Justin Ryan released in September 2016 a 12-track country album titled Warm Whiskey Nights. I don’t drink alcohol, so I have no idea what a warm whiskey night looks like, let alone implies. If such nights are soothing, warm, welcoming, and yet energizing in a quiet way, then Easton (Maryland) based Ryan – who plays all the instruments on this album – has succeeded.
This is mainly a collection of ballads, except for a couple of the numbers. All have mainstream appeal, the 10 pop-country songs and the two country-rock ones. It doesn’t take long to get a good idea of Ryan’s signature sound. The opener, “Do a Little Dancin,” is the perfect introduction: midtempo, warm and welcoming vocals, rhythmic guitar and drum work, and an overall soothing feel. There are small variations here and there, such as the banjo in “Like She’s Already Gone”, but overall things are pretty steady throughout Warm Whiskey Nights.
Something Ryan does well within this signature sound is to evoke a plethora of emotions. “How Will I Know When It’s Over (Heart In Handcuffs)” is heartbreakingly beautiful with a melody that will encourage couples to sway gently on any dance floor. “All Your Money” reflects the ultimate uselessness of money in the face of a life lacking the important things. The gentle hopefulness in “Never Let You Down” gives it an innocent feel. The uptempo pop-country “Take a Little Time” and the slow country-rocker “Through My Eyes” are both sweet love songs that will make even the bitterest of couples remember some of the sweeter moments in their relationship.
Fans of adult contemporary and country music will find appeal in this album. Tracks are available on YouTube. More information about the singer/songwriter is available on his official website as well as on his Facebook page.