Daily Discovery: James Ryan, “Pontiac”

Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: James Ryan

SONG: “Pontiac”

BIRTHDATE: 09/27/1988


AMBITIONS: To continuously grow in my craft, to the best of my ability. To never stop learning from those around me who are more talented than myself. To have had enough success within my lifetime to give something back to the world. To offer up the best music I can create to the cosmos.

TURN-OFFS: People who drink or chew loudly, the fact that I can’t eat pizza (food allergies) and people who don’t appreciate country music for the art-form it is, has been, and will always be.

TURN-ONS: I just got engaged, so knowing I get to spend the rest of my life with a beautiful woman, a vintage pickup with a two tone paint job and the first time I heard my D-28 through a vintage Silvertone amp.

DREAM GIG: I’m living it! Being a songwriter, is the best job in the world.

MOVIES I’VE SEEN MORE THAN ONCE: Any classic Western starring John Wayne, Almost Famous, Breakfast Club, and last but not least the Harry Potter series.

FAVORITE HOLIDAY ACTIVITY: Fighting my brothers and cousins for the Christmas pickle hidden in my grandmother’s tree! It’s a German tradition, whoever find’s the pickle gets a special Christmas prize. Although, it’s really done for year-long bragging rights.


5 THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN: A custom tailored black suit, an English style smoking pipe paired with your favorite tobacco blend, a Gillette Fusion Razor — women like a man with a well-kept beard, a pair of perfectly broken in Cowboy boots, Johnny Cash on vinyl and something to play it on.

WORDS TO LIVE BY: as it pertains to women, “You’re right,” and, “I’m sorry.”

I WROTE THIS SONG: after coming home from four days out on the road. That morning a blacked out 80’s Trans-AM passed our bus on the way back into Nashville which initially spurred the idea. To be honest, I just thought “Pontiac” might be a nice hook for a feel-good driving song. I had a write scheduled at my house the next day with friend and fellow co-writer Eli Rhodes, I pitched him the idea and we knocked out the tune in a couple hours.


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