It’s ‘Dirty Work’, but Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown do it with a Whole Lotta Skill & Style
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown release their brand-new 6-track EP ‘Dirty Work’ out now on the band’s own Rattle Shake Records, available on all digital platforms, with a special release on shell pink vinyl. To accompany the release, Tyler and The Shakedown are also releasing the video to the track ‘Thunder’.
Led by Bryant’s fiery lead guitar playing, soulful song writing, and frontman presence, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown have already released five studio albums, the most recent being their critically acclaimed album ‘Shake the Roots’ (2022), which made it into Classic Rock’s Ultimate Review 2022 list, whilst the single ‘Bare Bones’ got shortlisted for Best Song of 2022
The group’s current line-up consists of Tyler Bryant (lead guitar & vocals), Graham Whitford (rhythm guitar) and Caleb Crosby (drums)
“‘Dirty Work’ is the second offering from our independently owned and operated label, Rattle Shake Records,” Tyler explains, “When we told our fans that we wanted to release more music, by God we meant it!
The EP’s cover was inspired by a chance encounter. Tyler explains: “I was on a walk in Nashville and stumbled upon a shell pink wheelbarrow. I just stood there and looked at it for a minute, in awe of how cool it looked. It reminded me so much of my guitar, ‘Pinky’.
“When I got home, I was looking through my record collection and found an amazing Howlin’ Wolf record where his guitar was leaned up on a chair. I grabbed my guitar and drove back to where I had been walking. Against the confused looks of strangers passing by, I put my guitar in the dirty wheelbarrow and started snapping pictures, pushing it around to different locations. I felt like the wheelbarrow not only fit the album title, but visually it tied in perfectly with the release of my Fender guitar. I’m thrilled by the album art and the fact that this body of work was pressed on shell pink vinyl!”
Tyler Bryant’s signature, shell pink, Stratocaster got celebrated just recently when Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Fender Custom Shop (FCS) announced the launch of a special, custom, made-on-demand, limited-edition guitar honouring Tyler, based on his trademark Strat, Pinky, which has served as his go-to guitar since he was just 16.
Tyler says “With the EP coming out right after the announcement of my signature Strat with Fender, I thought it would be appropriate to start the EP with a guitar solo. ‘Strike‘ is undoubtedly inspired by Jeff Beck, who not only was a friend, but was always and will always be my favorite guitarist. When I heard the news of his passing, we decided to dedicate this EP to him. There’s a Strat on the cover for crying out loud. He was the ultimate Strat player in my book. I learned so much from sitting side stage watching him sound check and getting to jam with him on tour. There’s a nice little tip of the hat to Jeff at the end of ‘Burnin’ as well. He certainly always kept his fire burning and kept a wealth of inspiration burning in us.”
‘Burnin’ offers a positive lyrical message of persistence, despite obstacles — something that is the epitome of The Shakedown story. Caleb Crosby says “We’ve had our music shelved by record companies. We’ve been stranded on highways trying to figure out how we were going to make shows. We’ve had times where we felt like we were banging our heads against the wall. But you keep your head down and keep going. It’s all part of the journey.”
Speaking of other tracks on ‘Dirty Work’, Tyler Bryant recalls, “‘Sho Been Worse’is a song that happened very quickly one morning. My wife Rebecca [Rebecca Lovell, of Larkin Poe] and I were drinking coffee and I was making up “joke songs” to try and make her laugh as I often do. This was actually right before we started working on Larkin Poe’s record ‘Blood Harmony’.
“I was riffin’ and the hook line just kind of fell out. We wrote the tune and went and did a version with Rebecca singing. Larkin Poe were already flush with great songs for their album, so I thought, ‘I’ll take a crack at this one.’ I posted a video of me jamming it on our Facebook and it got shared over 3k times, racking up over half a million views. Most of the comments read “Release this!” We gladly did just that!”
It paid off: the single ‘Sho Been Worse’ recently made it to Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown’s top 3 on Spotify, with over 150,000 streams in only a couple of weeks, on Spotify alone!
Turning to ‘Thunder’, which the band are releasing as a video, Tyler says, “I love how we each play off of each other in ‘Thunder’. There are actually three main guitar tracks on this song: Graham’s track, my Strat track, and a resonator track. I think this song fully encompasses multiple vibes of The Shakedown: It’s rootsy, it rocks, and it feels good.”
“I’m the son of a yard man. Since I was a kid, my dad always had a lawn business on the side. I used to help him and use my humble earnings to put towards buying musical equipment. When my original pink Strat got stolen, my parents pulled together and bought me a new one. Knowing how hard they both work, this meant so much to me. ‘Dirty Work’ felt like an appropriate album title for this record and also felt like a way to tip my hat to my folks. Making records and being a musician by trade can certainly be dirty work, but it’s work we dearly love.”
Since the successful release of ‘Shake the Roots’, The Shakedown has promised fans of more music on the way. They ain’t making empty promises and are taking full advantage of having their own independent label.
Released worldwide on 24th March, ‘Dirty Work’ is now available on all digital platforms and for fans, collectors, and lovers of physical media, check out the shell pink vinyl.