San Antonio-born Mike Ryan is set to enter the next phase of his career with the release of “New Hometown,” the lead single from his forthcoming album. Ryan set the bar quite high with the release of his last album Bad Reputation, in 2014, which featured a trio of number one singles on the Texas Music Charts. Ryan says he is more than excited to give his fans new music.
“New Hometown” tells the story of a guy who is struggling to get over a break up, and it seems like everywhere he looks is a memory that he had with his ex-girlfriend. He’d spent his whole life in this hometown, but now he can’t even walk down the street without seeing a place they had spent time together.
“I think it’s a song that most folks can probably relate to in some way,” says Ryan. “I love the melody of the song, and I think it tells a good story.”
Ryan’s musical story began in the Lone Star state, his first exposure to music was from his grandfather, who directed the Texas National Guard Band for over 30 years. He became one of Ryan’s biggest musical influences, first learning the clarinet from him – among other instruments.
“I found out after one short lesson with my grandfather that there was way more to this music thing than I had ever realized before. My grandfather was able to make people fall in love with music in a way that no one else could. I was very grateful for that growing up.”
From there, Ryan taught himself how to play the guitar – though he admits he had to learn the art of patience. “I didn’t have lessons or anything. I just had some extra time on my hands when I finished high school football, so I picked up a guitar and hit the ground running.” Needless to say, he was hooked.
“The way I learned was mostly by listening to the radio to figure out chords. I would lock myself in a room and play for hours. I would play my G, C, D, and if it didn’t sound right, I would just move the capo up, until I figured out the right chord. I taught myself how to play the way that it worked for me. Maybe learning from other people could’ve made certain things easier, but I think learning it my way might’ve helped make it stick. I think sometimes if you learn things on your own, you learn them better.”