Episode 1: Ryan Ahlwardt
I’ve been a fan of Ryan’s for so long and I’ve been lucky enough to call him a friend for several years, and I was so excited to sit down and talk to him just about life. Ryan is an incredibly talented musician and was in the popular a capella singing group Straight No Chaser. He left a life of touring and fame to lead a Young Life chapter in his hometown, so he shares his journey of leaving the world of professional entertainment to work in ministry. It’s such a great story of faith that we can all resonate with. He’s hilarious and has so much wisdom and he was an obvious choice as the guest of the first episode.
Ryan just released a new Christmas called Indiana Christmas. If you’re a Hoosier like me, it’s a must listen for the Christmas season. You can stream it on all digital platforms. You can find that and the rest of his music at Ryansongs.com and you can help support him by being a part of his Patreon community.
You could spend a whole day watching Straight No Chaser videos on YouTube, especially the original, because they’re just so good. But here are some videos Ryan and I talked about — and a few others for context — that you might want to watch, especially if you’re a Straight No Chaser fan:
- Original 12 Days of Christmas video that got the attention of America and, more importantly, Atlantic Records (this version is on their debut album, Holiday Spirits)
- Straight No Chaser rehearsing “Indiana Christmas” for the first time
- Mike Itkoff and Dan Ponce performing Ghost Train impromptu while at Indiana University (in my opinion the best Straight No Chaser song)
- Indiana, We’re All for You — Indiana University Bicentennial song