Stockyard Sessions: From Family Roots to Center Stage, Mike Ryan Shares His Journey in Country Music

Country music artist Mike Ryan reflects on his early musical experiences, his unwavering passion for the genre, and the evolution of his career to its current success

Growing up in a musical family in San Antonio, Texas, Mike Ryan’s upbringing laid the foundation for his passion for music. This passion continued into his college years where he began his journey as a professional artist.

With songs such as “Dancing All Around It”, “New Homestown” and “Damn Good Goodbye”, Ryan has become a staple in the realm of Texas Country Music.

TCC: You come from a music family, was it a given you were going to go into music? When did you know that’s what you were going to do?

MR: I can’t say I had a plan for music all along, but growing up in the family that I did we had things we needed to do everyday and playing an instrument for an hour was one of them. Growing up I got to watch dad from the audience a ton of times and see the bright lights on him, it was really inspiring.

TCC: What’s your favorite of your own songs?

That answer has changed over the years, but one of the ones I always kind of go back to is Dear Country Music and Damn Good Goodbye. I found out early on that music just moves people. As soon as I started writing songs I wanted to write something like that as if country music was a person and I could write them a letter and just say thanks for everything you gave me growing up. Being able to pursue country music as a career has really been a blessing.

TCC: Looking back if you had to tell high school you that this is where you’d be today, how do you think you’d react?

I don’t think he’d be too surprised, he’d be excited for the future, maybe more excited than I actually was at that time. When I was going to college I enjoyed my time at North Texas but there was just that looming doubt like ‘what are we doing?’, I went into school as business major but I just had no idea and that first three or four years in college I was just trying to figure it out, he would be proud and excited but I think overall relieved that he knows what to do now.

TCC: What is something people might now know about you?

I love to cook, if I wasn’t an artist on the stage I feel like I would be an artist in the kitchen. I don’t know that owning a restaurant would have been my game but working in a kitchen or maybe a private chef. I cook dinner every night for the family, we enjoy home cooked meals every night around the dinner table, that’s what we grew up doing, we ate dinner as a family every night and I’m proud to continue that tradition with my boys.

Portions of this interview have been edited and condensed. You can find more about Mike Ryan and his music here.