Tyler Booth. Where do I begin? I’ve known Tyler’s Dad for years. We worked together back in the ole Stitch Rivet days. So I helped out any way possible when Jay reached out to me. This was in the early days of Capture Kentucky. I helped behind the scenes, in other words, the boring stuff that isn’t important. Lol I heard a few songs Tyler had written and as I do with anyone that is talented, I needed to see if he could pull it off live. Let me just say, that if you saw that November or December of the 2017 model of Tyler Booth, you would not believe that he’s come this far, especially in such a short period of time. That first show, I saw a nervous young man. One that escaped his fears by rarely making eye contact. I joked at the time that I took 1000 photos and only 8 had his eyes open. Some folks would get mad about that, but Tyler listens to people and that’s his biggest asset in my opinion.
I see a lot of Tyler in myself. He’s able to internalize things, sort out the truth from the bull and come back even better. That is what will keep this young man on his meteoric rise. With each show, Tyler gets better. Those early shows, he would go flat sometimes, as everyone does from time to time. Watching his face through my lens, I saw that brief moment of doubt. He’d be mad at himself, but he would go home and practice to dial in his voice. I saw none of that on Saturday. Which speaks volumes to his work ethic.
Now we’re in Campton and the second most important person of Tyler’s career came from Nashville to perform as a special guest. Mr. Phil O’Donnell, more commonly known as Philbilly, saw the youth, the talent, the drive, the writing skills, the humbleness. Phil found the voice he’d been looking for. Over the last 18 months or so, Tyler and Phil have consistently written together. But the biggest thing that I’ve seen, is the polish of the rough edges, the control of his voice and the confidence in his abilities. Tyler put in the work, but he didn’t do it alone, and that’s why Phil was in Campton.
As for Jimmy Yeary, he played the last home show in Campton as well. Jimmy went to high school in Campton but now calls Nashville home. Jimmy has also been a mentor to Tyler, but more importantly, he has become a friend and ally in Tyler’s pursuit of his dreams. With that, you already knew that this was going to be a night to remember.
Phil and Jimmy combined their songwriting prowess as they traded one hit after another. Singing and playing together as comfortably and easily as you’ll ever witness. Phil and Jimmy gave us a wonderful look into what songwriter rounds look and sound like in Nashville. After several songs, they brought Tyler out to join them. Tyler performed a brand new song that he and Phil wrote less than two weeks ago. Acknowledging his confidence, Phil quipped that it takes a bongo set of you know whats to play that one. Tyler also performed his own song, “Surrender.” Which I believe is the first time I’ve seen him perform that one.
I will say this, Phil O’Donnell is Tyler’s producer and Jimmy Yeary won a song of the year award for “I’ll Drive Your Truck.” These gentlemen are Nashville heavyweights and they believe wholeheartedly that Tyler will have a very long and successful career, and I’m certainly not arguing with them.
I was asked to introduce Tyler and the band. Which I totally wasn’t expecting, but I am always absolutely honored to be a small part of Tyler’s journey. This young man is a totally different animal on stage now and I couldn’t possibly be any more proud of him, and the entire band for that matter.
As for Tyler’s set, it was a mix of old and new, his songs and cover songs. He threw in the usual Waylon songs, David Allen Coe, Jamey Johnson and even Elvis Presley, but to those in attendance, there was only one cover song that mattered. If you’ve been living under a rock, or perhaps in space, Tyler contributed vocals on the new Brooks &a Dunn record, ‘Reboot.’ Tyler joins Kix Brooks on their classic track, “Lost And Found.” As soon as Tyler mentioned Brooks & Dunn, the crowd was almost deafening. These folks get it and they are all a part of Tyler’s story. Home shows are always a favorite for me. The mood is always loving and folks can be themselves. They can let their guard down and just enjoy.
This show, however, was an entirely different vibe, but in a wonderful way. To us in Kentucky, we’re well aware of this young man. Outside of here, people got their first taste of Tyler in the Brooks & Dunn collaboration. I’m going to throw some stats at you. Spotify and Apple Music are wonderful barometers to see how artists are growing. On April 4th, Tyler had 10,754 monthly listeners. Ten days later, Tyler has 164,277. Ten. Days. This rocket is now lit and Tyler isn’t a secret anymore. So my advice is to set back and enjoy the ride.
The band played several new songs. I’m unsure of just how many, but I remember “Back On My Boots”, “My Kind Of Party”, and “In My Blood.” The latter of which was my personal favorite. As Tyler hit his stride, singing songs from his EP, the crowd knew every word and they took the show to a whole new level. “If We Make It To Mexico, “Greyhound Or A Slow Train”, “Bar High”, and “Ready To Raise It” nearly blew the roof. But with his last song, “Hank Crankin’ People,” Tyler could have just let the crowd sing it because they were just as loud as he was.
Also, before I put a big red bow on this article, I want to point out that all the money from concessions were given to Ieshia Barker. A courageous young lady that is battling for her life. The concessions raised right at $1000 for Ieshia. That’s a glimpse into the character of this young man. He’s a good ‘un.
As for the big red bow, I want to say that Tyler isn’t a good singer. Nope. He’s now an entertainer and a damn good one too. Look out world, Tyler Booth is coming in hot!