Ryan Byrne – Musician / Educator / Entrepreneur

| Ryan Byrne | Music Lessons | Knoxville TN |

INTRO: Welcome to RyanByrne.com, the online home of Ryan Byrne – Musician / Educator / Entrepreneur. Ryan has lived, worked, taught, and performed extensively in the Greater Nashville-Knoxville, Tennessee areas, as well as his native New Hampshire. This “intro” page of the website will touch briefly upon the various “hats” that Ryan wears as a musician, educator, and entrepreneur – whereas other pages on this site will take a deeper dive into Ryan’s work in each area.

Ryan Byrne – Musician: Ryan moved to Music City in 2004, where he would eventually become most known for his decade-long tenure as touring bassist for Nashville recording artist, Stephen Cochran. As a member of Stephen’s band, Ryan embarked on multiple national tours opening for country stars such as Toby Keith, Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington, Lee Brice, as well as southern rockers such as Marshall Tucker Band, .38 Special, Jackyl, Blackfoot, and more. Ryan was also part of a 17-day international Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Kuwait and Bahrain to perform for U.S. and Coalition troops deployed in the Middle East. Ryan was also featured in several of Stephen’s music videos – including “Friday Night Fireside”, which was in rotation on GAC (Great American Country) – as well as several live local and national televised performances including New Year’s Eve live from Times Square on Fox News Channel. When not actively performing with Stephen, Ryan also enjoyed the opportunity to perform with other Nashville recording artists such as Steve Rutledge, Courtney Dickinson, Stephanie Layne, Marion Grace, Tom Dixon, and South African singer, Mirka.

Prior to moving to Nashville, Ryan performed regionally around northern New England for 10 years as bassist and co-frontman with Plymouth, NH pop-punk band, Nostalgic Distortion, with whom he recorded three independently released albums. In 2013, Nostalgic Distortion began performing annual reunion benefit shows – a tradition that still continues each year in October.

Ryan Byrne – Educator: After high school graduation, Ryan attended Boston’s Berklee College Of Music for a year, and then went on to earn his Bachelor Of Science in Music Education from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. Ryan became a public school music teacher in two small-town elementary schools in New Hampshire for 6 years before moving to Nashville, TN. While learning his way around the Nashville music scene, Ryan was a substitute teacher for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools for three years, taking as many music sub jobs as he could in about 14 of Nashville’s 38 middle schools. After getting married in 2012, Ryan relocated to his wife’s hometown of Knoxville, TN. In 2014, Ryan became a private music instructor at Knoxville Academy Of Music. Ryan and his wife separated during the Covid lockdowns of 2020. Since the pandemic had forced the music school to temporarily teach all lessons virtually via the internet, Ryan was able to return to his native New Hampshire and instruct online. When the school eventually opened back up for in-person lessons, they allowed Ryan to remain as an online instructor. He has taught students from coast to coast, literally – from New Hampshire to California, as well as points in between from North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and of course, Tennessee. He even taught lessons to students in India for a summer when they were visiting family. To this day, Ryan continues to teach online lessons to students nationwide exclusively through Knoxville Academy Of Music.

Ryan Byrne – Entrepreneur: Ryan grew up in his family’s business, Byrne Auto Center, and was no stranger to what it meant to run your own business. During college, Ryan co-founded Dissonance Records in 1995 with then Nostalgic Distortion drummer, John Girouard, as a vanity recording label for their band. Ryan would physically distribute the band’s cassette tapes (yes, you read that right, cassette tapes) to music stores throughout the state of New Hampshire. To help defray the cost of distribution, Dissonance Records began distributing CDs for other bands and labels and taking a small cut of the sales for the service. Eventually Ryan started a sister imprint called 251 Records (a nod to the dealer plate number of his parents’ used auto sales business) on which he released his CD-Single, “Good Night Boss”. He rolled the two labels into one company name of 251/Dissonance Records. Eventually, physical CDs gave way to digital downloads and then to streaming. Ryan became a student of social media as a way to promote music and live shows. He took it one step further and started studying WordPress and basic coding so that he could build websites for his various musical projects. He eventually rebranded 251/Dissonance Records as 251 Group, which became a social and digital marketing service for musicians and music teachers. Things eventually came full circle when Ryan moved back to New Hampshire in 2021 and started working for the family business again, as well as continuing to teach, write, and record music, and run his home-based digital marketing business. Ryan is now a partner in Byrne Auto Center and plans to run it with his family for the long haul.

Scroll to Top