Tag Archives: Mike Ryan

2010 Year In Review Part Deaux: Texas Music You Should Be Listening To!

As the saying goes, there must be something in the water!  There is something about the Texas music scene that defies typical musical conventions.  This, of course, comes as no surprise to the millions of Texas music fans.  The variety of music that hails from the great state is as expansive as the West Texas plains.  While Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital” of the world, there are plenty of fertile musical breeding grounds in Texas. 

 Today, I will WOW you with some of the musical greatness that came from or had ties to Texas in 2010. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it is just a few of the albums that I have had in heavy rotation over the course of the last year. 

Artist Album Observations
Old 97’s The Grand Theatre Vol. 1 Dallas band gets back to their roots and write good music without trying to be anything more than they are.  After 17 years it is good to see them comfortable in their own skin.
Spoon Transference Not as much of gloss and a lot more rock is what make this album great.  Not shying away from the darker textures, Spoon creates a less poppy album and the laxity of Transference is the strength of the album.
Reckless Kelly Somewhere In Time A fine album of cover songs to their one time mentor Pinto Bennett. 
Roky Erickson & Okkervil River True Love Cast Out All Evil Concise production shapes the sorrow of the Austin icon Roky Erickson’s life and ultimately the optimism of his return.
Court Yard Hounds Court Yard Hounds 2/3 of the Dixie Chicks show that sometimes less is more.  Jakob Dylan adds his dusky dulcet tone for a quick duet.
Alejandro Escovedo Street Songs of Love The fierceness of the guitar and the bombastic instrumentation belie the emotional elements of the lyrics. 
Arcade Fire The Suburbs Currently Canadian, Butler boys do hail from the sterile Houston suburb known as the Woodlands.  This is a great album and also made my 2010 Year in review. 
Ryan Bingham Junky Star Former rodeo star hits the big time with Golden Globe and Oscar win and a current Grammy Nomination for his work on the “Crazy Heart’ soundtrack.  His 3rd album is no fluke either.  His whisky and cigarette vocals are the perfect vehicle for his forlorn tales. 
Randy Rogers Band Burning the Day One of the hardest working bands in the state.  Over 200 dates over the past years.  Still time to record and release their 5th album.
Norah Jones …Featuring Norah Jones The list of collaborators is what makes this album genius.  You have the rap community represented with Talib Kweli Q Tip, and Outkast, the rock genre is fortified by Foo Fighters, and Ryan Adams is a genre chameleon so several are covered with his efforts.  Also, Willie Nelson adds his own brand of greatness.
Walt Wilkins Agave A true Texas troubadour.  No one does it better then Walt.  The words of a poet delivered honey sweet with a calm, familiar feel.  Need to see him live if you ever have the chance.
Tommy Alverson Texas One More Time With a twinkle in his eye, and a beer in his hand, Tommy makes music that makes you feel fine.  When Tommy sings, it feels like a warm summer night and for that moment you are carefree.  Highly recommend you see him live, you won’t regret it.
Six Market Boulevard Running On Seven I caught these boys live one Sunday afternoon at a local barbeque joint.  Nice, strong debut album.
Mike Ryan The First One Great voice, laid back attitude, and interacts with his fans.  Ballsy covers of Lenny Kravitz and Conway Twitty.  Need to see him live to fully appreciate his brand of greatness.
Bruce Robison From the Top Amazing songwriting that has made many country artists famous.  This album finds him paired with Rodney Crowell and it is an effort steeped in simplicity.  When you write as well as Bruce, you don’t need to add a lot of fluff.

 Great music awaits!


Burgers, Beer, and Mike Ryan = Greatness

Well, it is Friday and it has been a few days since I last posted a blog.  Part of that is due to my hectic vacation schedule of lying in bed, watching T.V., drinking beer, and attempting the occasional home project.  The other part is due, in no small part, to my incredible laziness the last couple of days.  However, it has not been a total waste of a few days. 

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon some live music on July 4th and was treated to the musical greatness of University of North Texas Alum (Go Mean Green!) Mike Ryan.  This, of course, was completely accidental and coincidental that the place we went for beer and burgers, the always amazing Fred’s in Fort Worth, was having some live music. 

The dude was pretty remarkable and the best part about him was the cover songs.  He played some really amazing and ballsy tunes.  He covered icons like George Strait, Conway Twitty, and then mixed in a little Lenny Kravitz.  His voice was strong and his playing extremely capable. 

He had a few original tunes that were pretty solid and a stage presence that was not overwhelming except when he sang.  He was comfortable enough to show up to the gig in gym shorts and a t-shirt.  He mixed and mingled with the crowd and was extremely gracious to all that he spoke with.

After his set, he passed out copies of his CD “The First One” which is a compilation of three original tunes and three covers. 

  1.  Slow hand
  2. Won’t Let It Show
  3. Dancin’ Til Dawn
  4. Turnaround
  5. Some Fools Never Learn
  6. The Chase

Today, I tip my musical hat to you Mike Ryan, I dig your scene.

Check out Mike Ryan at www.mikeryanband.com

Great music awaits!