By Mike O’Cull
Contemporary blues/rock crew Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown throw it back to their indie origins on the band’s new album Shake The Roots.
The set comes out September 9th, 2022 on their own Rattle Shake Records imprint and finds the group getting reacquainted with the straight-up rock sound that launched them into the musical life as kids as well as taking on the task of getting this new record to their fans. “We spend so much time writing and recording, it’s time we start spending more time sharing our art with the people who care,” said Bryant. “We’ve seen how the soup gets made and are confident that any ingredients we are missing will be obtained. That’s the spirit of this band and has been since day one. We’ve built our fan base in such a grass roots way that it only makes sense. They want to support us and OUR collective cause. When I say “our,” I’m including the fans. They are the reason we feel confident enough to make this leap.”
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have emerged as one of the best American rock bands of the present day and have made it happen with a combination of hot playing, tight and emotive songwriting, and going hard every time they hit the stage.
Guitarist/vocalist/bandleader Bryant is an absolute monster musician who has evolved into a skilled producer and all-around studio dynamo over the course of the band’s career and did an outstanding job capturing himself, drummer Caleb Crosby, and bassist Graham Whitford at the top of their curve. Shake The Roots turns out to be the strongest record Bryant has made to date and achieves the right balance between revved-up playing and meaningful songwriting.
Right from the jump, the songs on Shake The Roots hit you with creative arrangements and lyrical content that are far more personal than most of Bryant’s competitors. The opening song, “Bare Bones,” kicks off with some dirty slide guitar but quickly drops into a vocal-and-handclaps breakdown right up front, instantly grabbing your attention before careening off into its groove and story. It’s a fun song that sends the message that this will not be another cookie-cutter album by another forgettable band. This one is going to be real.
“Ain’t None Watered Down” is the first single from Shake The Roots and was co-written by Tyler and his wife Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe. It’s a wonderfully swampy blues/rocker that blends a back porch feel with loud guitars and a Zeppelin-like chorus. It’s a smart, plain-spoken song that lets us know that a new generation of stars like Bryant and Lovell is carrying American music into its own future right in front of our ears.
One of the most memorable tracks Bryant presents here is the Tom Petty-ish gem “Roots.” He combines Petty’s ability to craft a perfect rock radio chorus with his own blues/rock vibe to give us a taste of what Petty might have sounded like with Billy Gibbons in the band instead of Mike Campbell. It’s an incredibly melodic, soul-lifting song that will keep you coming back.
“Shackles” is so heavy that it brings early Black Sabbath to mind. It’s a chugging, big riff rock tune that digs down into the dirt to find its own freedom. Bryant churns the electric mud like a classic British man of metal on this one and delivers a surreal, scary performance that channels the frightening side of the blues. Other winners on Shake The Roots include “Tennessee” and “Sunday No Show.” Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have reached a new tier with this release and it seems like going indie was the right move. The band sounds more fully realized than ever and is ready to keep expanding. Treat yourself to a test drive.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown website