Live Review by David Schneider of "Radio Free David" in NM
Every now and then someone comes along that simply stops you dead in your tracks and makes you listen. This is exactly the case with Lee Tyler Post.
I encountered Lee at a local arts & crafts fair in New Mexico. He walked in with no fuss or fanfair. He quietly set up, just himself and his guitar. He sat down, and so far, all seemed quite ordinary. He looked around for a moment, hefted his guitar and what was quite usual suddenly became amazingly, wonderfully and fantastically different. He played a set (who knows how long that lasted, because you were just riveted to where you were in a very timeless state): his voice called to everyone there, at once low and gravelly and soaring beyond where you would expect it. His guitar sang along with him and sounded so full and rich you swore there was an entire symphony accompanying him. He sang to each and every one of us there and it touched everyone.
His tunes are full of soul, of himself. He is a storyteller and you will simply be swept away in them. Time will pass and you will not know it. And you will feel, truly feel, as each story unfolds.
I cannot begin to say enough good things about Lee Tyler Post, except that you will be hearing more from him here on Radio Free David.
From his Emancipate album, we are privileged to be running three great cuts: Thunderclap (already one of my all time most favorite tunes…ever), Price You Pay and Vacant.
Lee Tyler Post is truly what Radio Free David is all about.
A blue-collar songwriter’s living
Bryan Smith remembers meeting Lee Tyler Post sometime around 2004 when Smith and his brother performed security detail for a concert Lee was playing to benefit the Victory Junction Gang, a charity organization set up by car racing legend Richard Petty. Soaking it all in, he knew he was hooked. Now some four years later, Smith sits onstage with Post at a spot called Bistro 150 in Oak Ridge - plucking leads on his acoustic that might have pleased David Crosby back in the day.
The draw, all will agree, is Post, a 40-year-old salt-of the-earth kind of cat, former construction worker, progeny of a Spanish mother from New Mexico and half-Cherokee-half-white father from California’s Central Valley. His thick, black hair hangs nearly to his bottom, longer than any woman’s in this haute-bubba joint, even as a black cap and sideburns affirm his dudeness. The only thing that’s not black in his ensemble is a turquoise arrowhead his parents brought back from an anniversary trip to Santa Fe. The hair and the hat obscure his face as he leans over his acoustic guitar and tears into the soulful marrow of the lyric in his songs.
Post and wife Jackie have driven three hours from Asheville to be here, and it’s an event to the 40-some fans packed into the bistro: staid couples enjoying glasses of chardonnay, aging couples in the second flush of youth, young families with rambunctious toddlers, classy women wearing summer dresses and shorts. Bill Hunt, a DJ at NC A&T University’s campus station who hosts a blues show and goes by the moniker "Billy the Kid," reclines on a brown Naugahyde couch beside the stage. He’s been a fan since he caught Post at the Reidsville Lake Music Festival last fall. The singer-songwriter puts them all at ease. That, in part, explains why Post has been asked to play a benefit in New Jersey in September for a veteran who suffered a brain injury during combat operations in Iraq , why he draws crowds from the Bitter End in New York City to his hometown of San Diego. He has a knack for keeping track of people so that when fans come back to see him a second time it’s like they’re old friends. It’s Bryan, spelled B-R-Y- A-N, he notes when identifying his guest guitarist. And the woman singing harmony with him is Andi, spelled A-N-D-I, Reese. No, take that back, for print she prefers Andrea, A-N- D-R-E-A. Lee checks the spelling of the writer’s name. Is it G-R-E-E-N-E or G-R-E-E-N? Jackie is similarly conscientious, noting the song titles as Lee plays, in case an audience member likes a particular song and wants to purchase it on any of the five CDs she’s selling.
Smith and Reese usually accompany him at these monthly Bistro 150 shows. That’s the way he always does it when other musicians show up for his gigs. With no rehearsal, he invites them to sit in. "If you did it as much as I do, you jump at the chance to get others onstage to jam. If they can follow along. Some amazing moments happen that way!" Post says.
Lee came late to music, only developing an interest after his next door neighbor heard him singing along with a record in his early twentys. He joined a band with his cousin that emulated the grunge bands in the Seattle scene of the early 1990s, but still worked construction. Then, at the age of 31 he and Jackie packed the car and drove to Nashville. They also took up residency in Seattle and Austin, Texas before moving to Asheville in April. Self-described "gypsies," they cycle through music towns and systematically tour the country, gradually building a network of fans for Post’s music.
"I always wanted to be a blue-collar guy like my dad," he says. "Get up and go to work. You’re accountable, and you get up and work ten hours a day, six days a week. I wanted to be a man. I never thought about having a talent. When I decided to go into music, I said, ‘Okay, I have to figure out how to make this into a job.’ I applied that same discipline. To be a man about it. I burn my own CDs. Hand put together each one. I have my own studio."
Post has a big, gentle stage presence as he performs his songs. The music smolders with intensity – all propulsive power chords and smoky, vocal growls commanding his audience’s attention.
During a break a little after 9 p.m. Hunt is raving on the sidewalk about his hero in an emphatic and laughing voice: "Sultry ...Sultry. He fell off the soul tree."
PENINSULA PROFILE: Troubadour weaves life's stories into songs
Laying Out His Soul
Lee Tyler Post is a big man who doesn't do small talk.
Sit down with him to discuss music, and Post will soon sweep you off to a distant place, far from Port Angeles, far from his home town of San Diego.
Southern California never felt much like home, Post says. The son of a Castilian Spanish mother and a Cherokee father, he is a troubadour in the truest sense. He's a traveler who finds refuge in rhythm and melody.
Growing up, though, Post played sports, not music. Then he heard Bob Dylan. Some said that young man from Hibbing, Minn., couldn't sing at all. And Post didn't see himself ever becoming a singer, especially not one who performed in public. He did want to write songs full of passion, though, like Dylan's: songs as journals of the heart.
As a young man, Post was a construction laborer, working long days in the San Diego County heat. He figured this would be it for him. But then, he remembers, the muse came to visit. That's all. No guitar lessons. No desire to sing cover songs in a fern bar. Just a thunderbolt, essentially, that struck one day.
Post has been on the road since, unleashing his own brand of lightning. He has fans who come to listen and weep, and who say, “You have got to hear this guy,” but who cannot quite describe what kind of music he's making.
Music By Any Name
Some call it soul, or blues. Maybe some country. His heroes are the same men whose music awakened him decades ago: Van Morrison, David Ruffin of the Temptations, Otis Redding, Don Henley of the Eagles.
Post's favorite song of all time: “Desperado,” with lyrics by Henley. “If there was a course in 'Starting a Song 101,' he would be the professor.”
Musicians such as Henley and Morrison are laying their souls out there, Post says. Which is what this singer does, whether in a honky-tonk joint in Georgia or Wine on the Waterfront in Port Angeles.
The latter is luscious, adds Post.
The delicious acoustics, the warm colors inside the wine bar: they create an ideal environment for the up-close-and-personal music Post pours out. There's “Coffee and Wine,” “Hole in the Sky” and “Salvation Manor” from his “If Hope Had a Reason” CD. “Howlin' Wind” from the “Life without Fences” album; “Comfort Street,” “And We Danced” and “Thunderclap” from the “Emancipate” record.
The church-like acoustics inside Wine on the Waterfront “makes me sound better than I actually am,” Post says with a smile.
Post has a fistful of albums available via his website www.LeeTylerPost.com. He's not inclined to sign any record company contracts, since that could mean marketers telling him what and how to sing.
No Cover Songs
And though Post pulls some powerful inspiration from singer-songwriters like Morrison and Henley, he has never played a cover song.
“The only person I want to be like,” Post says, “is my dad: hardworking, kind.” LeRoy Post would go to work at 2:30 a.m. and get home at 5 p.m. — “and ask how your day was.”
These days, Post lives the life of an American Gypsy storyteller; unencumbered by a record company or the need to stay put, he and his wife of 15 years, Jackie, crisscross the country in their van. Post, naturally, never lacks inspiration. He sings songs that come from the life stories he hears from people he's met all over the country, from Port Angeles to Santa Fe, N.M., to Austin, Texas, and Atlanta.
Before moving to Port Angeles last year, he toured Georgia, the Carolinas, the Virginias, Tennessee, New Jersey and California.
The Posts also lived in Sequim from late 2008 to summer 2010. Jackie's line of work, medical transcription, allows her to be as mobile as her man. He and Jackie love going on the road together.
“I have the right person to make the journey with me,” Post says.
But then they decided to return to the North Olympic Peninsula, to get away from the distractions of a big city. The songwriter wanted to work on the music for “Wreckage of Love,” his next CD, which he hopes to release this fall.
The title isn't autobiographical, but "everybody seems to agree: 'Wreckage of Love' could be 'the story of their life'" as well, Post says.
“I'm a good listener when my friends tell me their stories.”
Not that he goes home and immediately writes a song from what someone just recounted. It could be a couple of years later that he composes the musical tale.
“It's like there are a bunch of files down in the basement,” he says. “I have no idea when something is going to come out. I just hope it comes out honest.”
For this singer, the song is a way to connect spiritually — with listener and muse. Though Post doesn't call himself a religious man, he says he feels closest to God when he is making music.
Breaking In Songs
Jackie goes to every gig, and though she is shy by nature, she's grown used to talking with her husband's fans. She takes care of CD sales at his performances, though sometimes she can't fulfill requests for particular songs.
“He performs the new songs to break them in,” Jackie explains. “But when people come up and say, 'I've got to have that,' I have to tell them it's not on a CD yet.”
For his part, Post says he'd rather have five attentive listeners in an audience instead of 500 distracted ones.
“I need their energy, their silent energy. It's something they don't even know they give me,” he says.
“We're all on this train together.”
DCAU (D.C. Acoustic Underground)
Review by Michael Yugo
I don't know Lee Tyler Post personally. I first met him in San Diego at the Acoustic Alliance XI where he performed with 11 other performers in a round robin rotation. Four players would go up on stage at once and each take turns singing three songs each. Each rotation of performers increased the experience and level of talent so when Lee went up with the last batch he was in good company. Sitting last, he sat quietly as the other three performers each did one song each. The crowd of 200 was all milling about between the music; the bar and the back of the room where the artists merchandise tables were set up. When Lee started his first of three songs, the whole room stopped, turned and listened. His voice was masked by his kind and quiet demeanor but only until he sang. And that is Lee Tyler Post. An amazing performer and king and gentle soul who is on a journey many of us wish we could experience.
So when Lee contacted me out of the blue saying he was passing through D.C. on is national tour and asked if I could help him with a gig (we were introduced that night by our mutual brother in music, Hot Rod Harris), I jumped at the chance to set something up. By the time he arrived in D.C. in July, I had the D.C. Acoustic Underground (DCAU) up and running so I took the opportunity to steal a performance with him and decided to open up his show myself. What happened next was really amazing and a true testimony to Lee's music. His wife, Jackie, was setting up his CDs for sale when he was starting his first song and by the time he finished his first song, she had sold three of them. Looking at her I knew she was used to it. That night, Lee sold 14 CDs to people who had never heard of him before that performance. One local singer/songwriter actually came up to him later that night and told him she cried during one of his songs. She told him she was changed and reinvigorated after hearing him. Another regular told me just recently she emailed him a thank you for recommending a movie and everyone wants to know when he's coming back. I am wondering too.
Lee's music is a powerful blend of soul and heart delivered in haunting melodies on an incredible voice. The lyrics hold your attention as you wait to see where he is taking you. Every song is different. Some have happy endings and some sad and you feel all of it. This is what the DCAU was made for; to bring this experience to D.C. Recently I got a short email from Lee asking how I was doing. Sitting here, typing this and listening to one of your six records, I can tell you Lee; I'm doing just fine. Thank you brother.
Home on the Road - Lee Tyler Post
By: Laura Bond, Encore Magazine
San Diego native Lee Tyler Post is a musician by trade, a gypsy by design. His rare blend of “rock ‘n’ soul” recalls the Southern blues movement while incorporating some classic rock and singer-songwriter elements. Yet, his grassroots approach to making music and his relatable lyrics are what keeps listeners a part of his down-to-earth sounds.
Post’s current tour has him booked until December, but being on the road is not just a way to boost album sales for the self-proclaimed “Traveling Troubadour”; it’s the place he calls home. And home is where Emancipate, the artist’s most recent accomplishment, is being mastered in front of audiences everywhere.
His fifth full-length album, Emancipate was written, engineered, mixed and produced by Post in 2003 at Miracle Something Studios on Winidian Records. Post’s intense voice hits hard from the beginning on the opening track “Vacant,” a passionate sonnet dedicated to his wife. The romantic lyrics “my heart is aching for you,” capture the essence of acoustic soul, while his strained, husky vocals remain reminiscent of rock influence Bruce Springsteen.
Post and fellow band mates constructed a powerful contrast throughout Emancipate by combining a rhythmic acoustic style with twangy electric guitar. Songs such as the second track, “Hurricane,” and track six, “Revisited,” give the album texture by contrasting upbeat rock tempos with a slow Southern blues-influenced harmonica on the latter.
The lyrics are honest and passionate, particularly on songs such as “Thunderclap” where he showcases his vocal range while singing: “Heaven never felt like this/so I know this time this is it.” Post refers to his unique brand of composition as “blue-collar music” as he strives to stay connected with the ordinary troubles of working-class America. Likewise, he never strays far from his own grassroots—the album was recorded on an analog machine using two-inch tape—while he draws from poetic and musical influences such as T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.
Post’s tour schedule will land him a spot at The Juggling Gypsy on Castle Street on October 11th at 8pm to promote the upcoming release of his newest record, Half Painted Window on Lost Cat Records. Post, who lists his place of residency as “the road” and whose live show is reportedly “two to three hours without a pause” will definitely bring the same intensity to his show, as is evident on his last album.
Lee Tyler Post Interview for June edition of IndustryMag.Net - By Belinda Humphries
It's rare you'll find that I venture too far away from featuring 'true blues artists' in this column, then again, I keep finding this connection and reawakening among the music of our pop culture that ties back into root music and that's exactly what we have for this month's Upstate Blues Report featuring Lee Tyler Post.
Lee told me he can still recall the day he personally and emotionally felt moved as he was driving to his blue collar job 18 years ago, listening to the radio when he heard Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". He said to himself 'that's the most brilliant artist I've ever heard"…It was an awakening. He knew at that exact moment he had to buy a guitar and forevermore sing, write and play from the heart, as if he had found his purpose in life at the early age of 22, no matter how good or not he was…and yes, the universe smiled upon him and said 'you're good, do it'.
And so he has, traveling from town to town ever since, like a gypsy troubadour daring to pull in strangers, word by word and note by note. And somehow, the bills get paid and life is good, those fantasy existents we all like to dream about but are often scared to pursue. How many of us are living true to 'if I could do or be anything today where money's not an object, I would be or do _____". That's why I must feature Lee this month, as not only a musical genius but an inspiration to everyone reading this article, going through life on a path you think you have to be on versus one that you dream about and wish you could be on.
But there's more to the story, oh yeah, I dug a little deeper…because I am always curious who and what influenced music in all of us, from our very earliest childhood memory. Was it your what your parents listened to or allowed you to listen to, was it your church or choir music, what your older or younger siblings were into, your school friends, musicals at your school plays or your first theater experience, your first vinyl, 8-track, cassette or CD?
So allow me to introduce you to Lee Tyler Post. And make a note: you heard it here first at Industry Mag because this guy is THE next big thing, the real deal as the talent scouts like to say.
Ok, I'm sorry to gush on here, but I must! How did I find Lee Tyler Post? Well, while he's a "SC" artist, he's not from 'here'. In his world, "SC" stands for Southern California, San Diego to be exact. And yes, I found him on the notorious myspace where there are some incredible musicians and Indie labels just waiting to be discovered. But ironically when I hit him up on myspace, I had no idea of his plans to move to Asheville. Divine intervention? Because, guys, really, you gotta trust me on this and check him out either on myspace and at a live show. And now that he's officially relocated to Asheville, he'll be more local-club accessible and will be entering the Greenville music scene, especially if I have anything to do with it……
Let's just say I go to bed every night with Marvin Gaye (ok, ok, ok: 'listening to', not 'with'); and now I am sharing this musical night with Lee (his wife Jackie completely understands!). Lee's music has the ability to intimately connect on a one-on-one personal level in each of his songs…where the listener almost feels guilty, like they're eavesdropping on extremely private moments…whether you want to rock, to just 'feel', to cry, or to allow a stranger to express that which you feel but can't express-- listen to Lee's music. I challenge you to feel, really feel.
Lee Tyler Post's musical landscape ranges from Acoustic Soul, to Roots Rock, to Southern Blues, with a splash of Adult Alternative. His lyrics convey stories of everyday people and especially heart-wrenching ballads that are guaranteed to hit a personal note. He calls it "Rock N Soul." He's got original music and songs that could all be number one hits in about 3 to 4 different genres….Simon Cowell? Where are you? Yet he is completely happy gigging at coffee houses, restaurants, side or main stages…doesn't matter…he's living a life few of us will ever know, touring the country, meeting new people, discovering new places every day. Connecting to people through that universal language of music, doing what he loves most in life.
I even wondered during the interview if he realized just how amazing he is, and how he's crossing over to the masses while he's busy building a reputation as a road warrior with his blue-collar approach, performing 150-200 shows a year and driving 25,000-40,000 miles annually. He has also released 5 studio albums during this period. His tours, which some call a "perpetual tour", take him through cities as far away as Seattle, NYC, Tampa, San Diego, and everywhere in between! He is one artist staying and living 'true'…he'll never sell out to commercialization, labels, digital or money….he doesn't need to. The grass is greener here on this side.
I made the assumption that Lee moved to Asheville because of its vibrant and eclectic music scene but that wasn't the case. Seems it was more due to geographic centralization where he could cover the entire east coast within one full day of driving, versus the days of driving it takes to cover just one west coast state. And to come home from off the road to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Western Carolina and Upstate SC as his personal retreat--makes sense to me.
Plus, his southern rock and soul style probably lends itself more to us folks here in the south and on the east coast who grew up with and can relate to the likes of his influences, which read like an E! Entertainment Channel Top 100 list of all time best: Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Allman Brothers, Aretha, Seger, Hendrix, Tom Waits, Janis, Bruce, Elton, alright already! He's killing me here…and did I mention: Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemmingway and Robert Frost…I'm exhausted…so go to www.reverbnation.com/leetylerpost for a full list of influences…and you'll hear almost every one of them in his original songs which is what makes his music eerie and comfortingly familiar all at the same time….yet new and addicting.
One reviewer writes: "Lee's marathon live performances (2-3 hr sets) have been described by his fans as an emotional roller-coaster, passionate, powerful and moving, honest & pure, intense and straight from the heart..." His down-to-earth on-stage persona compliments his dynamic voice and electrifying shows.
I got goose-bumps just listening to his myspace on my laptop the first time I clicked him in to my world…and live, oh good lord. That's a WOW; hate that you guys missed his first Greenville performance at Sticky Fingers…but no worries, he's going to be back at all our favorite Greenville music clubs real soon.
So, back to his first memorable musical influence: Bob Dylan. Who became the impetus for Lee to sincerely embrace music without looking like he was just imitating or mocking his hero. After all, who can really make a good living as a singer songwriting pub and coffee house gigging musician? Isn't that just something you do as a hobby, a passion? But Lee's lifelong decision to be dedicated 100% 24/7 to sharing his soul, musical abilities with you, his audience...is no hobby.
And get this: he not only personally writes, produces, publishes, books, and 'hand puts' his CDs together, he personally records his albums on a 16-track two inch analog machine with zero digital corrections. Sometimes that raw stuff is what the real stuff is made of. Roots, history, raw.
Of course, none of this article means anything to you our Industry Mag heroes and supporters unless you trust us and take in a show…just go to www.reverbnation.com/leetylerpost for an up-to-the-minute tour schedule because believe me, he's adding on new gigs daily…and Greenvillians, don't let NYCity start to steal him away from us! Seems the old Hendrix and Dylan hang outs there in SoHo have discovered Lee too! Now that's saying something. Let's keep him in demand here, in Greenville because Greenville is fast becoming one of the hottest live music scenes on the east coast!
For more information and tour schedule, please visit: www.leetylerpost.com and www.reverbnation.com/leetylerpost Show your support at an upcoming show and tell him Industry Mag sent you! *Online June 1st! Hard Copies hit the stands as well ...*
The Gypsy Troubadour
By James Smith Encore Magazine - North Carolina
It seems nowadays the music industry is full of manufactured artists with dollar signs in their eyes, feeding their huge egos. Whatever happened to the home-grown, humble artist who created music just for the love of it? During this day and age, it’s extremely difficult to find someone who measures up to those attributes, especially when considering how cut-throat the industry is. Fortunately not all is lost. One unique soul that freely expresses his love for the art form is singer-songwriter Lee Tyler Post.
With this in mind, Post hasn’t been an overnight success. He’s been strumming on his acoustic guitar while crooning to open ears since the mid-‘90s. Starting out as a San Diego-based artist during that time, he opened for bands such as Missing Persons and Blink 182. These talents would later lead him to appear on the KUSI and KNSD morning shows. All the while, Lee has been spreading what some would call “blue collar music” (or rock ‘n’ soul as he calls it) to everyone within earshot.
This “blue collar music” is what separates Lee from most other artists. His songs are mostly about working-class concerns, which is why Lee considers himself a working-class musician. He has performed in over half the states in America, while driving all the miles to and from the venues without having a record label, a manager or a booking agent. This explains where his “blue collar” attitude comes from.
“I like to connect with others through music, maybe share a moment while I’m onstage,” he says. “In a way, I envy the days of Woody Guthrie, traveling by boxcars, playing for food.
” That, my friends, is what you call down-to-earth. Don’t think that the self-proclaimed “Gypsy Troubadour” stops there. He has also spent his time and talents for charitable causes. He has performed for benefits such as M.A.D.D., the M.S. Society and The Ramona Cancer Resource Center. His most recent visit was The Heartland Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center in San Diego—he is a very busy man.
From the mid-‘90s through today, Lee has released six albums. His latest release, Emancipate, takes you on a journey through his emotions and his thoughts on love. He is one artist that is not afraid to show his humility to others. With an impressive combination of a husky voice and earthy lyrics, it becomes surprisingly easy to relate to what he has to say. Even in the midst of its gloomy mood, Emancipate always offers something enlightening. “Vacant” is an example—a depressing song about lost love. The calm rumbling of the guitars and the husky crooning straps you in for an emotional rollercoaster ride, but proves more memorable than fearful. While “Revisited” (a slow ballad that sounds like it could have been a hit during the ‘50s) may lift your spirits about being in love, things take another twist on “When It’s Over.”
Judging by his music, it’s understandable why some have tagged his live performances (some of which last two to three hours without a pause) “intense and straight from the heart.” The music speaks for itself.
Having recorded this album on a 16 track, two-inch analog machine, with zero digital corrections, Post obviously has grass roots at the heart of everything. His old school vibe and process of making music makes his sound authentic—not deceiving by modern technologies. An artist of such talent and love for music comes one in a million. Be at his show at the Juggling Gypsy on Thursday, August 3rd at 8 pm.
A Vagabond Returns: The Adventures of Lee Tyler Post by Simeon Flick
The music industry isn't what it once was: comely-yet-statuesque "heritage" artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison - who were allowed to be themselves and who were actively encouraged to develop long-term careers - have given way to mass-marketable, disposable faces like Ryan Cabrera, John Mayer, and Ashlee Simpson. The resulting music has likewise gone from warts-and-all soulful to shiny and Ritalin-shallow, and most major label artists now seem as disposable as a toy's batteries. Pop culture's priorities - and our increasingly attention-deficient culture's needs - have undoubtedly changed. It would seem now as though contemporary artists who embody those former standards of artistic authenticity and depth so abundant in the sixties and seventies would be hard-pressed to find a place in the modern scheme of things. Lee Tyler Post, however, is proof positive that one can still emulate the old school in one's own postmodern way, that it can be built upon for the future, and that it can be conducive to positive change.
The youngest of four children, Post grew up as a shy, laconic boy in a blue-colllar household in Poway. He listened to soulful music that struck an internal chord and that became an oasis during his difficult formative years. Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, The Doors, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, and Janis Joplin were just a few of the artists that became his spiritual guides through a rough but honest blue collar life. It wasn't until his early twenties, however, that he would be motivated to learn how to make this kind of music by and for himself.
"I was on my way to work one day and Bob Dylan's 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' came on the radio," he recalls. "That moment literally changed my life. I went out the very next day and bought a 12-string acoustic guitar and began teaching myself how to play and sing. To this day I've never taken a lesson and I've never played a single cover tune."
The music this Poway's son makes is channeled from that austere spirit of the aforementioned "golden age" of music. It's rooted in the formative hardships of poverty and shaped by the way society tends to selectively reward or punish its loners. Post's sound is as much "the Boss" (Springsteen) and Van Morrison as it is Otis Redding and Al Green: blue-collar heartland grit mixed with Motor City soul.
Over time, and through unfulfilling seminal experiences singing his own words over other people's music, Post has slowly coalesced into his current, self-sufficient form.
"It didn't take long to figure out that I liked being solo as much as or more than fronting a band, so I decided to do both." Since that time he has progressively focused more energy on solo performing, booking and playing his own shows, and using the sheer power of his voice to deliver the stories and messages of his own songs. Although he disparages his guitar playing, the clever harmonic choices he makes on his jumbo acoustic guitar are a crucial ingredient of the soulful whole.
Post had spent most of his life here in San Diego until about two years ago. After ten relatively invisible years on the San Diego scene he began to wonder whether he really had been born in the wrong place and time, since his old-school musical style - and even he as a person - seemed incongruous with the general proclivities of his fellow San Diego denizens. And so it happened that in the autumn of 2003 he put his life into storage, packed up the van, and headed to Austin, Texas with his supportive wife Jackie.
After less than a year in Austin he returned to Nashville, where he'd spent a previous year during the late nineties, in an attempt to hone his craft and learn what he could about himself and the music industry.
"During my first stint in Nashville I found out pretty quickly that there's a lot more to singing and playing than just singing and playing," says Post. "I met and played alongside people who lived the life of a songwriter - the kind of folks who came straight from work with pipe glue still on their jeans and lyrics written on crumpled-up paper. I was also shocked at how many really good songwriters there were who had come from all across the country for the exact same reason: to find out where they stand."
"It was during my time there that I decided my approach would not be to seek fame or accolades, but that the craft or art of it would be the reward. Finally, after roughly five years of live performing, I felt like I belonged. Playing late in smoke-filled rooms, with soul sufferers at every table awaiting their chance to tell their tale, really formed a true, supportive blue-collar atmosphere for me."
Through his travels Post has learned that times are tough everywhere for solo artists who reflect the erstwhile paradigm that he lives, that the potential fans who are looking to connect with music from an artist on a deep and soulful level are now seemingly as rare as he is.
This self-professed vagabond will soon be returning to his native land for a short while to explore the heretofore uncharted regions of the West Coast, to be close to his parents, and to record a new album up at his self-constructed Poway studio, Miracle Somethings.
Post's goals are modest. He just wants to make a living with his art by touring and recording. He wouldn't mind - but isn't dead-set on - signing with a label that would give him the freedom of a long, loose tether to do things his way (no small feat!), and also to give something back to the community.
One of his main priorities is to continue funding his Marshall Saint Mission Foundation, which provides assistance for homeless, abused children and recovering addicts, and to establish a Rock the Soul Foundation, which will bring aid to cancer-stricken children and their families.
Perhaps one of Post's favorite quotes, from Rene Ricard's The Radiant Child, works best to sum up his approach to the intertwining of his life and art:
"What is it about art anyway, that we give it so much importance? Art is so respected by the poor because what they do is an honest way to get out of the slums. Using one's sheer self as the medium. The money earned is proof, pure and simple, of the value of that individual, the artist. The picture a mother's son does in jail that hangs on her wall is proof that beauty is possible even in the most wretched circumstances. And this is a much different idea than the fancier notion that art is a scam or a rip off. But you could never explain to someone who uses God's gift to enslave, that you have used God's gift to be free."
Article by Jerry Jodice of The Great American Music Hour
Part of my motivation for hosting The Great American Music Hour is the opportunity to turn people on to music (and musicians) that I think are worthy of our collective time and attention. For every band or musician that "makes it," there are hundreds or even thousands who don't. That doesn't mean they're not just as good, or even better. It might mean they didn't get the right break, or hire the right manager, or sport the right haircut. Or it might mean their focus is or was simply on something other than conventional success. In any case, they're out there, and they deserve acknowledgement.
One such performer that I want to tell you about is Lee Tyler Post. Lee came to my attention via Serena Matthews, another fabulous songwriter I discovered quite by accident a few years ago on MP3.com. She said I would love Lee's music, too, and she was right. There's almost not a show that goes by that I don't play one of Lee's songs. They're all so good, it seems almost unfair to single out any one of them for special attention. But I'll take a risk and do so anyway.
A song like "Thunderclap," for example, from his uniformly excellent self-released CD Emancipate, is typical of Lee's style. It starts out unassuming enough, and then, before you know it, takes off somewhere quite unexpected. His voice is husky in the lower registers, but then becomes almost operatic when he hits the higher notes, reminiscent of the late Roy Orbison. The effect is exquisite enough to break your heart, not because it sets out with that specific intent, but because it's just naturally that beautiful and true and real. Like all the best artists, Lee Tyler Post communicates not so much through what he has to say but in how he says it. And that, folks, is a rare thing in any era and in any style of music.
What Lee writes and sings mostly about is working-class concerns, so it's no surprise that he considers himself a working-class musician, traveling along life's backroads like Hank Williams or, more recently, Townes Van Zandt, accepting and appreciating the small pleasures and rewards that such a life offers. Over the past seven years he has lived and performed in Austin, Nashville, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Albuquerque. During this span he has performed in over 2/3 of America, playing about 1000 shows. Driving all the miles to and from the venues himself, despite never having been signed to a record label (his choice, though he has been asked) and never using a manager or booking agent or ever entering a songwriting contest.
"For me the quest or journey has always been the reward," he says. "I love to see new cities, small towns along the way that most people don't even know exist. I like to connect with others through the music, maybe share a moment while I'm on stage. Something to remember we were there together. In a way, I envy the days of Woody Guthrie, traveling by boxcars, playing for food."
It's a hard road that's seldom taken these days. But I, for one, sleep better at night knowing there are still people like Lee Tyler Post in the world, traveling from town to town like a wandering gypsy troubadour and sending us musical dispatches from along the way to remind us what it's like out there where — to quote Joseph Campbell — the "terrible wind of God blows directly on the questing, undefended soul."
So click the link below, visit Lee Tyler Post's website, and check out the man and his music. You won't be disappointed.
Review by Barbara Buckland
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lee Tyler Post for over a year now. Lee contacted me regarding playing the renowned Singer/Songwriter Showcase at Seattle’s Hopvine Pub, which I was hosting at our first contact.
I was simply blown away when I heard Lee! I wasn’t prepared for the power of his vocals (which I rate up there with folks like Otis, Smoky, Eddie, and Jackie Wilson) which is matched by the power of his songwriting: What a dynamo!
Lee is an all-around major talent on the rise, destined for great things. I'm glad to be on-board for the ride. I will book Lee as often as possible in as many venues as possible. He does a great job wherever he plays. He’s able to reach any audience, fill any room with his excellent songs. Do yourselves a favor and check him out. You’ll be back time and time again, just like I am.
Barbara Buckland Artist/Independent Music Promoter, Seattle, WA Executive Director of Music Community Resouces http://musiccommunityresources.com/
Nubzilla's Cafe Spotlight
If you don't know who Lee Tyler Post is, you should. Lee is more than just music - he is the essence of soul. Equipped with a voice that is sultry and powerful, emotional and stimulating, Lee easily impresses and captivates audiences from first listen.
Simply put, Lee Tyler Post is one of the most amazing singer/songwriters in his genre that we've come across.
Review by DJ Shashona
Lee Tyler Post is one of the finest Artists I have found in years. His smooth as silk voice soothes the restless spirit. His lyrics are heartfelt and masterful. He is the kind of singer that demands your attention without the slightest effort. The audience is mystified and entranced the second his tracks hit the airwaves.
We at www.awesomeradio.net love this mans style and grace. He is a brilliant artist and his CD's are amazing. He is a superstar and doesnt know it yet. DJ - Shashona www.awesomeradio.net
Ragged Glory by Siddharth Dasgupta (godsofmusic.com)
Know that strange feeling when you unexpectedly stumble onto something special? It's happiness, sure, but somehow a rarer and purer happiness. You didn't go out looking for it. But now it's here, and will probably stay with you for quite a while. Hearing 'Raggedy Man' is like finding a diamond in the rough. Not a perfectly polished one, mind you. But a jewel that is disarmingly of the earths, replete with frailties and scars of passage. And at the same time, glowing with a warm spirituality.
From amidst a plethora of singer/songwriters, Lee Tyler Post has managed to pull off a coup of sorts. His southern rock leanings are in full view on his body of work. So are the collective messages of hope and faith, rendered most obviously through the lyrics, but also on a more subtle level. The interesting thing is that he doesn't restrict himself to any particular style or even one single chain of thought. He plays with incredible heart, cutting across meaningless divides like 'radio station classifications' and 'sub-genres'. What you're left with at the end are thoughts bordering solely on the music.
As with most great songs, Raggedy Man is wide open to personal interpretation. Could it be a love song? The cool, sexy mood would certainly seem to suggest so. Is it a straight-ahead rocker? Yes, especially if you can imagine Tyler Post and his cohorts performing it live on stage. Does it carry just a few hints of being a vagabond's road song? Hey, this is a tune that would be perfectly at home in 'On the road' (despite Kerouac's escapade being a predominantly jazz-era one). A proud, roller coaster of an anthem, it's all these and much more. One's almost left feeling sorry for the chorus in the end. In any other scenario, it would have shone on its own. But this song's magical verse and bridge relegate it to being a poor cousin.
Lee Tyler Post's voice itself is a thing of beauty. He achieves the difficult task of coming across as sounding vulnerable, despite the rough nature of the voice. There are mild strains of Chris Rea in here, though Tyler Post isn't nearly that 'pop'py. He's also more melodically inclined than Cohen and Waits. Bruce Springsteen is another whom he begs comparison with, given the clenched vocal delivery.
The comparisons with Springsteen may perhaps be the most credible, especially since they work on a deeper level than simply the voice itself. Tyler Post has his own E-Street Band - a group of backing musicians who really take the overall performance to another level. Andy Machin is excellent on guitar, while Phil Lean is one half of a driving rhythm section. The credits cite both Gary Taylor and Craig Zarkos as drummers. Whoever among them has played the drums on this song, has done a phenomenal job.
An effective way of gauging artists is by seeing how they describe their own music. Often, those a little short on talent will wax eloquent about how they're bringing in new sounds or how much they adore the Beatles. On the other hand, you'll find groups being cynical about their own songs to a really ridiculous extent. This guy though, simply calls his music 'Rock & Soul'. Seeing how the music is laced with a stirring memorability, it's evident that Lee Tyler Post is far from being 'soul'ed out. - By Siddharth Dasguputa (godsofmusic.com)
ROCK ON! Life tunes by Ren Zenner The Coast News, August 30, 2001 (Carlsbad, CA)
I receive literally hundreds of CDs and cassettes from many talented, hardworking musicians based all over Southern California. Believe it or not, I listen to each and every one of them and even if the music is not to my personal liking, I fully appreciate the amount of heart and soul, and sweat and tears that go into each of these personalized digital creations. I feel fortunate to not only be a music writer, but a musician as well, which lends me a unique perspective. Sometimes I hear a song that really cuts through and touches me. Recently, I received such a CD. It contained a couple of tracks that I could really relate to and thought I would share my discovery with you.
Lee Tyler Post is a singer/songwriter who effectively blends country, folk, rock and blues to create a simple fusion of classic rock with a spiritual flavor.
Categorizing his music as "rock 'n' soul", Post previously hails from Nashville where he has played alongside some of the most respected and talented songwriters in the southeast music Mecca, including the annual Riverfest 2000 in Clarksville, TN.
Since relocating to San Diego, Post appears to be enjoying just as much success and his resume boasts performances at the Belly Up Tavern, and an appearance on local TV station, KUSI, as well as opening slots for Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons and members of Extreme. He has even spent a little time playing in Las Vegas.
After spending two years as a solo acoustic artist, Lee, feeling the music was missing something, joined forces with lead guitarist Claudio Martin of the ever popular Dr. Feelgood & The Interns of Love, rhythm guitarist Mike "Gonzo" Gonzales of Hera's Olive and Ron's Garage, bassist Mike McMahon, formerly of the Joey Bowen Band and the Carol Ames Band, and drummer K.C. White, a journeyman of 20 years.
The combination of these talents has created a very unique "new breed" of classic rock.
Post's latest release, entitled "Under the Strained Umbrella," is a pleasant, yet rockin' mix of Stevie Ray guitar riffs and Dylan-esque lyrics and prominently features a Coolio painting of Post, sporting a Johnny Cash-like image. The credits proudly state the entire album was recorded totally "old school" on 2-inch analog tape with no digital corrections...nothing short of a miracle in our current computer-aided digital music world.
The first two tracks on the album were, in my opinion, the strongest. In the title track, "BitterRoot," Post sings with a deep feeling of soul that I haven't heard in a long time, and the pop sensibility and tender lyrics of track two titled "Need A Reason," definitely made me stop and give a listen.
I am anxious to see these guys live and will have the opportunity to do just that later this month. Lee Tyler Post and The Mystics will be performing at Hennessey's Tavern in Carlsbad in a few weeks. I wanted to give you the heads up way ahead of time so you can plan to check this guy out on Friday, Sept. 21, where they will be performing from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Lee tells me there will be a lot of music on this night, as they plan to break down and do an acoustic set in the middle, just to keep things interesting. You also can catch him doing a solo acoustic set Friday, Aug. 31, at Borders Books in Carmel Mountain. His set starts at 8 p.m. ~ Ren Zenner
Lee Tyler Post first performed at the Black Rose Caffe on Saturday, August 12, 2006.
We first met Lee through Michael Yugo. Lee and his wife Jackie are wonderful people we had great fun meeting them and getting to know them. Lee Tyler Post is an awesome performer.
His music is powerful and riveting. He has wonderful stage presence - interacting with his audience. He really appreciates his fans and treats them like family. We are hoping that he will be able to perform here often.
That Southern rock, Allman Bros vibe returns when Lee Tyler Post straps on his guitar!
He belts out his songs with a voice that has enough heft and grit to convey the dourest of realities. Although he started out as one of our own homeboys, Lee did a brief stint in Nashville where he apparently picked up the cowboy hat bit.
Backed by lead guitarist Claudio Martin, bassist George Plopper and drummer K.C White, Lee continues the tradition established by The Band, Lynard Skynard and the Marshal Tucker Band.
Al Alvarez of A and R Productions LLC
This Independent Artist is the Real Deal. From first impression you see and hear an Artist that presents himself in a professional manor ready for the stage. But its not just the presentation, it's the execution that will blow you away.
I have read and heard many comments comparing Lee to other artists but I’m here to tell you this guy is genuine. With five CDs under his belt, Lee delivers insightful and clever songs filled with stories of life’s journeys. When you sit and listen you will be lured in by the rich quality, pitch and range of Lee’s voice as it comes from below and then soars high out of most performers capabilities.
Soulful?... Yes. Bluesy?... Yes. Rockish …Yes. But there’s something else. It’s the ”It” factor, that makes an impression. That makes you want to hear more. That makes you want to listen just a little bit closer.
New York Overview Paper (Syracuse University College)
If there's one thing this era doesn't have a shortage of, it's singer-songwriters (and baaaaad white rappers). So much, in fact, that it's become ho-hum (as far as potential goes) when you hear yet another "singer-songwriter prodigy" on the air. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the evoked emotion is usually a rolling of eyes, a deep breath, and "ohhhhhh-kay." Nowadays, instead of enjoying a set, it seems like you're suffering through it. Hell, it's said that everybody in LA has a script; well it seems that everybody here, has a song. So, that being said, it makes it kinda hard to promote what most may see as "just another singer-songwriter", but damn, just check the man out.
Okay dig this, for once you're not gonna hear that he's "a refreshing blend of Ani and Nick Drake", "a new face in the blues/folk/rock/country world", or "the next big thing, here in good ol Syr." Hell, he doesn't need me to hype him up; his music'll do that for him. Y'see he's got what most s/s's think they have! what most has been's (and never was's) are pining away for! Lee Post has heart. Seriously. Seeing him play live (and rock the hell outta...ahem...local book chain), was not only a wake up call to my view of local musicians; but seeing as he did so "at 60%" (his words), was all the more amazing. Going for nearly 2 and ? hours without intermission (completely smashed with the flu), was leagues beyond most artists I've had the ...ahem... pleasure of aiding. Sick enough to merit canceling, he still made the trip out, played an amazing 2.5-hour set, found time to talk with me, and concluded with a shorter set. But not once did he tell the crowd he was sick, and not a person in the house noticed. He simply anticipated, improvised, and played one helluva show. And the intermission wasn't even an intermission, his cousin played a short, yet impressive, blues set. Damn. Then, he tells me he's used to playing for 3 to 4 hours at a stretch...without pause. You find me one other person in NY who would do that, come on...I double dog dare ya.
In any case, yeah, his style has been done a million times before, but rarely with such conviction. So how would one describe his style? Throw the imagio of Johnny Cash, the guitar tones of Stevie Ray, the vocal clarity of Edwin McCain, and Dylan-esque lyrics, and you're just scratching the surface. Having returned fresh from his small Cal. tour, he found some extra time to play a local FREE venue. But enough about the man, let's focus on the music. His preliminary album, "If Hope had Reason" (MSM Prod. 1999), is much more mellow than 2000's "Under the Strained Umbrella"; it's an acoustical-blues thundercloud looming over the horizon. In fact, in "Salvation Manor", Lee says "...Separation sometimes, like a cloud folding bellows in the night. Hanging around, waiting for the sun to die..." Powerful lyrics? Ahhh, well here's where things get interesting. With tracks such as "Thankful of the Lord", "God's Got a Radio", and "Lords of Grace", many would be quick to discount the albums as Christian. Which, let's be realistic, immediately stigmas the discs, which gives people a pre-disposed attitude about his music. I mean, damn...I cannot STAND Christian rock (nor fake-pagan rock to boot), however Lee has found a way to convey his words (and message) such that they're neither preachy, nor down-your-throat. Quite simply, he manages to incorporate his faith into his music, without turning it into a subliminal sermon (a la Jars of Clay and gasp Creed). So go into it without any preconception...trust me, you will not be disappointed.
But I digress. In any case, MSM "If Hope Had Reason" is stripped down, real music. I mean, when you look at cookie cutter rock (any of which clutter 93q and 107), yeah...this music doesn't have a universal flavor; which is exactly it's appeal. This is music for rainy nights, for solo driving' for "down" time. Not to sound hokey, but damn, you can tell he feels his words in his soul; that they're not sung because they rhyme. Yes, it does seem as if the album goes from somewhat hopeful, to outright sadness' but stick around, things get better. I think the strongest track (in an album of strong tracks) of "If Hope" is "Salvation Manor" (by far). "Under the grain hour glass are hidden strands of lives I have passed And though it's hard to understand I try not to breathe too hard or too fast So don't hurry again Just give it time for the hope to dig in" A far cry from "Oops I Did you Again"? I think so. Also impressive is "Highway 47":"Goin down Highway 47 runnin' from the lies I have made. Starin' out across the long horizon thinkin of the woman I left behind" Now don't get me wrong, this isn't depressive "country meets Depeche Mode"; it's good (daaaamn good) music.
Definitely the more upbeat (and "plugged") of the two, "Under the Strained Umbrella", is shorter and more energetic than the somber 'Hope'. This was also Post's first album recorded in his own studio ("Miracle Something"), which, of course, goes to show Lee's outstanding versatility (as illustrated in his live 60% show). In addition to being upbeat, the background addition is noticeable (IE more and varied instruments). "Umbrella" is also by far the more "country" of the two. However, as much as I detest overbearing Christian rock, I even more so despise invariant country music. And I think this album is damn smooth, so what does that tell ya? Of this set, I rather liked "Just Another Day", mainly due to it's layering of acoustic and electric guitar; you can tell he put a LOT of time into this album. Also, the imagery evoked in "Bitter Root" is quite vivid a man whose soul was imperiled: "Stood in the river of Reason, like a minion Fool and proud. Defeated the mean streets of heathens, to the ground. But it's hardly the bridge to freedom; it's hardly the bridge in from doubt. I'm up from the down, I've uprooted Jesus to a turnaround" So yeah, it's upbeat and I like upbeat ORIGINAL music. If you don't like it, go back to your realm of N'Sync and James Vandersnot.
Also, check out his website http://www.leetylerpost.com or you can download MP3's (to test for yourself), and you can also order the discs and learn 'bout LTP and co. And let me tell you, at $8 per disc, I can virtually guarantee that it's the cheapest dose of quality music you're gonna find and will stay that way for a long loooooong time. -- Michael Shear of the New York Overview
Kicks Coffee Cafe - Plano, TX
Lee Tyler Post, a folk rock vocalist with no equal in passion or soul. A rare find for music lovers who enjoy acoustic road warriors travelling the highways and byways of the land to bring great music and messages to those open to listening to a good storyteller.
You'll find in Lee's music songs and verses that describe aspects of each of our lives. It has been a pleasure getting to know Lee and I share with you the unplugged "live" recording of "Life Without Fences" that Lee treated the customers to at Kicks Coffee in Plano, TX. Enjoy and thanks Lee!