Photos & Review by Rosie Judd
Special Guest: Logan Vath
How often do musicians get to play a world class stage to a an audience made up almost entirely of family and friends? Not very. This was definitely a heck of a homecoming for Tyler Lyle. The west Georgia grown Lyle now calls Santa Monica home, but it was clear that this young man has not forgotten his roots. This young man has several lifetimes worth of stories. He grew up in west Georgia, studied in Paris for a while and then relocated to Santa Monica to pursue his songwriting and performing dreams. The crowd was greeting each other and anxiously awaiting Tyler, but were polite enough to be attentive and receptive to Logan’s opening set.
Logan Vath is a Nebraska native that currently calls Virginia home. His opening set of soft acoustic ballads was a great set-up for Lyle and I can see why Logan was so excited to play with Tyler. Apparently Logan reached out to Tyler via Twitter in order to book the gig. Definitely a brave move, but Vath’s sweet and heartfelt lyrics combined with his expressive face and witty stage banter earned him respect and eager listening from Lyle’s audience.
Lyle spent his 20’s playing at Eddie’s and it’s very clear that he’s comfortable with the space. His voice was perfectly balanced with his own guitar and harmonica accompaniment, as well as the backup vocals, mandolin and violin provided by his bandmate. The set was a balanced blend of old and new songs. The crowd was clearly familiar with most of the older material, as evidenced by the multiple crowd requests for older songs like “Pinewood Chests” and “Whiskey Is A Medicine”. From the moment Lyle stepped onto the stage, he had the crowd in his hands. The delicate beauty of these songs was the perfect match for Eddie’s Attic.
Lyle kicked off the set with crowd favorites such as “The Winemaker’s Love Song” before heading directly into some newer material. The wit and analogies made in “Hollywood Forever” about the balance of life and death, especially in relation to the world of Los Angeles offered a beautiful insight into Lyle’s sense of humor and ability to see beauty in the inevitability of life. The other highlight for me was the haunting “Eulogy For The Rest of Us” that Tyler wrote about a childhood friend that took his own life. It was the first time Lyle has played the song in front of an audience and the emotions were right there on the surface for the entire crowd to feel. No doubt made even more personal by the fact that so many knew Tyler and the tragedy surrounding his friend.
Lyle is prolific, with 2 full-length records and a handful of EPs under his belt, it was interesting to see him try so much new material in front of a hometown crowd, but the new songs were met with just as much enthusiasm as his older material. “Werewolf”, off of his most recent Expatriates EP and an upcoming music video release, was a definite crowd-pleaser, as were the 3 new songs that have yet to be released. But the crowd requests for Pinewood Chests and California elevated the room to a new level. Tyler was excited and at the same time humbled by the crowd reactions. Maybe it’s spending all of his time struggling with aloof LA crowds, but the crowd singalongs for “Pinewood Chests” “Winter Is For Kierkegaard” and “California” brought a huge smile to his face with exclamations like “You’re doing great!” and “Don’t stop!” The 4 song encore started with “California” and ended with the energetic “Fun To Do Bad Things” and the new “I Will Never Reach My Destination”.
By the time this show ended, I realized that I was lucky to have seen Lyle twice in the last year. Most of his closest friends and family rarely get to see him play now that he lives in California and that’s a shame. I fell in love with Lyle’s music as a fellow Georgian living in California and even now that I’m back in my home state, I can still relate to the themes of home, love and death that are present through Lyle’s music. It was a treat to watch Lyle perform these songs for his family and friends. It was like being invited to a private event filled with love and support, which is so rare for up and coming performers. You may not have heard of Tyler Lyle yet, but I guarantee this young man is poised to become a favorite in your record collection.