December 18, 2015 Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – The Wayside (Album Review)
The Blues Rock-n-Roll band by the name of Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have quickly made a niche for themselves in the music industry by earning the respect of their peers and fans alike. Hailing from Nashville, TN, they have toured with some of the biggest names in music history, such as Jeff Beck, Aerosmith, and ZZ Top, to name a few. The Shakedown, consisting of Caleb Crosby (drums), Noah Denney (bass/backing vocals), and Graham Whitford, son of Brad Whitford of Aerosmith (guitar/backing vocals), join band leader Tyler Bryant (lead vocals/guitar) for an intriguing, talented ensemble of musicians.
Bryant made a name for himself long before his brothers in The Shakedown came into the picture. Growing up in Texas, his love affair with the Blues began while studying guitar under Roosevelt Twitty Sr. at the age of eight. From the age of thirteen on, Bryant started playing live shows and began writing songs. At age fifteen, Bryant received the Robert Johnson Gibson New Generation Award for aspiring young guitar players. By 2007, Eric Clapton invited Bryant to play Crossroads Guitar Festival that was being held in Chicago. All things said, by the ripe old age of sixteen, Bryant was already making a name for himself as a distinguished guitar player, singer, and songwriter. Moving to Nashville after turning seventeen, to continue his writing, he found a love for Rock-n-Roll, and crossed paths with the members that make up The Shakedown. A full-fledged band, in 2013 Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown released their first full album, Wild Child. Now in 2015, the band release their latest EP, entitled The Wayside, via Republic Records.
Released on Friday November 13th, The Wayside is a six track EP that showcases a love for Blues and Rock-n-Roll, but also a whole lot more which is woven into this tapestry of music. There is definitely a Psychedelic feel at times, and of course, some good old Hard Rock. Starting the journey is “Criminal Imagination” with a bass solo which then leads into a guitar solo. At some points, Whitford and Bryant are dueling back and forth on their guitars, creating some true riff magic. Adding in the steady beat of the drums in the background, the song truly comes together and Bryant’s vocals are truly in the Funk Rock realm, channeling a young Lenny Kravitz at some points. Then there is “Loaded Dice and Buried Money,” which happens to be the first single off the EP. It is a song about how “some things aren’t always what we perceive them to be.” There is an electrified sounding guitar playing throughout and there is no doubt it will be many’s favorite off the release.
Those looking for a little Country, there is “The Devil’s Keep” with a catchy chorus that will have the listener singing along, “You’ve got a way of getting to me, you’ve got a way of getting to me, throw another dime in the devil’s keep, you’ve got a way of getting.” Here there is a sliding Southern sounding guitar riffs mixed with steady drum, bass, and vocals into the melody. It is a beautiful song and a unique twist to the tracklist of The Wayside. Then there is “Mojo Workin’” which is one of those gritty Rock songs that fans will gravitate to upon hearing the first note. A key moment in the track comes when the band speeds up double time in the middle with guitar solos, drum, bass, and vocals blazing. As quickly this bold moment happens, it moves back to the steady Rock melody with ease.
Proving they have something for everyone, for fans of heavier Rock, there is “Stitch It Up.” A song with an amazing guitar solo mixed with a darker vibe is stellar, Bryant’s vocals are smooth. Meanwhile, complementing it all, the backing vocals on the chorus seem to be the perfect harmony mixture. Then, it seems almost fitting that the final song of The Wayside would be a Rock ballad, and the title track. The song begins with a solo guitar plucking and Bryant, singing alone, vulnerable, almost pleading. As it progresses, drums and bass come in with a simple, but steady beat. There is a hint of strings that mixes with a soloing guitar, making for a mesmerizing sound, making it a brilliant way to end a truly captivating, moving collection of tunes.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have accomplished more in their short career than most artists would dream of in their lifetime. The Wayside EP is full of unique Blues/Rock-n-Roll influenced music. Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have created an EP that will leave the listener wanting more, and their key ingredients are the masterful guitar solos. With tour plans for 2016, the band shows no signs of slowing down. CrypticRock give The Wayside 4.5 out of 5 stars.