Ladysmith singer-songwriter Ryan McMahon will be releasing his sixth full-length album

Ladysmith singer-songwriter Ryan McMahon will be releasing his sixth full-length album

Songwriter credits fans for saving him

Ryan McMahon performs at the Dinghy Dock Pub on Wednesday night.

It was only a couple of years ago that singer-songwriter Ryan McMahon and his family found themselves in a bit of a pickle.

“We were in bad financial shape,” McMahon told the News Bulletin.

After more than a dozen years making a living as a musician, McMahon was looking for ways to bring in some additional cash and considered turning to work on the docks.

“My father was a longshoreman and his father was a longshoreman,” he said.

However, McMahon wanted to continue making money strictly as a musician. He decided to make a post online indicating that he would be willing to perform house concerts for a small fee.

“I thought we would get one or two shows to get a few hundred dollars to tie us over and keep collections at bay and things like that,” he said.

Within 24 hours of the posting, McMahon had received 17 offers from fans who wanted to have him play at their house. The amount of interest led McMahon to only one conclusion.

“I didn’t call the longshore office,” he said.

Since then, McMahon has been plugging away as a singer-songwriter and he has been letting his fans know just how grateful he is for all their support.

“I make sure that the people know that they saved my life,” he said. “They saved my career.”

On Wednesday (Jan. 28) McMahon will be performing at the Dingy Dock Pub.

“The Dinghy Dock is fun and easy,” McMahon said. “It is the most laid back kind of gig for me. It is always nice to be able to play at home in front of familiar faces.”

McMahon, who was born in Chemainus but grew up in Ladysmith, is currently putting the finishing touches on his newest album, Put Me Back Together, which will be released in April.

McMahon, who has released five full-length albums in 15 years, explained that the record is a reflection of his time living on the Island and that it includes a song that pays tribute to his hometown of Ladysmith.

“There is a lot of reflection of living on Vancouver Island after living in the city for eight years,” he said.

McMahon is also a member of The Lion The Bear The Fox, which includes Chris Arruda and Cory Woodward. McMahon said being a member of the band has made him a better musician and person.

“It’s made me a better person, being around them. They are really, really smart and driven people,” McMahon said. “We each bring something different to the table. I have been able to glean some things from them that I wouldn’t have been able to learn on my own all this time.”

Despite having a solo project and being a member of The Lion The Bear The Fox, McMahon wants to do more.

“I kind of want to be a poor man’s Jack White,” he said. “I would love to start a third project to be honest. Anything to keep me playing music and out on the road.”

Nearly three years since his decision to play house concerts, McMahon is proud of the decision to continue to make a living as a full-time musician and hopes that it will leave a positive impression with his children.

“I hope that they are going to be proud to have somebody in the house with them that didn’t just take the nine-to-five because he had to and just worked really hard at what he wanted to do,” McMahon said. “It is hard being away from them but I really want to leave … some kind of legacy behind.”

Ryan McMahon performs at the Dingy Dock Pub on Protection Island on Wednesday (Jan. 28) with David Bitonti at 8 p.m.

For more information, please visit www.ryanmcmahon.com.

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