TYLER MORRIS BAND – Next In Line (2018)
“Next In Line” is the new, just released album by TYLER MORRIS BAND. I first hear about this prodigy – Tyler Morris has been playing guitar at a professional level since he was 11, and at the ripe old age of 19 is releasing “Next In Line”, his third album, internationally – watching a YouTube video of Guitar Gods Festival 2016.
The video was a clip of a Steve Vai / Yngwie Malmsteen performance together, and then this kid appeared as ‘guest’… Wow, I was amazed.
I did some research and this Boston-born guy is quite famous and has played with all the greats, and his music is targeted as ‘blues-rock’.
Well, let me tell you that on this album you’ll find 2, perhaps 3 blues songs, the rest are pretty hard rockin! Even these traditional blues tracks are electrifying.
Indeed, Morris mention as influence blues-based guitarists like Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Johnny Winter and Joe Walsh, but also Eddie Van Halen, Ritchie Blackmore and Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme).
And more; he loves classic hard rock acts such as Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Winger, etc.
Morris says; “For technique, I practice with a Korg PXD drum machine. For phrasing and improving my melodic sense, I learn solos and songs by ear. I am currently working on “San Ho Zay” by Freddie King, the solo to Van Halen’s “Mean Street,” Ritchie Blackmore’s solo on “Wolf to the Moon,” and five Yngwie songs.
For another proof, his Twitter account is @Tyler5150ful … yeah, 5150 like Van Halen studio / album.
So be prepared for a bluesy rockin’ trip, plenty of (melodic) hard rock winks and even some AOR touches.
Morris’s style is a cross between several greats. I hear a mix of Jeff Healey and Eddie Van Halen (without the whammy bar), some ’80s Gary Moore and a pinch of Stevie Ray Vaughan crazyness.
Helmed by Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Nelson (The Johnny Winter Band), and including guest appearances by Joe Louis Walker and The Uptown Horns, “Next In Line” is a vital, exiting, lively set of songs.
That someone so young could play with such depth and conviction is a revelation, and so too is the fact he wrote 9 of the 10 cuts on this disc, with a smokin’ version of “Willie The Wimp” (a song SRV used to play) being the sole exception.
And while “Willie The Wimp” is one of the few blues songs on the album, it results pretty rocking anyway.
The majority of the songs rocks, and you’ll be surprised since the beginning; “Ready To Shove” starts with a synth / keyboard arrangement almost ’80s… Did I put the right CD in the player? Oh yeah, next, Morris’ guitar appear, the melodious vocals of Morten Fredheim (a real find) and the catchy rhythm.
The song sounds like a cross vetween Night Ranger and ’80s Eric Johnson, with a contagious chorus and those synths all over. Love it.
More quality rocking stuff appears with “Livin’ The Life”, which while has an updated sound, the structure of the song is pure Ritchie Blackmore / Deep Purple. Listen to it closely and then tell me.
‘Down On My Luck’ is a muscular midtempo bluesy hard rocker driven by a monsta-groove (it reminds me of a Y & T / Dave Meniketti song), then “Thunder” jams in a Black Country Communion style.
What we have here is a blues-based album but the sound & spirit are pure hard rock chops. Kudos to producer Nelson for coaxing the right sounds out of the instruments and some fine vocal work from Morten Fredheim.
The star of “Next In Line” is clearly Tyler’s incendiary fretwork – a genuinely exciting display of chops and instinct as he gives his guitar a thorough beating – but this sounds like a real band, song-focused album.
And rocks, greatly.
01 – Ready To Shove
02 – Livin’ The Life
03 – Willie The Wimp
04 – Down On My Luck
05 – Choppin’
06 – Talkin’ To Me
07 – Thunder
08 – This Ain’t No Fun
09 – Truth Is The Question
10 – Keep On Driving
Tyler Morris – guitars
Scott Spray – bass
Tyger Macneal – drums
Mike Dimeo – keyboards
Morten Fredheim – lead vocals
BUY IT !