Hailing from the small town of Campton in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, Tyler Booth has been wowing fans all across the United States since the release of his self-titled debut EP in 2017. His army fans began to grow even further when he joined Brooks and Dunn to reimagine “Lost and Found” as part of the duo’s REBOOT collaboration album in 2019 before his own major label debut EP release “Grab the Reins” in 2021. Earlier this year, the audience on this side of the Atlantic received their first introduction to Booth at this year’s Country To Country Festival in London where Ian had the opportunity to spend some time with Tyler (read HERE). Fast forward to the summer and Tyler returned to the UK for a series of his own headline shows in addition to appearing at The Long Road Festival, where this time it was Jamie’s turn to hang out with Tyler and hear all about his forthcoming Beau Bedford produced EP “Keep It Real”.
It’s great to meet you dude and it looks like you enjoyed it so much last time that you had to come back and see us again. “Yes sir, I think it was March that I came and I was so surprised. I don’t know, I knew it was going to be awesome over here but I didn’t think anybody was going to know my music.”
I’m guessing you had heard people talking about playing over here before you came but do you have to experience it for the first time to almost believe how different it is and realise that it is a worthwhile investment? “Man, I have so enjoyed it, I feel like the crowds here are so enthusiastic and also respectful too, like there’s not a lot of hollering or heckling, which you’ll get in America a lot. There is just something really cool, you can tell that everybody is so in with the music and it’s great, everybody is so nice here and I really enjoy it.”
Well, it was a huge crowd that you had earlier. “Yeah it was great, it was a good crowd when we started and then maybe the rain helped us a little when everybody was trying to get under the tent ha ha, but no it was incredible and the second half when I looked out there, I thought woah, there is a lot of people here.”
On the set, I just wanted to say that I loved your Adele cover (Someone Like You) with the way that you do it to change that up to fit your style. Actually, both covers were great and they are songs which you hear people do quite a lot with the Zutons slash Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson (Valerie) song which I loved too with how you arranged them both. “Thank you, I like to mix it up a bit and actually I didn’t have that song in my setlist, I probably hadn’t sang that song (Someone Like You) in two years so it’s cool.”
In March you were over for C2C and now we’re here at The Long Road, which is another UK festival, how do you feel the festival events compare here to back at home? “It feels great, it’s such a vibe where everyone is so nice and I love the culture here. I just love hanging out and getting to meet people. I’m definitely that guy who likes to walk around and see what’s going on. Back home at shows, people are messaging me online asking if I’m going to be doing a meet and greet? Every time I have to clarify that I’m hanging out, I’ll always hang out before the show and am walking around getting the funnel cake. I’m that kind of artist and even after I play, I’ll definitely be out mingling around.”
You’re also doing your bit for your home state here too and playing on the Visit Kentucky stage, so putting on your tourist board hat, tell us a little bit more about the great state of Kentucky and why people should go and visit? “Kentucky is great, a lot of it is very rural but the cities are pretty cool too, like Lexington is a great city. In many ways it reminds me of England but maybe that’s because we named everything after places over here like Winchester and we have a Manchester too. Near Campton, where I’m from there is a lot of good hiking or rock climbing, canoeing and everything like that so it’s really cool to visit and of course you have all the music too.” Well, the really exciting thing to talk about is the new EP that you have coming out in September and it’s something that you have been working on for a while isn’t it? “Yeah, I’ve been working on it for about a year. I recorded it down in Dallas with a guy named Beau Bedford, I went down there and knocked out a lot of the recording then ended up doing some vocals back at home because we spent most of the time down there making the tracks. Heck, I was finishing lyrics whilst I was singing so it took a little bit to get it done but I’m so excited now it’s ready to come out, then I’ve got like two other projects that I’m trying to put out as well.”
In the run up to “Keep It Real” you’ve dropped “G.O.B. by the G.O.G.” as the track to lead into the project being released, why did you feel that this was the best fit to introduce the EP? “For me, G.O.B. feels like a traditional country song because it’s really simple with simple chords and a bit of mandolin in it so in that way it is very traditional but there is also a little bit of an experimental kind of thing where I put this moog in there, which is like a cool synth thing. For me I felt like it displayed the EP really well because I wanted it to be classic country but also a little bit of experimental kind of messing around, seeing what would happen if I did this kind of thing, so I’m really excited.”
By all accounts, the last trip went well and this trip is off to a great start, then you have some headline shows of your own here. I know the London gig is at The Camden Assembly, which is in a really cool part of town, so definitely try to take the chance to check it all out because it’s the sort of place you can find everything and meet every type of person. Hopefully if it keeps going well, you will come back again and I guess the next goal for over here would be to be able to bring some friends to play on stage with you. With your live shows, when you do have a band backing you, how much would you say that what you do evolves and changes compared to when it is just you on your own? “Yeah, there’s a different energy to it but there’s also a different energy to just acoustic too because it’s a little more vulnerable and there’s a cool aspect to me. It’s a little more challenging to be in charge of the instrumental portion and the singing, if I mess up or my guitar isn’t working, I don’t have to worry about it if the band is up there which is nice ha ha. We rock a little harder when there’s a full band of course but I love doing acoustic sets too, so it’s good to mix it up.”
Lastly man, from the two times that you have been here, have you found anything in England that you really like and wish you had back home? You know, we drive on the correct side of the road, play football with our feet and drink tea hot like it should be drunk. “I love hot tea, I would like to see more of that back home.”
It is a nice change for you guys compared to cups of basically iced sugar. “I think the other thing that we can learn too is the kitchen stuff. I feel like food is a lot healthier over here in general, like less salt and things like that, whereas back home we love salt and deep frying or triple frying things.”
Wait until you get to Scotland, they will fry things you didn’t even think are possible to be fried up there! Anyway, this has been really fun so enjoy the rest of the festival and keep coming back to see us, then those crowds will be even bigger than they were before. “Thank you so much, I’m very blessed and I feel so blessed to be here and have a crowd like that, it’s awesome.”
The new EP “Keep It Real” from Tyler Booth will be released on September 15th and is available to pre-add/save HERE with latest track “G.O.B. by the G.O.G.” out now (available HERE). For more information on Tyler you can check out his WEBSITE and keep up to date with him socially on INSTAGRAMTIKTOKTWITTER & FACEBOOK. The Long Road Festival will return in 2024 to Stanford Hall in Leicestershire over the weekend of 23rd to 25th August with limited early bird tickets available now and details are available on their WEBSITE along with INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks