Mike Ryan has continued to find his stride in the music world since I first came across his 2010 album The First One. To think just how far Ryan has come from those acoustic leaning album days is remarkable. Hearing that first album caused me to turn my sister on to his music and we have both been avid fans ever since. From his 2014 album Bad Reputation, where things became a little more amped up and polished, to co-writing the mainstream hit,Last Time For Everything, Mike Ryan has experienced it all. You know, that song that Brad Paisley himself recorded. With Ryan’s latest album, Blink You’ll Miss It now available, I found myself hooked on one song that everyone can relate to at one time or another.
While high school is not a time that everyone recalls so fondly, it typically marks the end of an era. The days of knowing everyone for 13 straight years in a public school and making friends in such a close knit environment will soon be a thing of the past. With a graduating class of nearly 400, I can assure you that I have never been able to get to know so many people, so easily, ever since. For some, it is a hard time to walk away from. Close groups of friends, especially on football teams, know all too well that their dream team is going to be heading their separate ways at the end of the year. Spend to much time harping on the end, and you’ll miss all the good times that are yet to happen.
And who can forget all those relationships that are said to be forever but onlookers know that once the last bell rings, things will slowly begin to drift apart. In many ways, it’s not due to a lack of care, but rather all of the personal growth that is yet to come. Young love is intense but more often that not, it fizzles out quicker than it began and can’t stand the strains of long distance from different schools.
All of this makes it easy to appreciate the reflective tune Damn Good Goodbye where Mike Ryan recounts his ending days of high school. The last big game with the football team and their going away party ended things with a bang. The last night with his girlfriend, even though they both said they would be able to make it work when she headed to college in Baton Rouge in the fall. Ryan paints all of this is a positive light instead of focusing on the evident heartbreak it caused.
As the title of the album states: Blink You’ll Miss It. It’s the same way with spending an entire Sunday feeling like your weekend is over. If you harp on everything that feels like it is ending, you will fail to ever see the opportunity and joy that can be had by living in the now. There will always be the people that find the worst in every situation, but it’s those that focus on making memories and growing friendships that will reap the long-term benefits.
In a style that I’ve come to expect from Mike Ryan, he continues to gain a contemporary edge with undeniable mainstream hooks, all while still keeping to his Texas Country roots. It’s a vibe I can certainly stay behind and so far, it seems to be working for Ryan, and I sure hope it continues.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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