Duo ready to disarm crowd with a giant sound

A giant sound needs to come in a giant package.

At seven feet tall, Brent Tyler has an intricate acoustic style, soulful voice and lungs that befit his stature.

“I think that is the disarming part about it, I don’t look like your prototypical musician that has a beard, Ray Bans and skinny jeans,” said Tyler. “I look like a seven-foot athlete type of guy and the music that comes out of me is not what a crowd expects.”

He is also that athlete guy too. Tyler played basketball at the University of Calgary and spent seven years coaching at SAIT. However, he said, if anyone makes less money than a musician it’s a coach.

“I really love sports but the two worlds don’t intermingle well. It was an important decision for me to take my music seriously. The initial reaction is I should be playing basketball but my character is to do things in spite of what people tell me to do,” said Tyler. “It is the core of what I am and my music. I had to do what came most natural to me and music is just that.”

Tyler balances the introspectiveness of folk music with catchy and powerful soul-roots hooks and melodies.

Born in Penticton, and raised in Calgary, Tyler has always dreamed of playing an evening at The Dream Café. Every summer he would stay on the West Bench with his grandparents, Ches and Bea Cederstrand. Whether he was picking cherries on the farm or hanging out back of his grandfather’s store on Main Street, Ceder’s Sewing Centre, Penticton has always been his home away from home.

“Pierre (Couture, co-owner of Dream Cafe) has created this musical context where people walk away feeling something rather than just sitting home alone listening to a CD,” said Tyler. “It is less about imposing your ego or your skill onto somebody and moreso creating a clearing where you can hang out and create a connection. It is such a rad room for doing that in.”

He said the Dream Café has been one of his favourite venues in Canada ever since he shared the stage for a song with Penticton’s Ari Neufeld in 2011.

“This show will be an intimate and interactive show highlighted by story-telling, sing-alongs and heartfelt delivery. We are musicians trying to connect the dots with the audience and share in the community of live music performance,” said Tyler.

The singer-songwriter will be armed with tunes from an album he will be releasing in the fall and a four- song EP he recently recorded. If that wasn’t enough work this past year, he also live recorded a sold-out show in Calgary with a full band.

“One of the things I learned this last year is to step out of my comfort zone and grow a little more. If you are not making content on a regular basis it is hard to pique people’s interest. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so it has been tough releasing songs so consistently and my songs are often based on my personal experiences and you get really sentimental about what you are doing,” said Tyler.

His heartfelt tunes, with elements of funk, R&B and a mixed bag of genres, are about making connections with those sitting in front of him.

“That’s always been my goal in music. Some people are looking to become famous and that is not me. I’m already famous. I’m seven feet tall and everyone looks at me when I walk into a room anyways,” said Tyler with a laugh. “The thing that gets my fire burning is making those connections and that is one of the reasons I am so excited about playing at the Dream Café.”

Joining him on the bill is Kelowna singer-songwriter Joshua Smith. He brings his laid-back and earnest style of songwriting to compliment Tyler’s folk-roots-soul vibe. The duo will be backed up on bass by Calgary’s Jory Kinjo. They perform at the Dream Café on Friday. Tickets are $10. Showtime is at 8 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. For reservations and ticket sales call 250-490-9012.

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