“Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, and country are the same thing, just wearing different clothes.”

To define Jonathan Tyler’s music would be doing it a disservice. To call it blues would be betraying the uplifting joy of tunes like “Underground Forever” or “California Sunshine.” To call it rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t do justice to the burning meditation of songs like “Late Night Special” or “Hey Mama, My Time Ain’t Long.” To call it country would be neglecting the sound and fury of “Mister Resistor” or the time-traveling catharsis of “Everything Was Cool in 2002.” Jonathan Tyler’s music defies expectation or sonic categorization – his music is the purest expression of everything you feel but don’t know how to express. It’s as friendly as a neighborhood saloon, as pensive as a highway to Paris, Texas, as peaceful as the waters flowing through the Pecos river to the sea, and as grand and evocative as the endless blue skies of the American west.

If there’s a single label that might be able to wrangle Tyler’s universal soul, it’s Gram Parson’s iconic classification of his own style: “Cosmic American Music.”

A Texan since childhood, Jonathan Tyler has grown up enamored with the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll – and its ancestors. In 2007 he formed Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, who released their debut full-length album Hot Trottin’ to widespread acclaim. At the 2009 Dallas Observer Music Awards, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights walked away with “Best Group,” “Best Blues Act,” and “Best Male Vocalist.” Tyler would go on to win the latter award again the following year. The band was promptly signed to F-Stop/Atlantic Records and released Pardon Me in 2010, leading to television appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Gordon Keith Show, as well as tours supporting ZZ Top, AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Black Crowes, and appearances at the Bonnaroo Music Festival and Austin City Limits. In 2015, he released his debut solo album Holy Smokes – a genre-bending opus celebrating perseverance in the face of life’s twists and turns. 

Along the way, he’s mastered the art of the sounds between the sounds – honing his role behind the boards as a producer for Nikki Lane, Desure, Jeff Crosby and others. At the moment he’s working on a follow-up to Holy Smokes, featuring hit singles like “Old Friend,” “Underground Forever,” and “Hustlin.”

 

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Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights formed in January 2007, taking cues from Southern rock veterans like Lynyrd Skynyrdthe Black Crowes, and Led Zeppelin. Although the band’s namesake frontman was born in Birmingham, AL, he later relocated to Dallas, TX, where a friendship with a local rhythm guitarist named Kansas allowed Tyler the chance to exercise his songwriting abilities. He then recruited additional bandmates from church, adding Nick Jay on bass and Jordan Cain on drums. Within four months, they had amassed enough material to record an album, and the quartet captured its swaggering, muscled sound with 2007’s Hot Trottin’. Several high-profile tour dates followed — including opening slots for Heartthe Black Crowes, and Erykah Badu — and the brewing hype prompted Atlantic Records to sign the band in August 2008.

Click here for our COVID-19 Safety Protocols.

Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights formed in January 2007, taking cues from Southern rock veterans like Lynyrd Skynyrdthe Black Crowes, and Led Zeppelin. Although the band’s namesake frontman was born in Birmingham, AL, he later relocated to Dallas, TX, where a friendship with a local rhythm guitarist named Kansas allowed Tyler the chance to exercise his songwriting abilities. He then recruited additional bandmates from church, adding Nick Jay on bass and Jordan Cain on drums. Within four months, they had amassed enough material to record an album, and the quartet captured its swaggering, muscled sound with 2007’s Hot Trottin’. Several high-profile tour dates followed — including opening slots for Heartthe Black Crowes, and Erykah Badu — and the brewing hype prompted Atlantic Records to sign the band in August 2008.

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights first began to take shape when childhood friends began playing guitar in their teens. With shared common influences ranging from the Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and Jimi Henrix to Bob Dylan, The Band and Muddy Waters; the two were compelled to write and play together. From the start it was JT on vocals, playing a mean, bluesy lead guitar, with Kansas on rythym adding a harder rock edge, a combo that was instantly right. Several years and incarnations later, they were joined by musical prodigy Nick Jay on bass and a hard-hitting drummer from Oklahoma named Jordan Cain. The core of the band was at last in place and the sound began to gel.

After being together for less than a month, the four piece went into the studio to record HOT TROTTIN’ – a raucous and enjoyable journey from start to finish.  It’s a stunning first effort for any band, particularly for a group of guys that had been playing together for just three short weeks. The sophomore effort, ‘Pardon Me’ was released by Atlantic in 2010 – Their most recent release, ‘Holy Smokes’ (2015) was put out by Timeless Echo/Thirty Tigers.

Night after night, they deliver a wall of sound with a groove so undeniable, it makes fans rise to their feet and stand at attention. The band is tight and Jonathan’s raw energy coupled with blazing guitar work and rugged vocals has heads turning. They quickly became one of the hottest bands in the region with a buzz that has made its way to New York and Los Angeles.