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Published on March 5th, 2012 | by TLV News


Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown LIVE at Proud Larry’s Monday, March 5, 2012

by Kim Holloway

Band members:  Tyler Bryant, Caleb Crosby, Calvin Webster, and Graham Whitford.

How did the band come together? I met Caleb at a coffee shop in Nashville and we became fast friends. We listened to a lot of the same music and he seemed to be as obsessed with the drums as I was with guitar. I asked if he knew any bass players and he said he knew this guy named Calvin that was really good. The three of us set up a time to get together and jam. We played our first show a week or so later. Within a month, we started our first tour with REO Speedwagon. Ha! We toured as a power trio for about two years until we decided we needed another guitarist. I was at a radio interview in New York City and Graham was introduced to me as the guy who was going to put me out of a job. After I heard him play, I knew he had to be in the band. He was the perfect guy for the job. In a nutshell, that’s how the Shakedown was formed.

Rumor has it, one of ya’ll might be a rock n’ roll legacy? That would definitely be Graham. His dad is Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. He’s got rock and roll blood. He grew up on the road with those guys. That’s probably got something to do with him being a beast on the guitar.

After leaving the square late Thursday night, I ran into you and the rest of the guys celebrating your birthday.  Any thoughts on finally being 21? I don’t feel any older, but I guess it’s cool that I won’t have to get those stupid X’s at my own shows!

So, you’re scheduled to play the next two Monday nights (FREE SHOWS) at Proud Larrys’. Explain the Sweet Tea Sessions. We’ve been working with Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea and it’s been so great. Caleb and I drove down to Oxford about a month ago and fell in love with the city and the studio. As soon as we sat down and started talking music with Dennis, we knew we wanted to make a record with him. One of his ideas that got us really jazzed was the idea of trying the new songs out every Monday night at Larry’s. We’re definitely a live band and we loved that sort of approach.

How does it feel recording music where many artists have recorded, like Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello? Sweet Tea has just the right amount of vibe to make a rock and roll record. It keeps waking up and going to work everyday exciting. It’s feels exactly how a good studio should. You don’t want to make a record in what feels like a hospital where musical surgeries are performed. You want a little dirt! We love so many of the records that have come out of Sweet Tea and we wanted to make one of our own there!

You share a real connection with your fans on and off the stage (playing guitar and drums on the floor, etc.). How important is this communication with your audience? In a live show, I think that interaction is one of the most important things. I hate going to see a band just to watch them stand there looking to cool for school. It takes two to tango. You know? We just try to do our best to make the audience feel as good as the music makes us feel. We’re just trying to convey that emotion to them.

What song did you first learn how to play on the guitar? “Summer of ’69.” Bryan Adams.

Jimmy Page or Angus Young? Not fair. I love them both.

Freddie Mercury or Mick Jagger? Mick Jagger.

Who are you currently listening to? At the moment, we’re all sitting in our living room here in Oxford listening to Muddy Waters’ Hard Again record.

Describe your daily routine as an aspiring artist in Nashville. Oh man, I do a lot of writing (all genres), a lot of demoing, and a whole lot of rehearsing with the Shakedown. I’ve actually been working on some soundtrack stuff, too! I just finished playing guitar on this new movie called Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter which sounds crazy…Well, it is.. In the coolest way. It comes out in June!

What are your hopes for the next year? I want to finish this record and tour like a madman. They say rock n’ roll is a dying genre of music, do you agree? If so, how do we stop this?! I’ve heard people say that before, but most of them only seem to listen to the radio. You may have to look a little harder sometimes, but there’s always someone out there going for it. Some things never die and I think rock and roll is definitely one of those things.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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