Tyler Bryant's debut at the Slippery Noodle!

Posted on 8/06/2010 by Mark Bastin

From Roosevelt Twitty, to Robert M. Knight, to opening for rock bands in major arenas, Tyler Bryant has a success story being written and the ink is still wet. It's not every day you see someone so young with such promise and creativity but when you do it commands attention as his performance did recently at the Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis. I've followed Tyler's career for nearly a year now and first saw him at the House of Blues in Chicago which left me talking of him in a way that was difficult for others to grasp. So for me to share that which I saw inspiring I had to encourage this performance at the Slippery Noodle for others to appreciate as I did. Tyler Bryant embraces the blues for having mentored under guys like Roosevelt Twitty and having listened to blues legends Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Freddie King, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. In 2007 Tyler was the recipient of the Robert Johnson Foundation New Generation Award and played on stage at the Crossroads Guitar Festival at the age of 16!

When Tyler Bryant took the stage at the Slippery Noodle on this night in July the audience was expecting a good show but what followed was something more. Tyler and band members Caleb Crosby, Calvin Webster, and Jason Stoltzfus stood on stage, as mellow as the crowd was until Tyler busted out in what seemingly could be his first hit single "Lipstick Wonder Woman" and the crowd immediately responded in approval as his blues influenced guitar play was under way with a rock & roll punch! During this song Tyler broke it down into a slow funky groove then with the same opening guitar lick drove it home leaving nothing left to question, this young man was the real deal! Throughout the first set the crowd's reaction and approval grew as I sat listening and watching peoples faces full of expression and wonder. For Tyler the stage was a bit small, he loved to move around with his wireless guitar as the energy consumed him. Being on stage transformed Tyler from being quiet and humble to let's blow the roof off this place and party like ya mean it! It was all about music and a high which came from a place few have found within them yet this was Tyler's element, where he excelled!

The second set started off with a few acoustic songs including a version of Crossroads with Tyler playing slide and a couple of his own originals to round out his acoustic play before picking up his shell pink 60' Fender strat replica and moving into more rockin' blues. Tyler performed a cover of the Freddie King classic "Going Down" once again delighting the crowd and showing his appreciation for blues. With each completed song the sound level from the audience grew and at this point was as loud as the music he was sharing. In between sets Tyler and the band spoke with many and offered up their tour merchandise appreciating the warm reception from the Indy crowd. At one point two elderly women who were frequent fixtures of the Slippery Noodle came up to Tyler asking him for an autograph and I noticed one had a Tyler Bryant shirt in hand. The smile on her face showed blues was for young and old to enjoy together, it was a special evening for many! The third set was under way as a good friend of mine sat down next to me a couple of tables back from the stage, being a good guitar player himself, he was enjoying the night along with everyone else.

Tyler began his cover of the Jimi Hendrix tune "Foxy Lady" only this time his stage energy took him off the stage and into the audience right in front of our table as he broke out into a solo which displayed the place I spoke of earlier. Tyler was in his element and those in front of him including my friend were mesmerized by his intense play as he worked the frets in an incredible display, it was magic in the making! Tyler continued as he pushed, pulled, and bent becoming one with the guitar as we all gasped for air in astonishment! The moment seemed to hold us all in slow motion as it passed and as Tyler finished his solo he made his way back to the stage to finish out the song. As I looked around the room it was difficult to find one person smiling less than another especially my friend who had witnessed the solo close enough to touch the guitar. Upon ending the song the crowd erupted which seemed to energize the band even more, it was an extraordinary night for us all! Tyler ended the night with a climactic ending of another original song and the night was over much too soon! Still, this was as special a night as many had seen and finally local people had reason to talk of Tyler Bryant as I had for months.

Tyler has a new cd in the works with one single on itunes and another song on the most recent version of Guitar Hero, he's been approached by several labels including Disney and his management has held tight to remaining independent for what I believe is to allow Tyler to grow in his own direction. Tyler and company will be opening for the rock band Heart at the Ryman Auditorium in August and kick of a tour with REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar after that. The band has already opened for REO, Styx, Heart, and 70's rockers Three Dog Night and Tyler was a guest at the Guitar Center King of the Blues Finale last fall with Joe Bonamassa, Hubert Sumlin, and Jimmy Vivino. Expect to hear alot more from Tyler in the blues world as he will always come back to that which gave him his first inspiration, but also expect to hear his name among the rock world in major venues world wide. Tyler displays a passion, skill, and love for music few of us have the opportunity to witness live and what amazes me most isn't his talent for being a musician, more so it's his ability to display such passion and caring as a human being! Be sure to catch the Tyler Bryant Band on tour and watch for an upcoming PBS special showcasing Tyler which airs in September, I'll have more on this special, Tyler, and who Robert M. Knight is at a later date! ~ Mark

Photos courtesy of Guy Zimmer / Pictures by Guy Photography

Tyler Bryant Band:
Tyler Bryant - Vocals, lead guitar
Jason Stoltzfus - Vocals, guitar
Calvin Webster - Vocals, bass
Caleb Crosby - Drums

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