Sometimes, there’s just no place like home.
Three years ago, Ladysmith-born-and-raised Ryan McMahon made that realization.
The musician had spent eight years living in Vancouver making a living when he decided it was time to come back to his roots and raise a family.
“I honestly thought that when I moved back to Ladysmith, the notion of having music as a career would start to take a back seat to more normal goals, but in fact it’s been quite the opposite,” he said.
“The best thing to happen to my career was coming home.”
His band, Ryan McMahon and the Company Damn, will bring their sound to the Transfer Beach Amphitheater July 3 for Concerts in the Park.
McMahon described their upcoming performance as a ‘really friendly non-violent bar fight between Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle’.
“There’s going to be a lot of different styles of music played, we’ll throw in a couple of covers as well,” he said. “The people are going to get their donation’s worth, it will be a good show.”
The Company Damn was born when McMahon got together with guitarist Brooks Jamison, bassist Jason Barber and drummer Matt Henn. McMahon had spent time as a youth playing music with Henn in his mom’s garage.
“When I got to age 30, I had been playing the folksy old country thing in Vancouver. I don’t know if it was like a quarter life crisis but I wanted to rock out again.”
The guys got together and named themselves after Ladysmith’s Company Dam. They now rehearse two to three times a week when not on tour or with their families. McMahon’s fiancee is the band’s manager and the business end of their music is played out in their home.
“It’s just like we’re living in any major city,” McMahon said.
McMahon also performs and records solo acoustic but says the addition of the Company Damn lets him live out his rock and roll dreams.
“I have this great band and we’re doing such great things,” he said. “It’s what I do for a living now.”
“When we started, we didn’t necessarily have ‘take over the world’ aspirations … but we’ll go wherever this takes us.”
Ryan McMahon and the Company Damn tours Western Canada and has been in the top 20 bands in two Vancouver radio station contests. They are currently in the Top 20 of The Fox 99.3 Seeds Competition and performed at the Roxy in Vancouver on Friday night. McMahon credited the support of local residents who voted online for them to help them get into the cream of the crop.
The Company Damn will also perform at the Vancouver Island Exhibition in Nanaimo this fall and will soon release a new album, Put the Past in a Flask and Drink it.