Bartron Tyler Group

Bartron Tyler Group


BTG (the Bartron/Tyler Group) is the San Francisco Bay Area’s best instrumental rock band, playing groove-oriented music that combines the precision of progressive rock with the improvisational adventurism of a jam band.



For nearly two decades, the Bartron-Tyler Group (BTg) has inspired, grooved, and enlivened diverse audiences at festivals and concerts all along the West Coast. Bartron and Tyler’s musical partnership began over 20 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. Years of playing in rock and cover bands followed before the focus shifted to the intricate structures for which BTg is known. In 1991, they premiered as a guitar duo, soon thereafter recording a disc at the prompting of Nashville producer and friend Bob Tassi. John Hasty joined forces to add percussive spice, building on the group to produce the next two critically acclaimed CD releases, “Fillmore Street Live" (1994), and “Leap Day" (1997). For the CD release concerts for “Leap Day", the band wanted to ground the sound with a bassist. The natural choice was Joey Fabian, with whom Hasty had already performed in diverse musical settings over the last four years. The roots that have been growing over the past 20 years serve as a strong foundation for the group’s unique sound. "Like A Metaphor" (2002), showcases this new, fully realized quartet’s amazing cohesion and flow garnered through four solid years of gigging. “Just About Almost There” (2006), is their most diverse effort yet, combining rock, fusion, folk, reggae, and just about anything else into a truly unique, mesmerizing listening experience.
Their latest CD "Yesterday Never Knows" (2009) is an imaginative romp through the music of the Beatles, and was featured in the January 2010 issue of Guitar Player Magazine.

Identity Crisis

What kind of music does BTg play? Well, let’s see….it’s rock, jazz, folk, Afro-Cuban, Celtic, bluesy, bluegrassy fusion. They just call it Hardwood music. You can empathize with the problem of recognition in a cookie-cutter genre, one-word-moniker-for-ease-of-digestion world. Let’s examine the individual components for clarity. John Bartron’s fiery technique brings to mind images of Ralph Towner and the late Michael Hedges. Bartron’s compositions are bristling with inventive melodies, twists, and theme and variation. Although initially playing acoustic guitar exclusively, the last few years have seen him stretching out on synth-guitar and electric. Mike Tyler, on a hybrid acoustic/electric guitar, gets tones as smooth as glass or as crunchy as Satriani. He is a slide-guitar specialist that avoids slide-guitar clichés, sounding more like David Lindley than Elmore James. His fusion-tinged compositions blow the player and non-player out of their seats. Joey Fabian, on electric and double bass, brings a solid musical background and lots of fun to the group’s sound. Just to see him on stage is pure joy. He bridges the gap of melody and rhythm with power and grace. Pulsating underneath it all is John Hasty. Playing one of the most bizarre looking drum kits ever assembled, he drives the dynamics of the band from a roar to a whisper. His set blends hand drums and kit to cover sounds from Africa to Zeppelin.

The Sound

BTg has evolved over the years from their acoustic guitar-duo roots into one of the most distinctive instrumental rock bands to be found, skillfully blending musical sophistication with an innate sense of fun and favoring taste over technical flash. And though it’s one thing to have wonderful recordings, the other side is being able to deliver it live. In concert, BTg leaves fans spellbound and wanting more. With great writing, kick-ass playing, and pristine recording, they are a most remarkable band. Their new album of classic Beatles tunes is quickly becoming their biggest album ever, and with their wildly inventive arrangements this disc is setting new standards on how to approach a “tribute” album.


All full-length CDs:
Yesterday Never Knows (2009)
Just About Almost There (2006)
Fillmore Street (2005)
Like A Metaphor (2002)
LeapDay (1997)

Set List

A typical concert set runs about 90 minutes with selections from all of our CDs, probably 90% originals, although our current live set consists of imaginative instrumental re-interpretations of Beatles tunes. We used to regularly perform at Street festivals playing 8 hour days without repeating tunes. Because of this we can be extremely flexible according to the venues needs.