It's probably fair to still call Tyler Bryant a guitar prodigy. Even though he's currently 20 years old, the Honey Grove, Texas, native has been slinging since before he was the fresh-faced 15-year-old winner of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation's New Generation Award.
Actually, Bryant's been in love with the guitar since he was given his first acoustic at age six.
Oh, and he's also already performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival, and one of his songs ("Who I Am") is featured on Guitar Hero 5. If that's not enough to cement his status as a grown-up axe-man, Bryant and his band just finished up a run of dates opening up for none other than Jeff Beck.
During the tour, Bryant was brought on stage each night to jam with Beck for a version of Sly and the Family Stone's "I Want To Take You Higher." So, that's kind of a big deal, regardless of one's age.
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While old-school blues is where Bryant first found musical love, he has developed some seriously aggressive swagger since moving to Nashville a few years ago. With some greasy blues licks mixed in, Bryant and his band, The Shakedown, specialize in straight-forward, jean-slashing, sweat-sloshing rock. Their new album, From the Sandcastle, won't be widely available until next week, but those who catch the band's gigs at ACL Fest this weekend or Thursday night at Hat Tricks in Lewisville will have the chance to score the album early.
Since Jeff Beck isn't only a former tour-mate of Bryant's, but also a guitar hero's guitar hero, we thought it would be an ideal time for Bryant to tell us his all-time top five Jeff Beck Songs to play.
Tyler Bryant's All-Time Top Five Jeff Beck Songs to Play
1. "Big Block." When I first started listening to Jeff as a kid, this was always the song I tried to play.
2. "Led Boots." I love the groove in this one. The guitar hooks are so simple and catchy. It's definitely one of my favorites.
3. "Brush With The Blues." One time, I saw Jeff pull his cell phone out of his pocket and start texting someone, or something like that, while he was playing this song. He didn't miss a note! [Laughs.]
4. "Angel (Footsteps)." This song has some of the most beautiful guitar melodies I've ever heard. Period.
5. "Nessun Dorma." When I was on the road with Jeff, he would close the show with this song every night. It's an amazing piece, and Jeff kills it. I'll never forget the last night of that first tour I did with him. He fell to his knees as he played the big last note. The crowd went nuts and everyone back stage was smiling and taking pictures. When I hear this song, it takes me there.