William Tyler, Brokeback, Rebecca Gates | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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William Tyler, Brokeback, Rebecca Gates 

When: Fri., April 26, 10 p.m. 2013
Price: $10
Nashville guitarist William Tyler stands out not only among the rash of new artists interpreting American Primitive fingerstyle guitar but also in comparison to the originators of the style (John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Peter Walker). He’s a musician of astonishing facility and a brilliant syncretist, and on his recent second album, Impossible Truth (Merge), he moves beyond combining disparate traditions and melds his inspirations into morphing, sublimely melodic meditations that belong only to him. Drawing on skills as an assimilator that he perhaps learned playing in the eclectic Lambchop or working under producer Mark Nevers on records by the likes of Candi Staton, Bobby Bare, and Charlie Louvin, Tyler weaves together Indian classical music, country, blues, and rock into an unparseable whole. He’s a master at creating lush, resonant harmonies on the acoustic or electric guitar, though he sometimes uses extra players to expand the sound field: on “Country of Illusion,” for example, the sparse lines of trombonist Roy Agee thicken the clouds of harmonies trailing from Tyler’s fingers, while pedal steel player Luke Schneider adds woozy swells that rope outward from the track’s center of momentum. Even when Tyler goes it alone, as on “We Can’t Go Home Again,” his beautifully ringing, carefully orchestrated playing transcends mere virtuosity to evoke a vivid self-contained narrative. —Peter Margasak Brokeback and Rebecca Gates open.


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