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The McCoy Tyler Band is a progressive acoustic trio based in Santa Cruz, CA. Their music fuses elements of traditional folk, bluegrass, old-school country, blues, and more. Tyler’s impactful songwriting and unique arrangements paired with the band’s high-energy live set make them one of the most intriguing up and coming bands in the Bay Area and beyond.
The group formed in May 2011 when McCoy Tyler, who after spending six years performing strictly as a lead guitarist in rock and metal groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (most notably Trigger Renegade and Brother Pacific), began taking his own songwriting more seriously. He promptly recruited drummer and UCSC student Clinton Brown and Ohio-born upright bassist Chad Bowen. Both members acclimated quickly to Tyler’s vision of a highly vocal-based style of acoustic music, utilizing three-part harmonies and a powerful rhythm section.
Shortly after forming, the group caught the attention of local promoter and radio legend Sleepy John. He invited them to perform live on his show at 107.5 KPIG, and soon after had them booked at the historic Santa Cruz jazz hub The Kuumbwa, opening for traveling “folkster” John Craigie.
In May 2012 the group recorded their debut full-length album entitled “Cabin Fever Blues” at Tyler’s home studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The songs, a backlog of original material spanning the four years Tyler spent living as a student in San Francisco and the transition back to his hometown of Santa Cruz, formed the foundation for which the band’s sound is built upon.
During the summer of 2013 the band embarked upon their first out-of-state tours in support of their new album. Playing an assortment of venues throughout the Western US, the band was able to spread their music to new audiences while gaining contacts and invaluable knowledge about what it means to be an independent touring band.
In September 2013, the band was invited to perform at The American River Music Festival's "Artist Showcase". The event featured 10 up-and-coming groups from the area competing for a slot on the mainstage at the festival. In front of a packed house of judges and musical aficionados, the band dazzled the audience with two original songs and won themselves the mainstage slot, performing alongside Dead Winter Carpenters, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hot Buttered Rum, and Paul Thorn.
Now, with two successful tours behind them, as well as a slough of other festivals and performances, the group has set their sights on a second full-length album, "Into The Yonder" to be released in summer 2014.
Rooted deep in the customs of traditional American music, The McCoy Tyler Band seeks to pay homage to such traditions while incorporating their own unique style of lyricism, arrangement, and performance. Their motto (in the words of David Grisman): "Any tradition results from free thinking."