Whether you read us on the reg or are a CMA Fest tourist who stumbled here by googling “Country, Nashville,” everyone should take note that William Tyler is performing tonight at Grimeys in celebration of his incredible new album, Modern Country, which dropped on Merge last Friday. Tyler is an obvious guitar virtuoso, who has lent his talents over the years to bands like Lambchop (starting at the age of 19) and Silver Jews, but his spaced out, transcendental solo efforts of the past few years leave us scratching our heads, asking, “Why is William Tyler not a household name by now?”
Modern Country doesn’t really differ from his previous solo works in the fact that they are all instrumental masterpieces, but for this record, Tyler utilizes an electric guitar for much of the album to precision effect. The glaze on the top of the perfect picking, sometimes even accentuated with a simple drum beat, brings a new life to the record, and represents another heady step forward in the higher being evolution of the artist’s work.
Tyler, a history buff, wrote a lot of these thoughtful tracks to highlight some of the oft forgotten or overlooked history of the South, just as he did in his last record, which begs the question, is Tyler’s version of “modern country” a plea for a return to clean, honest musicianship?
Contemplate this for yourself tonight with a free in-store performance at Grimeys New & Preloved Music starting at 5pm, and head below to spin the single “Gone Clear” from Modern Country. Don’t snooze on this thinking that you’ll catch William again in a few weeks, he’s heading out on the road for a good bit of the summer to support Wilco’s North and South American tours.