I walked over to the Fox Coffee House for the Saturday Fox Open Mic event. Contrary to what I had been told over the phone, (ahem), the open mic portion had started at 6, not 7, and so I arrived just in time for the start of the featured act. On select Saturdays the Fox invites those who have risen through the open mic fray to put together a 50 minute set and then give them the mike. Tonight was a return guest, young Tyler Curley, a performer whom I very soon realized a description of “guitar player” would be very inadequate. On the “player to virtuoso” continuum I would have to put him well over to the right. For Tyler, the guitar is more than just his instrument, it is more like his orchestra. His mechanics are outstanding, and his creativity and inventiveness are off the scale. He used complex picking patterns, counter-rhythms, and very subtle and deftly executed looping effects to completely enthrall an audience heavy on the guitar player side. They were leaning forward in their seats trying to figure out just how in the world he was able to generate the sounds they were hearing!
The first person I saw when I walked in was Deja Nichole, and my joy turned to ecstasy when she told me that she was there to support Tyler and would be singing with him later. I wrote a blog entry about Deja when she did her last featured artist gig back in September, and one of the things I loved about that show was the degree to which Deja had made connections and forged incredible working relationships with other artists. Tyler was one of those artists and backed her up on a number of songs. He is the young man with the guitar in the video I posted in that blog entry. In a post from a few weeks ago I faulted Hildreth Avenue (aka Edward Lopez) for not including a reprise of his duet with Deja in his set; Tyler made no such mistake.
As expected, that duet was a stunning marriage of talents, and I managed to capture it on video. I am going to try to include that video in this entry, but haven’t had much luck including videos in WordPress lately, so you can also see the video on Facebook AT THIS LINK. Tyler doesn’t do any singing; yet, I think. He has not yet found his voice, in the purely physical sense, but his work with Deja ably demonstrates that there is nothing missing in terms of inner voice; he has the songwriting skills to make able use of other’s physical voices until he finds his own. The best news of the evening for me is that there are more collaborations with Deja in the pipeline!
I have not been able to find much of a social media footprint for Tyler, but you can find him on both Instagram and Soundcloud (where you can listen to his 11 track album, A Clockwork Heart) as @vexedtonightmare.
One more note–a tip jar is set out for the featured artists, and the regulars are quite generous in contributing to it; they consider it a valuable facet of their roles as mentors and developers of talent. Tyler tried to turn down the proceeds from the tip jar and instead suggested that they be distributed to the kitchen staff. I don’t know how that was ultimately resolved, but what a guy!!