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Albums Of The Week: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown | Dirty Work EP

The Nashville guitar hero & his crew serve up a handful of hard-hitting barnburners.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “With the release of their new EP Dirty Work, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown prove that they were not bluffing when they said they wanted to release more music on their terms.

The six-track set starts with Strike, featuring a blistering guitar intro that sounds as if Bryant is trying to convince himself that he’s worthy of having his name on a guitar. The following number Burnin’ offers a positive lyrical message of persistence, despite obstacles — something that is the epitome of the Shakedown story.

“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,” drummer Caleb Crosby says.

Dirty Work also features Bryant’s wife Rebecca Lovell (Larkin Poe) as a guest vocalist; Tyler recently co-produced her band’s latest album Blood Harmony in his Nashville studio.

“I call my studio the Lily Pad. There’s always something fun coming out of it and I keep it set up to capture moments” confirms Tyler. “Tennessee, off of the Shake The Roots album, is a recording that happened around 2 a.m. one night when we were all hanging out. Caleb and I did two passes and (rhythm guitarist) Graham Whitford yelled from the other room, ‘First one was better.’ I listened to it the next day and thought, ‘Ya, let’s share this!’

“To me, my studio is a place where perfection takes a backseat to passion. Working on that Larkin Poe record though, those girls almost always sound perfect. I’ve been really inspired by working on records with other artists and I think it has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the music that I make.”

The first single from the new EP is Sho Been Worse. Bryant sings, “I’ve been better, but I’ve sho been worse,” between lead lines on his beat-up shell-pink Strat. You can hear Bryant and Caleb playing off of each other with a rock solid, yet playful rapport that has been developed over many years together on the road. As always, Whitford is chugging away with an abundance of guitar attitude; something The Shakedown never lacks.”