He has a band name too long for social media so Ryan Hamilton And The Harlequin Ghosts just goes by @theryanhamilton. Currently based in England, but from Texas, this singer-songwriter recently released a new single called Jesus & John Lennon. Formed in England after his previous band started to lose steam, their first single in 2016 was received quite well. On our podcast, we talked about this, plus his influences like Tom Petty. Ryan gives shout outs to some bands he admires, such as Jon Gaskin of Fort Hope, Chrissy Barnacle, and Maren Morris. We imagined future festivals and shows he’d like to play. We created an imaginary tour that he would love to book after the pandemic with Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real. It was already an amazing show, but we made it even better by ending with a short set of acoustic music by Ryan Hamilton. This episode was recorded on July 28nd, 2020 – Stefan Aronen was in Portland, Oregon and Ryan Hamilton was in Fort Worth, Texas.
Ryan Hamilton may be a late bloomer, but don’t expect the native Texan’s tunes to resemble the 21st century hit parade. “I got a really late start in this business,” says the no-nonsense singer with long sandy brown hair and a flame-singed cowboy hat. “I didn’t pick up a guitar till I was about 20.” ’60s and ’70s influences form the foundation on which Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts crafted their debut album for Wicked Cool Records, This Is The Sound.
After stints in People On Vacation (with Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick) and Smile Smile, this new phase of Ryan’s career began with a 2016 single “Fuck You Brain” with Ginger Wildheart of The Wildhearts. It got the attention of Wicked Cool honcho Steven Van Zandt, who added it to his Underground Garage playlist – along with songs from Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors’ 2017 album The Devil’s In The Detail.
Renewed attention set the stage for a name change, the band reconstituting itself as Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts. Ryan is the band’s only American, the U.K. being home to Mickey Richards (drums), Rob Lane (bass), Carol Hodge (keyboards, backing vocals) and Dave Winkler (lead guitar).