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Mike Ryan
John Shearer5/10

Mike Ryan

Sounds Like: Warm, radio-ready Texas country that transcends the Lone Star State

For Fans of: Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, heartland rock

Why You Should Pay Attention: Ryan's most recent album Bad Reputation has earned the smooth-voiced singer three Number One singles on the Texas Music Chart and a New Male Vocalist of the Year title at the Texas Regional Radio Awards. He and his band have headlined shows at historic venues like the renowned Billy Bob's Texas nightclub and Cain's Ballroom, often selling out wherever they play. Ryan is also a songwriter and has co-writes with Brandy Clark, Chris DuBois and Brent Anderson. He gives credit to his grandfather, who directed the Texas National Guard Band for more than 30 years, for forming his relationship with music. "Gramps was my first musical inspiration for sure, although I didn't learn about how to play as much as I learned why to play. His love for music was infectious."

He Says: Currently in the process of recording his next record, Ryan is working with Brent Anderson as the project's producer and looks to both rock and country kings like Don Henley and George Strait for motivation. "I've gathered inspiration by catching as many legendary performers in concert as possible. These iconic artists have made history and have performed for decades, yet they still get out onstage and sing and play their ass off every night."

Hear for Yourself: "New Hometown" is an emotional ode to heartbreak and wanderlust, powered by country-ballad instrumentation and an earnest "anywhere but here" attitude. W.H.