REVIEWS - INTERVIEWS
- Click Button to view articles in print format
MARCH 24, 2010
Message of Love
Jared Tyler turns out an emotional appeal in sophomore CD release
BY G.K. HIZER
When I was first introduced to Jared Tyler nearly six years ago, it's hard to say what I was more struck by: his songwriting ability, his amazing voice and record or his softspoken and humble attitude. Blessed with an amazing talent, Tyler has risen with one of the best pure pop records to emerge out of Tulsa since 2004.Blue Alleluia (Tyler's debut disc) came out of left field loaded with great songs, great production and a world of promise behind it. Not only did Tyler have Russ Titleman (who had produced Eric Clapton, amongst others) in his corner, both as producer and head of a fledgling label, which he had just signed with, but he also had the backing of a group of amazing studio musicians and even a cameo appearance from Emmylou Harris on the disc. Paired with a role in the film Killer Diller, which debuted at SXSW that year, it looked as if Tyler had the music world at his fingertips.
Fast forward to 2010: Tyler is back with his sophomore disc and presenting it independently -- as his debut disc never truly took off as its support never came together.
Tyler played select and strategic shows, but he also immersed himself in songwriting and production.
With a great ear for composition and engineering, Tyler started with a home studio then moved into the current digs he and Travis Fite recently took over just off of 13th and Lewis (formerly Zac Maloy's old studio). Even though he began recording and producing for others, Tyler didn't abandon his music.
True, it did take more than five years for a follow-up to appear, but the past few years have been filled with work, trials and loss for Tyler.
Besides establishing himself as a premier producer in his field, Tyler lost both of his grandmothers as well his mother, all of which slowed the process. As devastating as the losses and grief were, they also undoubtedly influenced Tyler's latest disc, Here With You, which is both aching and beautiful.
With the new disc, Tyler builds upon his debut with what feels like the logical progression from Blue Alleluia. Tyler has always been something of an enigmatic artist: his writing blurs boundary lines by combining country, folk and bluegrass influences with soul and R&B. The final product has enough of an earthy, gritty quality that could classify his music as Americana. Despite any outside influence or instrumentation, the songs are ultimate pure pop songs from an amazingly insightful songwriter.
After developing the songs, initial tracks were laid down for the disc when Reed Mathis and Jason Smart (both formerly of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey) settled in at Tyler's Blue Alleluia Studio in February of 2008. The trio cut roughly 20 tracks in less than a week, as well as tracks for two other artist's records.
Since then, production has been a slow process as Tyler worked through the loss of loved ones and gradually brought in a host of personal friends and amazing musicians to finish out what would become Here With You.
As long as the process has been, the end result is worth the wait. Even more consistent than Blue Alleluia, Here With You flows with a consistent yearning and an overarching theme of universal love that ties the entire disc together. And although his losses obviously added gravity to the disc and its lyrics, the result is not overbearing. Instead, there is a sense of sincerity and a nearly indescribable heartfelt ache that pushes the disc forward both sonically and lyrically.
Eventually, Tyler asked good friend Chuck Zwicky to step in as co-producer and help him finish the disc. Sharing a similar taste in music and an almost mentor-ish relationship, Zwicky agreed and his input helped the disc come together in its final form.
Aside from the personal growth that is evident in Tyler's writing, the disc also stands out from its predecessor in that it sounds every bit as polished and professional as Blue Alleluia, yet was recorded almost fully in Tulsa instead of New York and Nashville, as the previous disc was.Only Suzie Ragsdale's sweet background vocals were tracked at the singer's studio in Nashville and shipped back to Tulsa to be inserted in the mix. Aside from that, the disc is a true product of Tulsa and Tulsa musicians, with appearances by a host of local artists, including Steve Pryor, Jesse Aycock, Monica Taylor, Chris Combs and Brian Lee, amongst others.
One of the few tracks not recorded at Tyler's studio were the drums for the lead and title track "Here With You." Recorded at Wayman Tisdale's studio in early 2009, to Tyler's knowledge, the drums tracks were one of the last recordings, outside of Tisdale's own work, that tracked at the studio before his passing. In hindsight, it's a touching tribute, both to Tisdale and to the family members that were lost during the past few years, that the tracks should emerge now.
Tyler said that the writing process comes differently for each song. While some songs start with the music, others might begin with a melody and others with a lyric or phrase. And although Tyler believes his gift lies in melodies, which tend to come to him more easily, he said, "If anything, I take the lyrics more seriously and struggle over them sometimes."
The time spent fretting over the phrasing and wording is well spent here. Not a songwriter to mince words, Tyler rarely becomes long-winded and his economy of words allows the spirit of the music to shine through and creates a transparency which makes each lyric both obvious and open to interpretation. That's Tyler's preference: to paint a picture, yet not be so specific as to not leave room for the listener to interpret and make it his own. It's also both the strength and beauty of the record.
In one turn, Tyler expresses the completion and contentment of "...When we're together/I am so much better /and I know you love me too/when I'm here with you" on the title track. Near the end of the disc, he calls a friend to step out of their hurt and past and into freedom with the hauntingly beautiful "Free."
Throughout, the overarching message is love and that it's universal, perhaps best expressed when he simply cores out "Turn to love, Turn to love" in "Pain of the World." It's a message that's timeless and poignant -- much like this record should prove to be.
Now that the record is complete, Tyler is ready for the fun part. The official CD release party for Here With You is Friday night, March 26 at the Marquee. Showtime is at 8pm for the all-ages concert, and it will be a full evening with Jared Tyler playing with a special group of friends for the entire evening.
Curly White, whom Tyler calls "a monster R&B and funk bassist" will be flying back in from South Carolina to be a part of the weekend, and Jason Smart will also be returning to town for the evening to recreate his tracks as well. The live band will be rounded out with Brian Lee (who plays with Leon Russell) on keyboards and Travis Fite on guitar, as well as Jared Tyler playing guitar, dobro and whatever else might tickle his fancy during the course of the evening.
Tyler's live show is always compelling, but as he rolls out the new material, visits a few tracks from his debut and delves into "a few pretty crazy covers," he said, "I feel like this will be one of our more powerful shows to date."
Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door for what will prove to be a special night of music. Considering the nature of the all-star cost of local musicians that appeared on the disc, a few surprise guests are sure to show up and make the night even more special, so you won't want to miss it. And you won't want to miss the opportunity to pick up Here With You, especially if you love great songwriting.
New grass revolution
by: JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
3/28/2008 12:00 AM
Bluegrass icons John Cowan, Luke Bulla set Tulsa show, workshops
“I’m really here because of Jared Tyler,” said famous newgrass music innovator John Cowan in a recent telephone interview.
That says a lot about Tyler, a mesmerizing Tulsa folk singer-songwriter who has played with the likes of Wilco, Emmylou Harris, Malcolm Holcombe and Merle Haggard.
Indeed, this is a special homecoming for Cowan, who lived here more than 30 years ago and delved musically into “all the Leon Russell aggregations,” he said.
He will perform at Blank Slate on Sunday, with legendary fiddler and songwriter Luke Bulla.
A decade has passed since Cowan’s last visit, he said.
“I have a lot of friends in that area and a fondness for all things Tulsa. This will be a great show – and reunion.”
In the ’70s, Cowan’s New Grass Revival band (with Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn) introduced a generation of music fans to an explosive, experimental brand of bluegrass.
Bulla is a master fiddler who has performed with Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder band, Bela Fleck, Kevin Costner, Earl Scruggs and, well, just about everybody.
“Luke’s a world-changing fiddler,” said Cowan.
“Singing with him is definitely a highlight of my career, and I’ve played with a lot of people. … He writes great tunes and has an absolutely beautiful tenor voice. He sings like an angel.
“To hear him play the fiddle is otherworldly.”
Years ago, Bulla was the youngest person to make the top 10 at the Grand Masters fiddle contest. He was 10.
The duo has only two shows planned – one in Oklahoma City and one here – and they’ve invited Jared Tyler to open both shows.
They are considering four more shows in venues from North Carolina to Tennessee later this spring, he said.
For the Okie shows, Cowan promised a range of styles from Texas fiddling to newgrass, soul and “haunting songwriter melodies.”
Nov. 2007 The Current "Jared Tyler, Red Dirt Rangers on The Canebrake Menu"
by Joe Mack
Red Dirt music is alive and well just four miles east of Wagoner at a place you’ve got to know by know as The Canebrake (or The Yoga Barn for the astute yogis out there.) Every Wednesday night at this delectable dining spot is extra special, thanks to some super talented Okies like Jared Tyler and the Red Dirt Rangers. Not only is their music on tap from 6-9 p.m., it’s superfood for your sound appetite.
Jared Tyler is an Owasso (okay, call it Tulsa if you want to) cat who’s renowned around the world as one of Oklahoma’s leading men of music. His style is a unique blend of influences, which range from Stevie Wonder and Merle Haggard to Emmylou Harris and Tracy Chapman, all spliced with conscious lyrics and wisdom only found in the young-but-been-there-before mind of a Midwesterner. It’s a bit back porch, a bit front pew and a whole lot of Bank of Oklahoma building – it’s a big building folks. Like Tyler’s unbound (skyscraping, if you will) vocal abilities.
But when he backs off the vocal mic, his instrumental prowess charges through like a wild horse on a cold, rainy November night. The dude can play it all – guitar, bass, lap steel, pedal steel, banjo, dobro, slide guitar – all of which appear in some form either on his 2004 critically acclaimed album Blue Alleluia, or on a number of other recordings with artists like Malcolm Holcombe, David Wilcox, The Tractors, Brandon Jenkins, Harmonious Monk, Monica Taylor and Steve Ripley to name a few.
But Blue Alleluia is his masterpiece to date, featuring an all-star cast of friends like Emmylou, Mary Kay, Tony Mason and Willie Weeks. But is was his presence in another all-star cast for the movie “Killer Diller” that led to the “hook up” with Kay, who immediately turned Tyler’s demo over to mega-producer Russ Titelman (Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, George Harrison, Cyndi Lauper, etc…). As soon as Jared wrapped up the shoot, he was off to New York, thus beginning an amazing creative friendship, one that solidified one of the great albums in American music and got Tyler the attention he deserved.
Since the “hook up,” Tyler’s been “blowin’ up,” getting billed with Nickel Creek, Michael Franti, Buddy Miller, Hank III, Wilco, Cat Power, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and everybody that he’s been in the studio with. Titelman’s friend Jimmy Buffett even liked Tyler’s version of Michael Garrett’s “Reggabilly Hill” enough to record it for his latest album, Take the Weather With You.
Now you can take in Tyler’s melodic music during several Wednesdays at The Canebrake - Nov. 7, 14 & 28 and Dec. 5 & 12. That’s five chances Currentlandian, don’t blow it. To learn more about this humble music hero, check out www.jaredtyler. com.
Another group of titanic troubadours are central Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Rangers. They’ve had a great year– Ranger Motel hit No. 10 on the satellite radio charts, they headlined the Red Dirt Harvest Festival in Okemah, and they’ve gotten nothing but love from their fans wherever they go. To capitalize the great year, they’ll be throwing their 12th Annual Red Dirt Christmas Party at Cain’s Ballroom with their old buddies Cody Canada and Stoney LaRue. But before all hell breaks loose at Bob Wills’ place, check out the Rangers on Wednesdays, Nov. 21 & Dec. 19. These’ll be stripped down (hmm…) RDR shows with the original “Three Amigos” – John Cooper, Ben Han and Brad Piccolo. For more Ranger renderings, check out www. reddirtrangers.com. The Canebrake is located at 33241 E. 732 Road just east of Wagoner. On Highway 51, head north at Morgan’s Corner and follow the signs. It’s a long, windy road, but it leads to the best (and maybe the only) tapas menu in our neck of the woods, great drink specials and some of the absolute finest Oklahoma music being made today. For reservations, directions and general information, call The Canebrake at (918) 485- 1816.
10-25-2007 Muskogee Phoenix
Jammin’ at Canebrake
By Travina Coleman
Phoenix Staff Writer
— Jared Tyler said like the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams,” the family that built the Canebrake in Wagoner, have built theirs.
Now they are waiting for the people to come.
And they will, according to Tyler.
“I think the quality they are trying to reach out for and the level of the culture they are trying to shoot for is amazing,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of that. They have a huge yoga barn with heated cork floor, and I’ve been all over, done yoga in lots of different places, and have never seen a set up like this.”
A Tulsa native, Tyler performs at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 and 14 along with Travis Fite at the Canebrake.
“It’s a good night for people to come out and enjoy a mid-week entertainment and beating the weekend rush,” Tyler said.
Tyler said he first heard of the restaurant when his friend and fellow musician, Fite, told him about it.
“Travis told me about the restaurant and described it as high quality,” Tyler said. “He was right and I don’t mind being a part of something so fantastic from the ground up.”
The Canebrake, which stretches on 190 acres off Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, already has cabins being built.
“I love it; it is so secluded,” he said. “The only thing you will find out here is deer.”
Tyler has been performing music since he was 13 and professionally since he was 14. He was signed with Walking Liberty Records in New York City when he released his latest CD, “Blue Alleluia,” produced by Russ Titelman, who produced Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, George Harrison and others.
“Emmylou Harris and Mary Kay Place agreed to sing backup,” Tyler said. “It was a great experience.”
Tyler describes the sound as world beat, Americana, soul with elements of organic rock. At the Canebrake the music is an acoustic driven eclectic mix from country, bluegrass, reggae and soul.
“The music Travis and I play is mostly original music,” Tyler said. “We have had some of the greatest jams I’ve ever done at the Canebrake.”
Tyler said he enjoys the organic vibe the Canebrake has to offer.
“Lots of restaurants order from Cisco,” he said. “Not the Canebrake, they are trying to set a new benchmark for quality entertainment and dining.”
There is no minimum order for the entertainment experience, just a laid-back atmosphere.
“We opened in June,” said Adam Miller, Canebrake spokesman. “I started in April, and it’s a really neat place. There is none like it anywhere within 100 miles.”
Miller said the venue is intimate for the guests and the performers bring along their fans when they play.
“I want the musicians to feel good about it,” Miller said. “It is not a smoky bar where there are 100 people yelling over the music, it is kind of a retreat.”
Reach Travina Coleman at 684-2901 or email@example.com.
Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
Review of NOT FORGOTTEN by Malcolm Holcombe-
Jared Tyler gives "Goin Home" drive with stand-out dobro playing (he shines throughout the disc not only on dobro, but also on bottle neck guitar and lap steel) and Holcombe complements with his own superb picking on guitar.
Americana Roots -CD review: Not Forgotten -One Hoarse Town: Malcolm Holcombe
Contributed by Shaun Harvey June
12/7/2006 Tulsa World
Country-folk artist Holcombe, Tulsa's Tyler make a good team
by: MATT GLEASON World Scene Writer
Country-folk artist Malcolm Holcombe usually only needs an acoustic guitar and a voice that's weathered as a prairie fence to perform his starkly beautiful songs in concert.
But the critically acclaimed artist will round out his lonesome sound with the twang of dobro provided by local singer-songwriter Jared Tyler on Saturday evening at the All Soul Acoustic Coffeehouse.
The pair will co-headline the coffeehouse performance, and then Tyler will open for Holcombe on Sunday night at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City.
Holcombe's not exactly a talker, but in a brief telephone interview, the artist said Tyler, a 28-year-old Tulsan, is a great talent and a good friend.
"He's on my side, you know? Yeah. There you go," the 50-year-old artist said as he made his way to Memphis in a haggard Jeep Cherokee. "He's got the goods. He's a gifted young man. There you go. I mean, that's a man that you want shoulder-to-shoulder going up and down the road. I'm looking forward to playing with him."
Tyler and Holcombe's musical kinship goes back to the late '90s when Tyler, who was then a cook at the legendary Nashville diner/venue the Blue Bird Cafe, met Holcombe in, of all places, the kitchen.
Tyler recalled how a "wild-eyed" Holcombe, who was set to play the Blue Bird, made his way back to the kitchen and stumbled upon Tyler.
"Well, who are you?" Holcombe asked Tyler.
To which Tyler replied, "Well, who are you?"
Up until that impromptu introduction, Tyler had never actually seen a picture to attach Holcombe's face to the artist's 1999 disc "A Hundred Lies," which Tyler had listened to for three months straight.
"I thought it was the best record in the world," Tyler said, "Still do."
From that first encounter, Tyler established a rapport with Holcolmbe that led to Holcombe later inviting Tyler to sit in with him on stage.
"He really dug it," Tyler recall ed. Since then, Tyler has played roughly 50-100 shows with Holcombe, including opening dates with the likes of Shelby Lynne, Cat Power, Wilco, Merle Haggard and BR5-49, just to name a few. Tyler played on Holcombe's 2001 live record, and played lap steel, dobro, slide guitar and sang harmony on Holcombe's latest studio effort "Not Forgotten."
Looking back over his years with Holcombe, Tyler said he admires the artist for, among other things, his originality.
"His lyrics and his melodies are never cliched," Tyler said. "He just says things so differently and turns a phrase. It's like he's got the quirkiness of Townes Van Zandt, or John Prine, but yet he twists it. To me it's a little more spiritual and a little bit deeper.
"I guess to sum it up, all I'm trying to say is he's just so unique and he's his own style. You can't help but feel the heart and the pain and the beauty behind it."
Holiday Harvest Cd - a benefit cd for Eastern Oklahoma FoodBank
Click on link to listen to "So Long We've Waited" by Michael Garrett
Jared Tyler opens the disc with "So Long We've Waited", a gorgeous ballad that allows his soulful voice to take center stage and open up as the background vocals and arrangement crescendos during the chorus. It's a song that is destined to become a Christmas favorite for anyone who hears it. This song alone makes the CD worth the purchase price, but that's not all there is to it.
~ Gary Hizer
~ Urban Tulsa - Review of HOLIDAY HARVEST CD 2006
Jared Tyler’s new release Blue Alleluia on Walking Liberty Records is a fine mixture of roots/Cajun/new-grass and the new urban sounds of hip-hop. With a voice that is parts Aaron Neville the sultry side of Stevie Wonder and that Southern white-boy twang, Jared brings his own soul to light with well tuned melodies and smart emotional lyrics. The track “Dancer” especially shows this emotion when Jared sings about a visit to his grandmother’s nursing home and he asks where all the old memories go … it seems we all were something in a life somewhere long ago.
The really ear catching item that has been thrown into this well produced CD (Russ Titelman) is the urban-electronica sounds tastefully added to the traditional dobro/mandolin/banjo tracks. I tend to listen for something beyond the usual in a new CD and you will definitely find it here. The title track “Blue Alleluia” uses the scratching and electronic sounds but also has the acoustic instruments trying hard to imitate them. Head bobbing rhythms and fist shaking lyrics make this a track to download onto your iPod.
Jared Tyler has created a really fine piece of work that flows from track one to eleven and is definitely a keeper for any CD collection.
~ Darryl Gregory Unsigned Underground
7/7/2006 Tulsa World
by: KAREN SHADE World Scene Writer
Jared Tyler's complex musical mix is designed to feed your soul
Try to pigeon-hole Jared Tyler, and you'll end up disappointed.
"I'm just not one with labels. I don't like labels. I don't like the way our modern-day American music scene is set up, like by genre," said the Tulsa singer/songwriter. "I just like good music. I think they're two kinds of music -- good and bad. I just like good music."
"Good music," to him, borrows shades of country, folk, bluegrass, jazz, rock, traditional and other music styles. Most importantly, it moves you.
"Good music makes you feel your soul, makes you feel good. Even if it makes you feel sad, that can be good, too, because you're feeling it," he said. "To me, as long as I can tell someone's heart and soul is in what they're doing and it's not a fake facade, I consider that to be good, even if it's not my thing."
The Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa will present "An Intimate Evening With Jared Tyler and Friends" on Friday and Saturday nights at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center as part of SummerStage 2006.
Both performances are certain to exemplify Tyler's idea of good music, but "Evening" promises to be a kind of musical diary of the influences that have gone into his personal sound.
Tyler said his family and growing up in Owasso produced an early study in music. He remembers how he would join in the harmony as his father, uncle and aunt sang together at church.
His mother played violin, "and, she played some mandolin, so I was always influenced by that. In fact, my first instrument to play was her old mandolin that she had when she was a kid. I used to just sit around, watching 'Hee-Haw' and the Mandrell sisters' show, jamming along to it," he said.
His grandfather on his father's side, shared the same proclivity.
"He was a fiddle player, so he watched 'Hee-Haw' every weekend, too, and played along. So I would jam with him," he said.
The year already has had its share of heartbreak. Tyler's mother died in March.
"She always kept believing in me and telling people about shows I was having, sold my CDs for me at work. So she was very supportive. My mom wanted to see me make good with the music. The least I can do for her is to keep at it," Tyler said.
He's been keeping at it for years. His "Blue Alleluia," his official debut album produced by the newly formed label Walking Liberty Records in New York, was released last year. Tyler's songwriting ability, voice and musicianship are the main attractions, but audible support from Emmylou Harris, Willie Weeks, Jim Horn and others goes a long way. Producers are negotiating with a record distributor for wide release.
As if music weren't enough, Tyler also made his screen debut in "Killer Diller," released in the spring, about a band formed from a group of halfway-house convicts.
Tyler has worked before with the musicians who will be performing with him this weekend.
"I'm so excited. Some of my favorite musicians from the whole area are going to be playing with me," Tyler said.
Friday night, Tyler will be joined by Al Rey, Travis Fite, Jesse Aycock, Stanley Fary and Reed Mathis. Aycock also will play a set from his own album, "Life's Ladder," to start the evening and join Tyler's group later. Aycock will not be performing Saturday night.
Aycock's presence in the show represents an emerging aspect in Tyler's life, that of producer. Tyler produced "Life's Ladder."
"I always wanted to have a career as a singer, songwriter and as a performing artist, but in the meantime, I just have a really extreme passion for producing records," Tyler said. "I really want to work up to the point where I can be a legitimate producer in the music scene. I'm not tooting my own horn at all, . . . (but Aycock's) getting rave reviews."
The show will feature music from "Blue Alleluia," some new original music, some jazz, maybe a little western swing and a set influenced by recordings he found of African tribal music taped in the mid 1900s, he said.
No matter when or where the music comes from, everything must meet one prerequisite.
"I just think good music -- you can tell when people's heart and soul was in it when they made it," he said. ". . . What's the difference between good and bad music? If it's good it will move me."
6/17/2005 Tulsa World
Riverwalk show features two famed acts who are hard to define
by: JOHN WOOLEY World Scene Writer
In his four-star review of the album "A Hundred Lies," Rolling Stone's David Fricke calls the music of Malcolm Holcombe "not quite country, somewhere beyond folk . . . a kind of blues in motion, mapping backwoods corners of the heart."
Jared Tyler has a more succinct appraisal. He dubs it "Appalachian haiku."
Tulsa-based singer-songwriter Tyler, who opens Friday for North Carolina's Holcombe, has been a friend and fan for many years. And first, he pointed out in a recent conference call with Holcombe, he was a fan.
"When I was down in Nashville, a guy named Jay Williams, who was a William Morris (Agency) booking agent, had an advance copy of Malcolm's 'Hundred Lies,' " Tyler recalled. "I remember hearing it and just sitting there dumbfounded. I didn't know Malcolm at the time, but I knew it was brilliant music."
A few months later, Tyler was working as a cook at Nashville's famed Bluebird Cafe when Holcombe came in to do a show. Tyler was transfixed.
"I followed Malcolm around for months," he admitted with a laugh, "begging him to let me play Dobro for him." At one gig, Holcombe's then-Dobro player took a bathroom break, and Tyler, always ready, grabbed his own Dobro and took the stage.
"I didn't hire him," Holcombe said of Jared. "I couldn't get rid of him. He was hanging on me like a hair on a biscuit." He laughed. "I'll tell you what, though. It was cool (when he and Tyler started playing together). It was a happening thing. I had this crazy redhead playing bass. She'd slap the bass, and I'd duck. She'd slap the bass, and I'd duck. Jared would just stand there and grin."
After Tyler joined Holcombe's band, they went on the road with Shelby Lynne ("She had two or three buses, and we had two or three cars," remembered Holcombe), and played lots of dates on their own. Meanwhile, the Holcombe album that had so impressed Tyler finally got released -- not by Geffen, for whom he had originally done it, but a smaller imprint called Hip-O, which specialized in reissues. It had been shelved by Geffen for some three years.
"They didn't support it or nothing, just put it on the shelf," Holcome said. "We all know how that little ball bounces, the big dog eating the little dog. Then, I guess they wanted to recoup some of their money or something, because they put it out on Hip-O, which is a part of Universal. (Singer-songwriter) Lucinda Williams had something to do with that. She was a real champion of the album, always very helpful -- a real sweet lady."
Since then, Holcombe has done a second critically acclaimed disc, the sparse, acoustic "I Never Heard You Knockin'," while Tyler, as a solo artist, hooked up with big-name producer Russ Titelman for a new album of his own.
On Friday, they'll each play their own shows. But the audience may also get the chance to hear them together.
"I'll open with a short set with my band, which is Al Rey on bass and Stanley Fary on drums," noted Tyler, "and then I'll do a short acoustic set."
"I'm just going to pat my foot the best I can," added Holcombe, "talk to God, and see if maybe me and Jared can rustle up an old tune or two."
6-2005 Urban Tulsa Gary Hizer article about Riverwalk Crossing Show
Opening doors and inspiring the next generation is a role Malcolm Holcombe handles with care.
If Jared Tyler’s songs were paintings, they’d most certainly be watercolors: light and airy, with splashes of color and suggestions of a breeze in the air. While sharing an affinity for their craft, friend and mentor Malcolm Holcombe’s work is definitely more steeped in the sepia tones of black and white photography. His songs are purposeful ink sketches of life, drawing out the details of the surroundings or the lines in an old man’s face.
His latest disc, I Never Heard You Knockin’, is the type of gritty, picturesque narrative that fans of Springteen’s Nebraska should immediately identify with.
Even student and admirer Jared Tyler has difficulty describing Holcombe’s work, referring to it as Appalachian haiku/funky folk. “It’s blood and guts, heavy experience music that lets you feel the pain and the happiness…”
I was able to catch up with Malcolm recently to discuss his songs and the show here in town. While our conversation was rather loose and unfocused, I was drawn in by his unfettered, open soul and the natural poetic flow in his voice.
When discussing the songwriting process, Malcolm most vividly described it as “turning the doorknob”. After starting out by describing a doorknob and its mechanics, he went on to explain: “There’s some things I don’t know much about, but songs are like a doorway. You’ve got to open it to find out what’s on the other side. It could be a woollybooger, a nice bowl of oatmeal, a pretty smile or even George W. Bush. You don’t know what’s in there, you’ve just got to keep turning the doorknob and find out.”
As for his relationship with Tyler, it seems to be a mutual admiration society. “He’s one of the few who can put two and two together and get a good, even balance.
“I tell ya, Jared Tyler’s got the goods--he’s definitely got the goods . . . ” says Holcombe. “I’m looking forward to seeing him again.”
Don’t miss out on your chance to join the admiration society as Tyler and Holcombe share the stage and continue to open more doors this Friday night at Riverwalk Crossing.
4/29/2005 Tulsa World Article
From FFA to NYC
Singer-songwriter Jared Tyler traveled a long road to create debut disc
By JOHN WOOLEY World Scene Writer
Back in 1996, Owasso singer-songwriter Jared Tyler was featured on a locally produced disc called "Vision of Blue, Heart of Gold," a project dedicated to the work of the Future Farmers of America -- which had Tyler himself as one of its members. As it turned out, though, Tyler's future didn't have much to do with farming. Instead, he's just become the first artist to have a disc out on a brand-new label called Walking Liberty Records, based in New York and created by multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Russ Titelman, known for his work with George Harrison, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton and Rickie Lee Jones, among many others.
In between FFA and NYC, Tyler spend nearly a decade working at his craft, moving from Tulsa to Nashville and back, almost giving up for a time, and then moving to the West Coast, where a couple of chance meetings finally set the wheels in motion. Never one to hoard all the credit for himself, he named fellow Tulsa songwriter Scott Hutchison as one of the people most responsible for this escalation in his career. When I moved back to town from Nashville, around 2001, kind of depressed about it all and not wanting to really pursue a career, he was the one who cracked the whip," noted Tyler in a recent interview.
"He was the one who kept sending out the demos, who kept things going."
It was Hutchison who suggested they move to the L.A. area for a time, where Hutchison has a number of record-biz connections. There, Tyler met Beck's producer, Tom Rothrock, who'd been hired to do the soundtrack for a new movie about a slide-guitar player and a blues band.
He arranged for Tyler to meet with the film's casting director.
"When I went in for the audition, there was a roomful of people, and no one in the room had ever seen a real dobro," he recalled with a chuckle.
"So I bring in this dobro, and I say, 'Here's what you all are making this movie about.' That's basically how I got the part."
It was a couple of years later, however, before filming actually got under way.
"All of a sudden on 3-3-3, my birthday, the director (Tricia Brock) called and said, 'We've got the money to do the film. If you'll come out and be in it, I promise something good will come out of it.' " The picture, "Killer Diller," was shot in Columbia and other Missouri locations on a 30-day shooting schedule. And Tyler was there for it all. "I was on the set every day -- I'm probably in three-quarters of the movie," Tyler said. "I'm kind of this weird musician who plays the bongos, because he's not good enough to play guitar, and lives in the closet of a Christian halfway house."
Interestingly enough, another Tulsan -- actor and writer Mary Kay Place -- also was in the cast, but only for one day. That was long enough, however, for Tyler to get a demo recording into her hands. "She listened to it, evidently, on her way to the airport, and she sent a note back with the driver that said, 'This blew me away. I've got a lot of friends who are producers and I'd like to play this for some of them, if it's OK with you." (Although Place is best known for her movies, many will remember her two discs on Columbia in the '70s, which yielded the Top 5 country hits "Baby Boy" in 1976 and "Something to Brag About" in '77.)
Titelman was the first of Place's producer friends to hear Tyler's demo. No one else needed to.
"He called her the very day he got it," remembered Tyler. "I was still doing the movie, and he got my hotel number and called me the same day. "Basically, what he said was, 'When the movie's over, can you come up to New York?' "
Tyler traveled to New York a few times, and Titelman visited Tulsa -- "just to hang out, check the scene out, check me out," said Tyler. Finally, Titelman signed Tyler to the new label, and "Blue Alleluia" was underway. Some of it was cut in New York, where Tyler worked with famed bassist Willy Weeks and session drummer Tony Mason.
Other tracks had their origins in Tulsa studios years ago.
"Some of the original stuff was kept, but we started from scratch on three or four of the tunes," Tyler said. "A lot of these songs go back a while -- 'Regabilly Hill' and 'Too Much' were being done by (songwriter-singer) Michael Garrett with One Night Tribe back in the late '80s and early '90s.
"Basically, about three years ago, before the record deal, we went in and revamped some of the old ideas," he added. "We rewrote verses, even changed some melodies around. To me, it was a concept record.
"Russ pretty much chose the songs, but they were right in line with what I would've picked and where I would've put them."
Hutchison and Garrett, who both began working with Tyler several years ago, share the bulk of the writing credits. Guest performers include such big names as Emmylou Harris, Jim Horn, Mac McAnally and Place herself.
Tyler believes the songs Harris sings backup on -- "Dancer" and "Jozie Bleu" -- might have a chance at country radio, while most of the others will probably fit better in alternative formats.
"When people ask what the music is, I usually tell'em it's kind of world-beat, Americana, midwestern soul," he said. "Whatever that means."
For Friday's release party, he added, he expects to have Travis Fite on guitar, Al Ray Hebert on bass and Stanley Fary on drums -- plus "a lot of special guests."
The new CD will, of course, be for sale at the event.
* Your musical inspirations?
Anyone i've ever heard who truly sang or played from their heart and soul.
You can usually tell people's intentions by the way their music moves you.
My Grandfather on my dad's side was my first inspiration musically. We
would always jam along with Hee-haw on saturday nites. he died when I was
8, but i will forever be inspired by his music.
* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
Don't know where to start but here's a few - Malcolm Holcombe, Stevie
Wonder, Tracy chapman, Bobby McFerrin, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin, EmmyLou Harris, Patty Griffin, New Grass Revival, Bob Dylan, Kosira, Michael Hedges, Merle Haggard, Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, Daniel Lanois, Bill Monroe, Bill Withers, most african music I hear and this is just a glimpse...
* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?
Absolutely! If ever i'm depressed( more than I'd like to admit) music always
sets me free. It reminds me what is really important in life - release and
* Your thoughts on the connection between music and healing--
Music is the expression of the spirit and the soul. I believe all modes of
healing have to start here.
Winter 2003 Show Review Urban Tulsa
Tulsa's own Jared Tyler didn't do so badly, either, bridging a few musical styles of his own. Playing with the three-man group DeNada -- vocalist-guitarist Travis Fite, bassist Al Hebert and drummer Matt Edwards -- Tyler did an eight-song opening set of homegrown cosmic soul, with the music carrying elements of folk, jazz, reggae and funk. Among the highlights were "Stone Is Stone," an uptempo acoustic philosophical declaration set to a Buddy Holly beat, and "Regabilly Hill," a reggae-driven look at a utopian world.
11-2003 Tulsa World Nickel Creek Concert Review
by John Wooley
Tyler and the band worked well together, and both deserve the wider acclaim that appears to be coming their way. Like Nickel Creek, Tyler and DeNada seem determined to cut their own paths through the pop-music wilderness, following their own muses instead of someone else's, and that's to be admired, whether it's a million-selling recording act or the guys who open for one.
3-2003 Urban Tulsa
Here, There, Everywhere
At any given moment, Jared could be anywhere, with who knows what instrument, with any gang of musicians, believing in those musicians and striving for that feel that is somewhere in between technical skill and primal love of sound. Many would be looking fo seomthing to cling to, a specific place and type of musical setting that might make them a a rock star or something. Jared is all over music, increasing his chops on all sort of instruments. And in the process, he has a blast.
“The essence of music is love,” Jared tells me. “All music of all genres is based on that. If the people who made the music didn’t love it, then it would never have been made. As long as I’m playing music, regardless of where it is, or who’s watching, then I know I’m doing what I should be.”
As you might imagine, all that passion cannot be expressed solely through the role of clever multi-instrumentalist. Tyler is also a stellar singer/songwriter. His vocals are free and smooth, containing hints of Stevie Wonder, Tracy Chapman, Patty Griffin, and Willis Alan Ramsey.
He’s soulful and aggressive with an acoustic guitar, employing a fingernail-oriented pict style that results in thick, bold tones. When he’s performing his songs it is an intense affair He grumbles and growls, whispers and whistles, a teary urgency in his vocal chords as he relays lyrics of the people and things he cares deeply for. The songs are filled with emotional crescendos and crashes-the playing always beautiful and dirt-raw funky.
Although Mr. Tyler is in Tulsa now, he hasn’t always been. The 25 year old artist grew up amongst a family who treasured instruments and singing and he’s traveled far in the national music ciruit.
“My first hazy musical memory was in California around 1980,” says Jared. “I was roughly one and half years old and I was beating on a hand drum. Other than that, I remember my grandpa playing his fiddle along with Hee-Haw on Saturday nights when I was around five. I would strum around on his tater-bug mandolin. He gave me that mandolin before he passed on in 1987.
“my father, aunt, and uncle always sang in church and around the house so I guess the cvocals came from their influence early on. But my grandpa Frederick was definitely major musical figure in my early life. He got me started playing instruments. I got my first guitar when I was ten or eleven. I first sangin front of an audience at age 12 in church. And as a fifteen year old, I became serious about perfoming around town.”
In 1998, the young Tyler headed for Nashville, working at the Bluebird Café and scaping by while wetting his feet in the music industry. “ I met some of the greatest songwriters in the world, and eventually hooked up with singer/songwriter Malcolm Holcombe. Before long I was signed to an independent publishing company called Noble Vision Music. I was a staff writer ther for almost three years. While writing there, I got to tour with a few people, playing dobro, lap steel, and various other slide instruments. With Malcolm I got to open shows for a whide variety of fascinating artists, like Merle Haggar, Wilco, Hank Williams III, Shelby Lynne, and even the mysterious Catpower. We went on tour with Shelby Lynne when she came out with I Am Shelby,playing everywhere from Dallas to the House of blues in ‘Nawlins’ and on up the coast ending up in New York.”
9/23/1996 VISION OF BLUE Mootown Record - Tulsa World Review
by: John Wooley World Staff Writer
Fifteen hundred people showed up at the Brady Theater Saturday night to see, and wildly cheer, a show dubbed the Vision of Blue Revue.
Those who missed the story about it in last Friday's Spot should know that it was a country-music concert anchored by a young guitarist and vocalist named Jared Tyler, who held center stage as his singing co-stars Autumn McEntire, Kiley Rieger and Buddy Owens (along with a couple of other unbilled vocalists) came on and off to sing leads and harmonies. They also should know that these singers were backed by a good band of Tulsa A-list musicians, put together by concert producers Michael Ray Garrett (who also played keyboard) and Jim Edwards.
Finally, they should know that the whole ``vision of blue'' business has to do with the commitment Tyler and the others have to the Future Farmers of America. They are all members, and they all take the organization's goals, ideals and opportunities to heart.
If you know all of that, you may then get an idea of the touchingly genuine quality of the performances Saturday night, typified by the approach and stage presence of Tyler himself. A young man with a rangy and compelling country baritone, he often evoked vocal images of Randy Travis -- when he wasn't doing his James Taylor, as he did several times during an acoustic set in the second part of the show. His vocal chops were impressive, but the way he put his music across was more impressive still. Tyler, throughout the more than two- hour affair, was a completely unaffected presence, often appearing to be making it up as he went along, and never showing a touch of ego or conceit along the way.
The same could be said for the rest of the featured players. Owens was a loose and engaging presence from the beginning, when he and Tyler came out singing a song about going to a livestock show. McEntire showed the affinity for performing shared by her aunts, Susie and Reba, and her father, Pake, and Rieger got the first standing ovation of the night for her vocal acrobatics on ``I Will Always Love You.''
Many of the songs of the evening came from the group's new CD, ``Vision of Blue,'' and the best that can be said about those tunes is that they blended seamlessly with the rest of the material. There was no detectable drop in quality, as there often is when new acts do original songs.
In fact, many of the show's highlights were original tunes. An up-tempo number called ``To the Extreme'' featured nice vocal work from Reiger and Tyler complemented by Dave Gaylord's fiddle, and a Tyler acoustic number called ``Simple Things'' called to mind the little pleasures on God's earth and made up another high point.
It wasn't a perfect show; there was a flat harmony part here, a ragged ending there. But it was a show in which FFA officers were recognized along with mothers and grandparents, and the young vocalists sang lines like ``Put your faith in the Lord/And the fire inside.'' It was music that was gutsier than bluegrass, but gentler than honky-tonk, full of authenticity and emotion and performed by singers with real promise -- singers who, with their talent, charm, and guilelessness, put their collective finger right where the real pulse of country music is. Or should be.
Copyright © 2007, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved
3/27/1996 Tulsa World
Friends in High Places... Local Musician Crosses Paths with Country Star
By Staff Reports
Jared Tyler is a young Oklahoman trying to hit the big time in
That fact alone invites the inevitable comparisons to one of
Oklahoma's most famous favorite sons -- Garth Brooks.
But the comparisons don't end there. Both grew up in medium-sized
towns, each neighboring one of Oklahoma's biggest cities. Both
name James Taylor as their favorite singer. Both are showing the
same signs of too much stress -- `I think I'm going bald,` Tyler
said at one point.
Tyler's first recording -- an impromptu Karaoke tape made at Six
Flags Over Texas -- provided the impetus for his first meeting with
his current manager, Michael Garrett. Garrett's wife, Dee,
overheard Tyler's father play the tape while on the job at the post
office and asked her husband, also a songwriter and producer, to
meet with him. The song? `Friends in Low Places,` by Garth Brooks.
Tyler and Garrett met on a summer evening two years ago. Before
long, their guitars came out of their cases and the songs started
flying. They strummed and sang until 3 a.m. `It was like best
friends,` Tyler said. `Even though he's a whole generation apart
from me. We started working together right off the bat.` They soon
began making demo tapes in Garrett's home recording studio. They
perfected several songs and fine-tuned Tyler's voice.
But here's where Tyler wants the similarities with Brooks end.
`He's my hero,` Tyler admits. `He's been a big inspiration and a
big influence.` But when his singing is thought to be Garth-like by
some, the comparison both honors and irks him. `To me it's a
compliment. Man, it blows me away. But I would like to be known as
`I want to be my own person. I want to have my own sound.`
Their paths had only brushed against one another in the past,
mainly by coincidence -- but they collided the first time Tyler
Tyler was there for Chet Atkins Guitar Camp. Garrett came along to
arrange a few meetings with recording reps. After a couple of
productive days in the country music capital, Garrett called in the
middle of the afternoon and urgently said, `Jared. I'm coming to
pick you up. Don't ask questions. I'll be there in a few minutes.`
`I couldn't tell from his tone of voice if it was good news or bad
news,` Tyler said.
Garrett pulled up. His face was pale. `We're going to Garth's,` he
On the way out of town, Garrett explained that Brooks got a copy
of Tyler's demo and invited them to visit since they were in town.
As they pulled up to the front gate of Brooks ranch house, Tyler
remembered that he had promised his mother -- against his will --
to take pictures of any stars he might see. He didn't want to
appear starstruck `so I took a picture of his gate,` he said,
shaking his head as if it was the weirdest thing he'd ever done.
Come to think of it, it probably was.
Shortly after meeting Brooks and his family, they piled into his
suburban and drove to a remote area of his ranch, where his friends
and other associates were already mingling around a glowing
campfire. Tyler sat by the blaze, which was surrounded by an
assortment of Brooks' songwriters, as Brooks left to mingle with
his friends. Tyler, still carrying his guitar, immediately joined
the ongoing jam session and sang for the next four hours. `It was
pretty much heaven,` Tyler said.
By 3 a.m., the crowd had thinned to only a handful of people.
Brooks returned to the campfire, sat down with Tyler and began to
play guitar and sing. Tyler followed along on his guitar and sang
harmony. `It was my best moment -- ever,` he said.
After several more heavenly songs, Brooks stopped singing to talk
with Tyler. Brooks discussed his new album -- `Fresh Horses` --
which hadn't been released yet, praised Tyler's potential and
offered some advice. `He said to surround myself with good people I
can trust,` Tyler said. `And write, write, write, write, write.`
They talked till the sunrise ended Tyler's unforgettable night.
His Night With Garth.
Copyright (c) 2009 Blue Alleluia Music. All rights reserved.