Courtesy of Zack Whitford
One rock ‘n’ roll band has had quite the track record of opening for well-known artists – some of which include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Eric Clapton and Aerosmith. And although some bands might consider opening for big-named headliners a great accomplishment, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown is most proud of the music it creates, not the artists it opens for.
The band is scheduled to perform 8 p.m. Thursday at Rumba Cafe.
Lead vocalist Tyler Bryant said the band adds a splash of soulful influence to its music, inspired by artists such as Little Richard and James Brown.
“We wanted something that sounded like how those bands make you feel,” Bryant said.
Since its formation in 2008, the band has opened for, in addition to aforementioned artists, other artists such as Pat Benatar, Smash Mouth, Paul Simon, B.B. King, Heart and REO Speedwagon.
Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown come together when Bryant met drummer Caleb Crosby.
“He asked if I wanted to jam, so when that happened we both looked at each other and said, ‘We’re starting a band,'” Crosby said.
They played their first show a week after practicing together for the first time and started their first tour a month later. The band started as a trio before working up to four members.
“It was very quick how it happened, so it was very exciting,” Crosby said.
Bryant met guitarist Graham Whitford, son of Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, during a radio interview in New York City.
“He was introduced to me as the guy that was going to put me out of a job, so I thought I better ask him to be in my band,” Bryant said.
The most recent addition to the band, bassist Noah Denney, joined about five months ago.
When they’re not touring, the band members reside in Nashville, Tenn. And Bryant said when he’s off the road and has a chance to turn on the radio he doesn’t hear any other bands that sound like Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown.
The members of the band wanted to create a band name that was able to capture the essence of soul and rock behind their music. The name came to them while going through the security line at an airport in New York City.
“My guitar was going through security and it went off, so they had to wipe my guitar down,” Bryant said. “Everybody in the band was like, ‘Tyler’s getting shaken down,’ and we were like, ‘Oh, that’s our band name.'”
Bryant, a 21-year-old from Honey Grove, Texas, said his interest in rock music began at a young age.
“When I was in first grade, I saw a video of Elvis Presley in school, and that was it for me. I wanted to be him,” Bryant said.
He said his mother dyed his hair black and he sold his dirt bike to buy an electric guitar.
Bryant’s early interest in music paid off when he was asked to play with U.K. guitarist Jeff Beck during his 2011 tour.
“As a kid he was always my favorite guitarist, so I was just so nervous getting the opportunity to tour with him,” Bryant said.
He reiterated though that despite the acts he’s played for, making music is the most pleasing part of his career.
“The most rewarding thing that I’ve gotten out of it is finishing this new record,” Bryant said. “We all worked so hard on that and did it on our own, so no one will ever be able to take that away from us.”
The band has released two albums, “My Radio” in September 2011 and “From the Sandcastle” in March 2011. It newest album “Wild Child” is promising for a January release.
And as for its show Thursday, which Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown is headlining, Bryant said the focus won’t be on the names of the bands playing, but just the feeling the music gives the audience.
“We’re there to make people have fun,” Bryant said. “I hope it’s a time the audience gets to let their hair down and loosen up their tie for a second.”
Tickets cost $9.99 and can be purchased on the Rumba Cafe’s website or at the venue, located at 2507 Summit St.