251 Records

251 Records | Nashville TN

251 Records is a recording label imprint of 251 Group. 251 Records functions primarily as the vanity label for Ryan Byrne’s self-released music, but is also available for various label services including digital marketing and promotion.


Ryan Byrne founded 251 Records in 2003 as a sister recording label imprint of Dissonance Records, a recording and distribution label which itself was previously formed in 1995 by Ryan and Nostalgic Distortion band-mate, John Girouard. Dissonance Records, in Ryan’s opinion, had become associated with the power pop punk rock ‘n’ roll stylings of Nostalgic Distortion and other local alternative rock bands that the label was distributing. Ryan was about to release “Good Night Boss”, his first CD-single as a solo artist. This contemporary folk song was much different stylistically than most of the music that Dissonance Records was associated with, and Ryan didn’t feel that Dissonance was the right brand to release it. Thus, 251 Records was born. “Good Night Boss” was a local hit, selling nearly 2,000 copies in northern New Hampshire alone! Ryan personally distributed most of these, driving the highways and back roads to various music stores, book stores, and gift shops – about 40 stores in total. Stores would order them by the dozen, over and over again.

In 2004, Ryan moved to Nashville, TN to further pursue his music career. He re-established his little record labels in Music City. He may have been operating from a desk in his tiny studio apartment, but his labels were now officially “Nashville” labels. After a couple years in Nashville, Ryan would get a break as the touring bassist for then newly-signed Aria Records Nashville artist, Stephen Cochran, a position he would hold for the next 10 years.

In 2007, Ryan opened the 251 Records / Dissonance Records online CD store. The 251 Records side of the store not only continued to carry the “Good Night Boss” CD, but also the debut Stephen Cochran CD, as well as releases from other independent country music labels. The Dissonance Records side of the store carried Nostalgic Distortion CDs as well as those from other New Hampshire / Boston rock faves such as The Mudhens, Fly Spinach Fly, Heavens To Murgatroid, and other artists that Dissonance was distributing for various labels.

In 2013, Ryan founded a sister company to 251 Records and named it 251 Media. Focusing on helping indie musical artists expand their digital footprint, 251 Media was Ryan’s official debut as a web designer and social media marketer. In 2017, Ryan rebranded 251 Media as 251 Group, becoming the multi-faceted music, media, and marketing business it is today.

The original 251 Records brand is still on call as the vanity label for Ryan’s self-released music, including his latest recording, “Belle of Music City”, released in June 2020.