There was a time when singer-songwriter Mike Ryan went on plenty of dates, hung out with plenty of people and experienced plenty of breakups. In short, he was gathering plenty of song inspiration.

Years later, in fact, he’s still pulling from those experiences.

“Most of my songs are of the heartbreak variety,” admits Ryan with a laugh. "And, lucky for me, there's a lot of other heartbroken folks out there that can relate to songs like that."

However, when Ryan sat down with fellow songwriter Brandy Clark and longtime collaborator Brent Anderson, he knew he wanted to create a song that went down a slightly different path: The lyrics should focus not only a breakup, but also on the messiness that often surrounds such a split.

“It’s about not being able to stay away,” Ryan says of the resulting song, "Jacket On," which is premiering exclusively with The Boot and Taste of Country.

"There isn’t always a clean break," he adds. "A lot of times, there's a gray area where you're not together, but you're not broken up either.”

Ryan is a longtime fan of Clark's, so he's happy to have her influence all over the song. "I knew exactly what I was getting into," he says, "and it was so cool to just see her kind of in the process of it all."

"She has such a cool personality," Ryan continues, "and it definitely comes through in her songwriting."

Fiddler Jenee Fleenor's musical presence on "Jacket On" turns up the song's swagger, too. She was the first woman to ever win CMA Musician of the Year in 2019, and she repeated her victory in the category in 2020, and Ryan knows he was "lucky" to have such "an incredible musician" play on the track.

"It was my first time working with her in the studio as well," shares Ryan. "So, I've been here to hear about her for years, and she didn't let me down."

Ryan is a Texas native who has notched seven No. 1 songs on the Texas country radio chart, but he's currently charts professionally straddling Tennessee and the Lone Star State. He'll soon head out on the road with Riley Green, playing select shows on Green's We Out Here Tour.

“Riley is a really good dude,” says Ryan, who also recently played a string of dates with fellow Texan Miranda Lambert. “I mean, I feel like we come from the same crop; we could be long-lost brothers.

"I'm excited anytime I can get to play several shows in a row with different fans," he adds. "It’s going to be a real good time.”

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