An old friend coming in from the cold, with warm greetings and stories of the road traveled. That’s what it feels like, to hear him speak, play and sing. A beautiful lyric, a funny line—on the surface—but deeper meanings with every hearing. A voice to draw you in, and intricate music made effortlessly to sound simple and intriguing.
Ryan Michael Galloway takes you on a winding path, an adventure through different soundscapes, landscapes and eras. It may touch on the history of the West, the Blues of the South, or the Bluegrass of the Appalachians. It may be electrified or acoustic, edgy or soothing. It is always evocative.
Mr. Galloway is a veteran performing songwriter who started his career in the 1970s writing music for Columbia/Screen Gems Music, Sherlyn/Kimlyn (RCA) Music, and InterWorld Music, among others. Turning 60 this year (2015), he holds decades of experience, which he’s relied on to become an accomplished author and speaker who educates and mentors “indie” musicians regarding technical and business strategies of the new recording industry. His former bands include the east coast 70s group Primadonna, Dallas-based Promise and The Rafter Rattlers. He also occasionally backs legendary bluesman, Michael “The Mudcat” Reames.
“Getting old doesn’t exactly mean being old,” he quips. “I’m old school, ’cause old’s cool–at least that’s what I’d like to think. It’s all attitude. I mean, you have to grow old, but you can always be immature.”
To prove his point, he’s attended three out of the last four Warped Tours, and spent time checking out everyone from Falling in Reverse to Yellow Flag to Streetlight Manifesto to Dallas’ own Light the Fire. “These ‘kids’ know how to market themselves, and I can still learn. There is a such thing as mentoring down, and a such thing as mentoring up,” he says.
He lived his early years in Northwestern Montana (Glacier National Park, Hungry Horse, Kalispell, Missoula), spent his tweens and teens in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, finally settling in North Texas in his mid-twenties where he has spent most of his life. While the Western US has shaped his sensibilities, so too have his experiences growing up in the melting pot around the DC area, actually just a few miles from where David Grohl spent his grammar school years. In DC, one of his mentors and guitar technicians was the famous Danny Gatton, now permanently enshrined as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s all time 100 best guitar players. The few guitar lessons he took were given by another mentor, photographer and mesmerizing Grammy Award winning guitarist, Al Petteway. The region swirled with local influences like the Seldom Scene, Bill Danhoff and Taffy Nivert (Take Me Home Country Roads [John Denver], Afternoon Delight [Starland Vocal Band]), Four out of Five Doctors, and a parade of famous musicians who passed through. This wide variety included CSN, Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin), Chick Corea, Jeff Beck, Les Paul, Kris Kristofferson, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Elizabeth Cotton, Heart, The Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Band, Kansas, Toto, America, and David Bromberg–all influences that seeped into the young songwriter’s mind.
Today, he travels all over the US engaging in his favorite activity–house concert performances. He continues to write new songs and perform, while producing several albums a year and mentoring other musicians of diverse genres and ages. He stays involved in a variety of side projects, and has recently teamed up with former colleague, Faith Vicknair, to form an exceptional duo: Faith & Rye. Starting as a cover group, sometimes with a full band behind them, they are transitioning to original music with the planned release of their first album collaboration, A Prayer and a Shot of Whiskey, in October 2017. The duo is available as a house concert act, either with or without Mr. Galloway’s solo show.
Mr. Galloway has been supported by a host of outstanding musicians and technical team members, including Producer/Engineer/Musician Ron Logan (Shabby Road Studio), Michael “The Mudcat” Reames, drummer Chad Ireland, multi-instrumentalist Matt Gaskins, bassist Bill Brody, Producer/Engineer David Williams (Vault Studios Houston), Producer/Engineer Gary Tullier, multi-instrumentalist Aaron Yuhas, saxophonist Ken Miller, vocalist Trey Chamberlin, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Clark, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Alex Yuhas, show tech Max Yuhas, photographer Jenny Yuhas, the late pedal steel guitarist Robert Arthur, and many others.