Tornadoes in the Carolinas, snow in Boston and endless dark rain in New York City makes the onset of spring rather bleak. Thankfully, such weather patterns do not hold any sway over the power of music on a Friday. This past weekend, amidst all the atmospheric cacophony, Nashville musician Tyler Boone graced the halls of Mercury Lounge, alongside Laura Jean Anderson and Arc & Stones, to calm the city’s nerves. His style and original sound were just what the drenched wanderers of the night needed that evening.
The trek downtown was filled with gloom, wet puddles and a slight wind that blew from every direction. Flights all over the east coast were delayed and canceled due to the unusual mix. For fans facing mental and physical exhaustion, a crisp Stella Artois at the bar was an ideal solution. Despite a sparse crowd that lingered half by the bar and in the concert space, the chatter was lively with anticipation. Shortly after Laura’s opening performance, Tyler was already seen on stage setting up right away. He was busy tuning up with a calm ease as a violet glare poured over him and his fellow musical companion, Dan Rainey. Fans were cheering the men on, much to the enjoyment of Tyler who had a mild grin on his face. Sipping a beer, he wandered off stage for a bit and then they were back in a flash.
Mr. Boone welcomed all and thanked Laura for her set. His first song off the bat had a Celtic twang to it that seemed to blend into a bluegrass wail. Between the two guitarists, their interplay with detailed licks made for a captivating contrast that remained engaging. Of course, Tyler’s voice was another added feature that was noted by all. Folksy vocals came beside these instrumental moments. The dual guitar work was slick. It was both melodic and smooth with touching harmonic pairings. Often, Tyler’s eyes were closed while he sang. On top of that, he jerked his head as he played his solos with Dan that were strumming pleasure to the ears. Between the two of them, it truly was a great duo of musicianship. Coming close to the microphone, Tyler’s voice reverberated clearly in the quiet room. Guests looked on from the sides, with many comfortably seated on the dark couches. Feet tapped and bodies swayed from the inception.
When Tyler hit his stride, his music turned into preaching and gasping soul. Notable instances included the comprehensive jam sessions with intricate guitar plucks of glory. It was candy to the listeners in the space. From time to time there was a hint of Flamenco within. Tyler’s genres were eclectic in each elaborate style that he brought to his guitar. His banter with the crowd was optimistic as he stated that it was to be “a good ole’ weekend of rock n’ roll.”
Soul blues came in with his honorable tribute and rendition of Hey Joe. All throughout his set, there was an obvious Nashville touch with the grinding guitars and poetic lyrics ever present. He remained unbelievably in sync with Dan. Together, they were a well-oiled rhythm machine producing great music. Sometimes it felt that there was an explosive horn section deep within as they played. It must have been the endless emotional energy they brought to the stage. He was totally at ease and never stopped grooving. Towards the end of his set, rockabilly entered the musical equation and his clear voice reached even more impressive heights. He ended with sublime grinding folk that had some itching for more.