Congrats to longtime Casino fan and guitar virtuoso William Tyler on his upcoming album, William Tyler Goes West, which will be released on Merge Records January 25. The LP features Meg Duffy, Bill Frisell, and Brad Cook, who also produced the sessions with Tucker Mertine. Tyler's music transcends genres and defies description. And even if he didn't get his big break playing an Epiphone Casino, he'd still be one of our favorite forward-thinking guitarists, a view we share with Rolling Stone who called Tyler one of the 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know. But putting him in any category (even one made-up by Rolling Stone) seems an injustice to the artist's singular voice. Tyler's apparently in-exhaustive spirit for invention and re-invention seems--like an Indian raga--to be self renewing. Duel with him at your own risk. Read our classic interview with 'Willie T' and look for our new interview soon.
"I try to give a little bit of context to the songs in-between because I think it’s necessary to have some sort of voice or personality to go with the music," Tyler told Epiphone in 2013. "I think it’s important to maintain a lot communication with your audience when you’re doing this kind of music.
You have to be a little evangelical about it, honestly, because I have found myself in a lot situations when I’m opening up for bands who are vastly different than the kind of music I play...if you’re opening for a punk band or a rock band—those audiences don’t care. They’re like: ‘cool a guy with a guitar.’ You have to give them some context if you want them to care at all. It’s show biz. I like Roger Miller so I try to channel a little of that when I play."