a Sirius XM Highway Find and currently has half-a-million Spotify streams. Ryan is also known for co-writing Brad Paisley’s ‘Last Time for Everything.’
Tell us about co-writing ‘Last Time for Everything.’
That was a pretty cool thing to happen. I started writing that song with Chris Dubois, Smith Ahnquist and Brent Anderson. I had to fly out for some shows and they had a meeting with Brad [Paisley]. He liked it and recorded it. Chris called me later and said, “You got your first co-write, your first cut, and they’re thinking about it for a single!” That was probably the best phone call since I’ve gotten into the music business.
Brad Paisley also plays the guitar in your single, ‘The Rewrite.’ What’s the meaning behind that song?
It started out with the best of intentions—as a love song I wanted to write for someone that I cared a lot about. But, while writing it, I found some things out and realized that I didn’t actually love this person, and I didn’t want to be with her anymore. Rather than finishing that love song, I decided to switch a few of the words around and we called it ‘The Rewrite.’ It turns out to be the best way it could have ended up, in my opinion… It was also kind of a bucket list deal to have a guitar player like Brad on the song, somebody who I’ve been looking up to for a long time.
You have another single, ‘Blink You’ll Miss It,’ which is actually the name of your latest album.
That song is kind of my ode to the small town. I just always felt like there’s something that people appreciate a little more that come from those places. Family, local shops, an appreciation for your neighbor. It ended up being one of the first songs that I’d written for the album and it ended up kind of helping shape the rest of the tunes on that record. All the songs that we put on there are about family, friends and relationships.
How does it feel to be an Artist To Watch For in 2018 on both Pandora and the Boot?
You caught me off guard— I hadn’t heard that until just right now! I’m very flattered and honored to be listed. That’s great!
What are your plans for the rest of the year, music-wise?
I think we’ve got one more single at least, probably two off of ‘Blink You’ll Miss It’ and we just recorded a bunch of new songs. I’m writing some new ones. I’m actually in the middle of one I’m pretty excited about.
Any hints about the new song?
It’s kind of early on in the process. It’s from the perspective of a songwriter and this girl leaving him is the reason why all of the songs he’s writing sound the same.
How did you get started in the music business in San Antonio?
I started playing guitar there. After I graduated high school, I taught myself to play guitar. When I moved up to North Texas to go to college I started writing a little bit and did some acoustic shows. I put a band together, put out a record and it just kind of kept it going for a little while. When I graduated from North Texas, I started doing music full time.
Where’s your favorite place to play in Texas?
I would say Billy Bob’s for the history, the accommodation, everything. They’ve been doing it for a while and they’re some of the best in the business for sure. They really make it a nice experience for the artist and the folks who come to the shows are really good fans.
What would you say to people who are considering downloading your music?
For anyone in the world, just give us a chance. Listen to it for a minute and if you don’t like it, that’s fine. I feel like if we are able to give people a listen, then it’s a lot easier for them to make up their mind. Come on out to a show. We play all the time. Odds are, we’ll be in your area before long. Also, if you’ve got a place to hunt ahead of hunting season, give me a call. I like to do that too. Hunting, fishing, playing music, those are the kinds of things I like to do with my life. And golf when I can.
Mike Ryan is currently touring through Texas and parts of Oklahoma. His next show is Friday, June 1, at River Road Icehouse in New Braunfels. This summer’s show lineup also includes stops in Lindale, Lockhart, College Station, San Angelo, Fort Worth, Lubbock, and San Antonio. Buy tickets here.
Cover photo courtesy Mike Ryan