The guy that I am sitting with today is a long time friend and one of the best musicians that I have ever met. Whether he is singing solo on a random stage with nothing more than an acoustic guitar or is in a line guys singing a cappella to the masses he does nothing but impress. This guy might also be one of the hardest working men in show business. He has been performing for as long as I have been in Indianapolis. He also puts on a very entertaining show. His songs make you want to roll the windows down and sing at the top of your lungs while driving with absolutely nowhere to go. He comes from the hallways of Indiana University where he met the boys that he sings with in the recent success Straight No Chaser. He is a gentleman and a scholar and it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Ryan Ahlwardt of Straight No Chaser.
(For those of you that do not know how Twitter works, messages that start with @ryansongs are messages from me to the artist. Messages that start with @rickyleepotts are his responses. I have set a limit to 140 characters for this interview and all questions and answers must fit in 1 single tweet. All of the messages you see have not been edited and are exactly as I received them.)
@ryansongs Tell me how you got involved in Straight No Chaser.
@rickyleepotts i heard the group’s first CD in high school, auditioned as an incoming freshman @ IU in ’99, & was in it for 4 yrs in college
@ryansongs Did you graduate from IU? What did you study while you were down there?
@rickyleepotts yes, i graduated in may 2003 with a marketing degree. definitely didn’t foresee music/performing as my full-time career then!
@ryansongs What would you be doing if you were not performing?
@rickyleepotts great ?, i teach guitar & voice at michele’s studio in fishers when i’m home & have a great time doing it. awesome students!
@ryansongs Speaking of Fishers; do you realize we live a block away from each other?
@rickyleepotts haha – what? all this time and i didn’t know! that’s crazy man.
@ryansongs What does it mean to you to be from a small town in Indiana and playing these huge venues across the USA?
@rickyleepotts it’s been a very humbling, amazing experience so far, being able to do what i love to do as a career. i’m grateful every day!
@ryansongs How does it feel to know that you are involved in @rickyleepotts 12,000th tweet?
@rickyleepotts it’s my finest professional feat to date.
@ryansongs Aww; you are going to make me blush! What is your favorite television show?
@rickyleepotts hmm…i’m really into lost (season 2) on hulu these days. modern family’s great, too, although i have a lot to catch up on!
@ryansongs What is the single most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
@rickyleepotts in portland a couple wks ago, i had an uncontrollable laughing fit & couldn’t sing my solo. 1 of the other guys had to sub in
@ryansongs Do me a favor; tell Luginbill I said hi. Speaking of Mike, how did you two meet?
@rickyleepotts will do. mike & i sang in HS choir together (nat’l anthems, shows, that kind of stuff). been performing together for 10 yrs!
@ryansongs I bet you miss your wife. How is Mrs. Ryan? (Speaking of your last name, u taught me how to spell that at a Gabe Dixon show no?)
@rickyleepotts she’s great, thx. miss her & home, yes. we’re going to be homeowners when i’m home! that show was a blast, gabe’s awesome!
@ryansongs That is where you & I first met you know! So is this your first TwitterView? (thank u to one Mr. Ryan Ahlwardt for naming these!)
@rickyleepotts sure do, you gave me some good props in your review of the show/my 1st album! proud to have this be w/u on my 1st twitterview
@ryansongs Dude it has been too long. When is this massive tour over? I need some 1-on-1 Ryan time! You are playing Indy, though, right?
@rickyleepotts i’ll be home in time for christmas, thankfully. we’re singing @ the murat downtown on sat 12/5. 231-0000 for tix! going fast
@ryansongs A good friend of mine, a one Derrick Bowman, is a huge fan of you and SNC. Anything you would like to say to him?
@rickyleepotts right on! thanks for the support, Derrick. we hope you can catch a show soon. our fans make this all possible for each of us.
@ryansongs Do you have any pre show rituals? You know, anything you ro the guys do before every show?
@rickyleepotts each guy warms up vocally on his own, we read, watch shows/DVDs, call home…we circle up, have a prayer, and take the stage
@ryansongs Your album sales have been blazing up the charts. Do you have a favorite song to perform each night?
@rickyleepotts 12 Days of Christmas is always a fun one b/c the banter/jokes are different every night. “Hey Santa” is fun to sing solo on!
@ryansongs Where do you see yourself in five years?
@rickyleepotts good ?, right now i’m/we’re taking this a day @ a time b/c it’s still new, but hopefully still recording & performing w/SNC!
@ryansongs Who controls the @SNCmusic Twitter account and why is the @SNCmusic Twitter NOT following me?
@rickyleepotts haha – another great ?, i’ll get on it; all the guys in the group who tweet are listed on our site, http://www.sncmusic.com
@ryansongs What do you, personally, want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
@rickyleepotts wow, never been asked that before. i want people to know how much we love to make music & bring joy to a world that needs it
@ryansongs If you were told you only had a week to live, how would you spend your last seven days?
@rickyleepotts this is getting deep! i’d be making a lot of phone calls to people, go to italy with my wife, catch every sunrise & sunset…
@ryansongs Ryan, thank you so much for doing this. As always, I give the artist the last word. Go.
@rickyleepotts my pleasure. THANK YOU to everyone who’s come to our shows! go buy “Christmas Cheers” so we can keep doing this for you!