Ryan was brought up in Portglenone, County Antrim, at a time when the teaching and playing of Irish traditional music was completely wide open and available to a younger generation, thanks to the time, dedication and unobjectionable quality of the Crosskeys music group and the efforts made
by many families from within the area, in particular the O’Brien family, Portglenone.

Ryan’s musical influences are attributable, mainly, to the individual styles of three prominent guitar players, who also hail from
Ulster, Arty McGlyn, Eoghan O’Brien and Paul McSherry. Their sheer standard of playing in combination with Ryan’s own musical tastes, from‘blues’ to bluegrass, he has picked up from his father over the years, is
what constantly drives his musical career.