Women, Whiskey and Willie, oh my – Interview with Tyler Reeve
I slammed the door at a quarter to three, the lady rolled over making eyes at me, I said ‘Baby, what do you want me to do? You know I can’t stop drinking if I have to keep lovin’ you’.
Why part ways amicably when you can immortalize your failed relationships for the enjoyment of the general public? What T-Swift has done for droves of Hollywood heartthrobs, Tyler Reeve has done for several female members of the Florida State student body…sans dramatic facial expressions and eccentrically displaced woodland creatures.
No stranger to Tyler’s music – I’ve seen him perform four times over the years – I am continuously impressed at how good this guy is at what he does. He has an undeniable chemistry with his audience, regularly surpassing that of whichever big-name artist he’s opening for (from Eric Church to Lynyrd Skynyrd). His performances are teeming with stories, often about his morally questionable, whiskey-induced experiences with love – whether he’s finding it, losing it, or making it in the back of a pick-up.
To top it all off, Tyler’s as talented as he is entertaining. His effortless blend of Texas-style Americana and Southern rock is framed by honest, clever, and refreshingly relatable lyrics. Alternating between heart-wrenching and heart-warming, without compromising on glass-raising, Tyler Reeve is exactly what the modern, pop-infused country genre is desperately thirsting for.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tyler before a show to discuss his Alabama-grown roots, the highlights of his career, and what’s in store for the future.
CMP: How did growing up in Alabama, with so many ties to Southern Rock and Americana, affect your music?
TR: The town [Mobile] itself has got that beachy vibe because Jimmy Buffett’s from there, and when I was in high school everyone was listening to the Texas stuff. For me, the Southern Rock influence comes from my dad – everything he listened to was CCR and Allman Brothers and all that stuff – I was definitely indoctrinated young with all of that. It just started coming out as a writer, and it’s always been a part of what I do.
CMP: When did you first start playing guitar?
TR: I got a guitar when I was 12 years old – I got a little electric guitar and a little amp and started learning a bunch of Nirvana [laughs]. But that didn’t last very long, maybe three or four months. Then when I was in high school, there was a girl that was four years older than me, when I was a freshman, and she used to take an acoustic guitar to parties and take it out and play – and she was awesome, a really good player and songwriter and that kind of inspired me, so I went and dug my electric out of the closet and traded it in for a crappy acoustic and started playing. That was that, I’ve been playing ever since.
CMP: What was the first song you learned?
TR: The first song I learned, I think, was either “The Joker” or “Midnight Rider.” But it could’ve been “Sweet Home Alabama,” that was the first song I learned to play and sing.
CMP: What has been the most surreal moment of your career?
TR: There’s been a few. Getting to go on stage and sing with Willie Nelson a couple times was really cool. Going out with Jamey Johnson was really cool, it was a really big venue and it was my first time being in front of 20,000 people at one time – but then I got to do it a couple times with Willie Nelson and that was definitely a bucket-list thing for me.
CMP: Any venues you’d really love the chance to play?
TR: I would love to play Red Rocks [Amphitheatre in Colorado,] I think there’s such a cool vibe there. But we’ve gotten to play some really cool venues; the National Theatre in Richmond VA is a really cool, really historic venue. But Red Rocks would definitely be up there for me.
CMP: What’s next for Tyler Reeve?
TR: We’re finishing up some songs, I’ve been writing a lot lately and we’ve been recording some stuff. We’ve got some good meetings coming up in the next week or two, then we should really have a clear vision of who’s going to be on board moving this along with us. We’re going to keep touring this year and stay out there playing – hopefully by the beginning of next year we’ll have another record on the horizon and get to tour behind that pretty vigorously.
CMP: So your newest album is called One More Shot – if you were taking the last shot of your life, what would it be?
TR: Jim Beam whiskey. [laughs] I don’t need the top shelf stuff, I like Jim Beam. I actually ordered some the other night and there was a fly at the bottom, so I went back to the bartender and said, “Hey man, can I get another one of these ‘cause there’s a fly in there.” So he gets the bottle of Jameson down and pours me a Jameson, trying to do me a favor – but I was like “eh, just give me the Jim Beam.”
Pick up Tyler’s second album One More Shot, available now.
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