Ryan Bernard has played traditional music since he was a young man, learning the guitar from his father and the fiddle and banjo later on his own. While obtaining a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, Ryan played in the old-time band in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music program. He has played in several stringbands in the region, most recently The Sulphur Springs String Dippers. His research focus during his time at ETSU was the early commercial recordings of traditional, southern Appalachian music in the 1920s and 1930s. In 2010 he finished his Master’s degree in Library Science and has worked at King University since then as an assistant professor and librarian. Ryan was part of curatorial team that designed the exhibits for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol.