Brandon Tyler
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Brandon Tyler


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"Making The Cut"

"Of the many talented songwriters and musicians which float throughout the music industry today, there are few and far in between which actually make the cut, or deserve to. Turning our focus now to Sacramento musician Brandon Tyler whose newest release, Something About Dreams, is nothing short of talented songwriting skills. What makes a good song? Any idiot will tell you that it has to be catchy, and this release is chock full of catchy songs. However, it's not just catchy hooks which carries Something About Dreams, but rather the vocal delivery which lies throughout this 6 song EP. Tyler is without a doubt a very gifted vocalist, and often the music blends itself with the melodies provided by current alternative rock bands such as My Morning Jacket. Fans of said genre will be more than pleased with the offerings here on Something About Dreams for this is no throw-away college alt rock performance, but instead a delightful dish of true hidden talent." -Ryk Weston (Non-zine Magazine) - Ryk Weston (Non-zine Magazine)

"PREVIEW: Brandon Tyler in Stockton"

Brandon Tyler’s musical career has taken him from Lodi to Massachusetts to Sacramento.

Now he’s coming back to the 209 to close out the summer. Tyler and his band will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in Janet Leigh Plaza, 222 N. El Dorado St., Stockton, to close out the free Music in the Square concert series. He'll be joined by guitarist Greg Adams, drummer Graham Roggli and bassist Glenn Cummins.

Initially, Tyler traveled to IMA Studio in Massachusetts to work with former David Bowie guitarist Earl Slick and producer Lee Madeloni on his forthcoming EP, tentatively titled "About Turbulence." He was still playing the acoustic guitar-based heartthrob pop-rock that has earned him a loyal following in the 209 scene.

But that was the problem.

"I didn't feel like I had expanded enough as an artist," said Tyler, 26, a former Lodi resident now based in Sac. "I wanted to try something different."

So Tyler regrouped, retooled, booked a week at Sacramento's Pus Cavern, and - under the guidance of his friend and "Dreams" producer Michael Grant - recut the record from top to bottom.

The result, Tyler said, is five songs with a leaner, grittier sound and unaffected lyrics that are different from anything he's recorded before. It's slated for a digital release in Spring 2009.

"It's still pop," Tyler said. "But it's got more character, more space, then anything I've done. And one track, ‘Deja Vu,’ might be one of the best song I've ever written."

Despite the connotations of the new record's working title, Tyler said his life has found some equilibrium since relocating to Sacramento after a stint in San Francisco. He had moved to the Bay Area with hopes of becoming part of the San Francisco scene, but a lack of housing funds found him in exile in South San Francisco.

"It takes about thirty minutes to an hour during the day to get to certain places downtown, and I couldn't afford to move closer," Tyler remembered. "So I became a hermit, wrote a couple songs... and realized that I was completely alienated in the place I was at."

Since his return to the Central Valley, Tyler has started a steady relationship, works a day job that allows him time to focus on music, and now divides his time equally between the Sacramento and Stockton/Modesto scenes.
- 209 Vibe

"Brandon Tyler Finds His Balance"


Brandon Tyler is having a rock star moment.

The 27-year-old musician is in the car, headed toward Davis, listening to Ryan Adams' "Cardinology" CD, talking to a reporter on his cell phone and, uh, trying to keep an eye on the speedometer.

"Don't worry, I have the phone on speaker," he says. "Can you imagine if I got pulled over right now? That would be so rock star."

Then again, he admits with a laugh, that's kind of the point.

The Central Valley-raised, Sacramento-based pop singer-songwriter, who performs Saturday at the Guild Theatre, releases not one but two EPs this week: "Turbulence" is a collection of pop-rock songs; "Bedroom Songs" is a set of intimate acoustic tunes.

Both discs, Tyler says, represent a lifetime of playing music and the not-secret desire to be onstage, rocking out in front of an audience.

Tyler was 9 when, in an effort to be just like his cooler, older brother, he started taking piano lessons. The whim of a hobby quickly turned into a deep love for music.

In high school, Tyler switched to the guitar – "it's much easier to haul around than a piano" – and began cultivating an ear for catchy hooks and edgy rock riffs.

Tyler was attending high school in Modesto in the late '90s when he and a drummer friend began goofing around, writing and playing songs that emulated radio hits. The pair eventually took their "act" to the airwaves.

"There was this rock station in Modesto, and every Friday night we used to call the DJ and joke around with him," Tyler says. "So, once after we'd written this dumb parody of the Sean Mullens song 'Lullaby' – about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky – I called him up and told him he should put us on the radio."

The disc jockey did just that, inviting the young musicians to come perform in the studio.

That "joke" turned into a regular gig.

"It became a tradition," Tyler says. "We'd go in every week and play our parodies of hit songs."

It was more than just good exposure, Tyler says. It helped hone his chops.

"I pretty much learned to play guitar doing this," he says. "We did it all by ear."

After high school, Tyler lived in Southern California, where, as the story so often goes, he met a girl, moved in with her and then soon discovered he wasn't ready for that sort of thing.

"It was a mess," he recalls.

And so the singer-songwriter made his way back up north, this time landing in Sacramento.

"I had some connections here, some friends, some couches to sleep on," he says.

In 2006, Tyler released his debut CD, "Something About Dreams." The disc, recorded at Sacramento's Pus Cavern Recording Studio, was a mix of disparate influences.

Pus Cavern manager Lesa Johnston remembers the first time she heard Tyler. The singer, she says, has come a long way since then.

"When he first came in, his (music) had this real '80s feel; it was very dated," she says. "But then I went to see him live and he just had a ton of character, a really enticing personality."

Johnston was impressed enough to sign Tyler to her fledgling label Nozzle Records. Now, over time, she says, she's heard Tyler's music evolve into something fresh and mature.

"He's just a solid musician, period."

He's also a guy with a mission. In the years since releasing "Dreams," Tyler says, he's focused his sound. The "Turbulence" EP, he says, reflects that drive.

"I don't want this to sound cheesy," he says. "But I really wanted to have a bad-ass set to perform live."

Still, with its candy-coated, shake-yer-groove-thang melodies, "Turbulence" isn't just a head-banging record (although it is that, too – and in a good way). Songs such as "The Guide" and "Alcohol Tears" are complex, sophisticated tunes that only get better upon repeated listening.

The songs got their start in Massachusetts with David Bowie's longtime guitarist Earl Slick.

"Earl's my old drummer's dad and so we recorded some tracks at his studio."

But ultimately, Tyler says, he wasn't happy and brought the songs back home to record with an old friend, Endever- after singer Mike Grant.
"We took them to Pus Cavern and Mike just really opened the songs up," Tyler says. "He just hears so much more than I hear."

Now, with help from sister "Bedroom Songs" EP, Tyler says he feels he's finally found himself as a musician. He can be the kid who loved Michael Jackson, the teen who wrote jokey pop parodies and the adult who's not ashamed to love a good sad-sap Ryan Adams ballad but also indulge his inner rock star.

"I can play an acoustic set and be grungy," he says.

"I can be both." - Rachel Leibrock - Sacramento Bee

"Life in the Fishbowl"

Brandon Tyler is the kind of musician who gets it, “it” being how to hit the scene like a pro. Earlier this year, the Sacramento musician released Turbulence and Bedroom Songs, the first, a rockin’ EP, the second a collection of intimate acoustic performances. His website has plenty of rock star-ready photos, and his CDs are tight, well-produced affairs. He’s also got a local connection. “I’m excited to come back to San Luis Obispo! I went to Cuesta for a brief period of time, and I loved living in Central California. It’s definitely one of my favorite places.” See him on Tuesday, July 7 at Frog and Peach. - New Times SLO

"Confessions of a Singer-Songwriter"

Brandon Tyler Maynard is a little bit of a comedian, a little bit of a magician and quite a musician. At 28, the Lodi High graduate is back in Lodi, and performing shows in August and September at Woodbridge Uncorked. Here, he talks about his inspiration, performing and how he got radio time before he even had a band.

Q: You got some radio play on accident. How did that happen?

A: My friends and I would call B92.9 (formerly 93.1) and (talk) to the disc jockey, Dave Mazzy, all the time ... . One night I called and did a parody song of Sean Mullen's "Lullaby," and it was about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinksy and he aired it.

The following Friday I told him I'm driving over there. He was like, OK, bring your guitar. So we rushed to Modesto and it became a tradition. He called us the Mazzy All Stars, and we kind of didn't have a band then. When we got our band together we started going on the radio and we just became the Mazzy All Stars. We played SummerFest '99, opened up for Better Than Ezra and opened up for like Romantics, Berlin and B93 was behind us.

Q: What kind of music do you play?

A: It's sort of like John Mayer, singer-songwriter pop rock.

Q: Where have you been playing lately?

A: I just finished a two-week tour. We went all the way down California to San Diego. We went to Nevada, Utah, Washington and back down and finished up at Xfest in Modesto. I'm playing those two dates at Woodbridge Uncorked. I play a lot of Sacramento and in November I'm planning another two-week tour to hit colleges.

Q: What are your favorite things to do in Lodi?

See Brandon Tyler play Aug. 21 at Woodbridge Uncorked. (Courtesy photo)
A: I love to go to the movies. You'll probably catch me there or the Starbucks on Lower Sacramento Road and Kettleman Lane. I'm really addicted to Starbucks. I don't drink coffee, but I love soy chai and Starbucks, to me, has the best soy chai. But my heart is at House of Coffees. I've probably played five or six shows there.

I also like to go to Oh My Yogurt. I love it. I went there last night. I get cookies and cream and all chocolate stuff like Oreo, Twix. Last night, I got this pomegranate with EuroTart and I got fruit and cheesecake bites. It was really, really good.

Q: Do you there are things for 28-year-olds to do in Lodi?

A: I'm kind of in that age where I'm too old to go hang out with younger people. My music used to be target toward younger people because I was younger but now it's like a whole emo thing is going on and I don't whine really. My target is like 21 plus, and for the people that are 21 and over in this town, there's not a whole lot to do — besides go to Garry's (Lounge). But I'm not a huge bar guy, and I always feel like the NorCal guys want get in a fight with me because I have my V-necks and I'm pale and skinny. If I'm on stage, it's cool and they love me, but if I'm in the same bar as them, drinking Jagerbombs or something, someone's going to want to fight me. Just like high school.

Q: What was high school like?

A: I was like a little shrimp back then, like 4-feet-tall, so tiny and timid. The first two years I went to school and didn't talk to anyone. In 11th grade, I started playing guitar. Before that, I did magic, David Copperfield stuff. That's actually how I got to learn to play guitar. I took guitar class and met this kid who knew all the songs on the radio, and I was like, I have to meet this guy. I showed him a magic trick and he wanted to learn, and I said, well if you teach me songs, I'll teach you magic.

Brandon Tyler at Woodbridge Uncorked
When: Aug. 21 and Sept. 19
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Where: Uncorked, 181911 N. Lower Sacramento Road in Woodbridge.
Info: 365-7575
Web sites:,
Q: Who are some of your musical inspirations?

A: John Mayer. When his album came out, that was a huge change. I think music, on the singer-songwriter level was getting really stale. There were a lot of songs in G or the four basic chord structure on the radio. I learned all of them and then John Mayer came out and his album had jazz chord stuff that I'd never connected to. He brought it into mainstream and it just motivated me to hone my chops and get better at guitar.

I grew up listening to James Taylor, Tom Petty, Jackson Brown. I like Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. He is amazing. He's very folk, but right now he is my No. 1. Also, Matt Matheson. He's been a local guy and played around here for years and years ... . He is on the Top 20 on VH1 now; he's had major success on a very indie level.

And Coldplay — their album, "Viva La Vida" — I don't think anyone's beaten that record yet. I'm still waiting for a record to come out that's good or better.

Q: What are you like on stage?

A: I like to make jokes and I kind of have a dry sense of humor. I love "Roseanne." I watch it all the time at night. I love very dry humor and that's how I try to be onstage. If I'm at a club, I can be a little more age appropriate. I always try to have fun, but I'm not a Ryan Seacrest type funny, like, "Hey everybody, we're going to have a good time." Just make some jokes. Play some songs. Everybody has a good time.

Q: Where is the best place to write music?

A: I like to be alone when I write because I feel like I can be honest. If I can't get away in my house, I'll go in my car and just go to a parking lot and play. You can really hear everything in there, but you get a back ache after a while. There's this hallway off Ham and Kettleman lanes, by Yen Ching, and really late at night when no one's there — like midnight — I go and play there because the acoustics in there are just awesome. - Lodi News Sentinel


My Make Believe Autumn EP
Something About Dreams EP
Turbulence EP
Bedroom Songs

The Party (from Something About Dreams) was played on KOSO B93.1 FM as well as Sacramento State College Radio.

Lights On The Fire (from Something About Dreams) was played on KZZO 100.5 FM(The Zone)

Briana's Luck (from Something About Dreams) was played on KRXQ 98.5 FM(98 Rock)

Turbulence was played on March 15th, 2009 on 98 Rock in Sacramento, CA.



Sacramento musician Brandon Tyler sold out all 200 seats of the historic Guild Theater in Sacramento as he debuted his new releases Turbulence and Bedroom Songs on March 14, 2009. Each of the new CDs showcases Tyler’s versatility as both a rocking front-man (Turbulence) and an introspective singer-songwriter (Bedroom Songs). On Turbulence, Tyler teams again with Michael Grant (Endeverafter) who turns up the rock a notch compared to their previous collaboration on Something About Dreams. Recorded at Sacramento’s Pus Cavern and engineered by Joe Johnston. Turbulence is being digitally distributed nationwide through Lesa Johnston’s new label, Nozzle Records, and Ingrooves.

Tyler, who sings and plays guitar, will be touring with percussionist Graham Roggli, also of Sacramento. They will perform new material as well as songs from Tyler’s three CDs: Something About Dreams (2006) and Turbulence and Bedroom Songs (2009).

Tyler is known for his humorous stage banter and occasional cover songs that get his audiences involved with his show and keep them coming back to see him again and again. He has been writing and performing his unique brand of pop-rock songs for more than 10 years, equally entertaining in intimate acoustic settings and larger venues with a full band. His songs are introspective, intelligent and catchy and he delivers them with a pure voice that is in turns warm, rich, emotional, and gritty.

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