Tonight we witnessed a highly energetic opening solo set by Jonathan Tyler, replacing his full band with a case of blues harps. After breaking with his major record label, Tyler made a powerful return with a hauntingly beautiful, blues–stompin’ road album titled, Holy Smokes. The album received attention from Rolling Stone Magazine and his duet with girlfriend Nikki Lane hit the airwaves… Fast forward to tonight, the room had a good buzz on. With the exception of the first number “Devil’s Basement,” a fan request from The Northern Lights “Pardon Me” era, this set relied heavily on JT’s new material. Jonathan morphed songs I have grown to love into Bob Dylan or Neil Young–like harmonica bliss. His vocals are powerful, both sweet and raspy. Jonathan switched-up the lyrics to “California Sunshine” to “Carolina Sunshine” which the crowd really enjoyed. Singing along “I am on my way” provided me comfort that everything will end up okay. After it came on in my car on the way to venue, I was hoping Tyler would play “Goin’ Down To The City,” a saloon-like blues romp, and he did! “Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long” a cover by country outlaw great Ray Wylie Hubbard rang true. The set closed with a duet, “To Love Is to Fly,” with headliner Nikki Lane. A perfect set at The Grey Eagle. G-D bless Jonathan Tyler, may he make music for another 50 years.
-Joshua Marc Levy, Asheville Art Family
Goin’ Down To The City
Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long
To Love Is to Fly
Photos By Libby Gamble Photography