Blues comes in different flavours. Tyler Bryant may hail from Honey Grove 'the sweetest town in Texas', but his playing conjures up the smokey fretwork of state alumni Billy Gibbons and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"When I think of Texas blues, I think of Sixth Street [Austin's historic entertainment district]," says Tyler. "A three-piece band, a Heineken sitting on top of a Fender Vibro-King and playing three hours for tips. But there are so many different styles - and so many Texas guys were influenced by the Chicago blues scene. Personally, I was influenced by the Delta blues, so we all just steal from each other and it winds up becoming a little bit of everything."
Tyler got his start on electric by serving as musical apprentice to Paris, Texas bluesman Roosevelt Twitty and since then his barbecued blend of Delta blues spice, Texan hot sauce and classic rock beef has helped him accrue one of the tastiest CVs in rock.
In the tank
When we check in, Tyler's amid a lengthy run around Europe and the US with AC/DC, and he's previously opened for the likes of Jeff Beck (no less than fi ve tours), BB King, ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd. That's a lot of talent to study up-close…
"I think [the most impressive] would definitely be Jeff," reckons Tyler. "I never missed his soundcheck and I watched him every night. I remember the first time he asked me to jam with him on an encore, it was horrifying! It's like someone going, 'We're going to put you in a tank with a shark tonight and we're going to hang steaks around your neck…' I say to the band, I felt like I went on that first Jeff Beck tour a boy, musically speaking, and came out a man! I learned so much from watching him.."
Tyler and band have picked up a few pointers from Messrs Young, too, not least about stadium amplification. Co-guitarist Graham Whitford [yup, son of Aerosmith's Brad] operates a Les Paul and 200-watt Marshall pairing, while Tyler sends his 1960 Custom Shop Strat through both a full Marshall Plexi stack and a Fender Vibro-King - with extension cabinet, natch.
"Oh man, it's loud," chuckles Tyler. "But there's nothing more rewarding than hitting an A-chord, then waiting for it to hit the back wall of the stadium and come right back to you!"
- For fans of: Rival Sons, Dan Patlansky
- Hear: Devil's Keep