Mike Ryan hopes to live up to ‘Reputation’
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by Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

After scoring three No. 1 hits on his last album, Texas country singer Mike Ryan knows his next album has a lot to live up to.

“My first three No. 1s were off this one, back to back to back,” Ryan said. “It’s something I really never expected – something really awesome. Hopefully, we’ll have the same sort of success with this next record.

“It’ll have similar tones and feel,” Ryan continued. “A lot of the songs were written around the same time as the tunes off my last record were written, so they’re from the same kind of frame of mind.”

Ryan – who’ll return to Amarillo for a 9 p.m. Friday show at Midnight Rodeo, 4400 S. Georgia St. – released “Bad Reputation” in 2014, landing at No. 1 on Texas charts with “Dancing All Around It,” “Wasting No More Whiskey” and the title track. He was named Texas Regional Radio’s New Male Vocalist of the Year for 2015.

He found a love for singing as a child, first in church choir, then in school at the University of North Texas. In college, he started playing at open-mic nights – despite a hefty case of nerves.

“My first probably 50 shows were crazy,” Ryan said. “It was something that sounded like a good idea, but I’d show up the night of (the show), and I wouldn’t say my stomach was in knots, but I was like, why did I do this? I don’t want to be here. But as soon as I started playing .. all those nervous (thoughts) went away and I had this natural calmness that came over me.

“That’s when it started feeling good.”

Ryan started playing regionally after graduation from UNT and said he can’t imagine doing anything else these days.

“Once you get that bug, man,” Ryan said, his voice drifting off. “The more I played, the better I got and the more comfortable I became. … Once I started hearing (compliments) from strangers, I started thinking that there was something that was working.

“Since graduating … I’ve been able to support myself, to continue to pay bills and make it work for myself, so I figure, why stop?” Ryan said. “I (don’t ) have any kids or a wife to provide for and I’m able to take care of myself, so what’s the use in switching it up?”

Cover charge is $10 in advance or $12 day of show. Call 806-358-7083 or visit www.mikeryanband.com.


* Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at Chip.Chandler@actx.edu, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at www.facebook.com/chipchandlerwriter on Facebook.