Radio Free David - New Mexico

 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.

http://www.radiofreedavid.com/rfdblog/2010/lee-tyler-post-emancipate/

As always,Enjoy!

david

YES Weekly - Greensboro, NC

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."

On The Road With Lee Tyler Post - An exclusive insight from William Henry Prince

On The Road With Lee Tyler Post- An exclusive insight from William Henry Prince

Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York.

It’s Friday night, just after 9pm, and the place is filling up. The sound engineer is setting up a microphone on the small, raised stage opposite a long, dark-wood bar. The back room is full of young Puerto Rican guys shouting Spanish, playing pool and drinking Tequila. It’s dark outside and the streets are getting busy.

With a wide-brimmed black hat, beard and thick, black pony-tail that falls down his back, a guy steps on the stage to sound-check. He plugs in an old Guild dreadnaught and strums a few chords, picks a few notes and nods to the engineer. No-one bats an eyelid – it’s just another bloke with a guitar.

When he clears his throat and starts to sing, however, all activity ceases. The guys at the bar turn around, the pool game stops and everyone comes out to see. People who were walking past the door, they stop and come inside. I have never seen anything like it. I think I just heard a pin drop. Everyone is transfixed by the voice.

The guy singing is Lee Tyler Post, and this is just the sound-check.

There’s a long and proud tradition of story-tellers, or ‘singer-songwriters’ in the USA, from Joe Hill, Dock Boggs, Son House, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers to John Prine, Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Tupac Shakur, Bonnie Prince Billy and, of course, Bob Dylan. The craft can be traced back to Irish, English and Scottish folk songs, sea-shanties, medieval minstrels, maybe even to Native American and African story-songs. Whatever the historical origins, the Americans have made it their own. Just one listen to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music (first released in 1952) can testify to that.

Lee Tyler Post is part of that chain, and though his tradition is ancient, his time is right now. He does between 150 and 200 shows a year, regularly travelling 25,000 miles, taking in New York, Austin, Nashville, Seattle, Los Angeles, Asheville, San Diego, Atlanta and Santa Fe. Touring is what he does. It’s his job. He used to work shifts at a steel yard, now he works on ‘The Road’.

Nashville.

A proper music venue – big stage, lights, curtains, monitors, the whole nine yards (as they say here). People are eating shrimp and crawfish at big wooden tables, watching a great band playing some ‘New Orleans’ Cajun-folk-Irish-dance stuff. Whatever it is, it’s brilliant. The sound is good and the drinks are cheap.

At around 10pm, without any introduction, Lee Tyler Post walks onstage, sits on a tall bar stool, plugs in the Guild and says “Hi. Thanks for coming” and performs one of the stand-out tracks from his album‘Emancipate’, called ‘Thunderclap’. If there’s one song that showcases his remarkable voice, this is it.

The San Diego Troubadour wrote, “…Post’s sound is as much Springsteen and Van Morrison as it is Otis Redding and Al Green: blue-collar heartland grit mixed with Motor City soul…”

From deep-river low and bar-room husky to pure high and flying, his voice is an instrument of beauty and this song is a killer. There were several hundred people in the audience and I don’t think a single one of them moved for the seven and a half minutes it took him to sing the hell out of it. Afterwards I chatted to him and asked about his motivation for touring as much as he does:

“If you’re an artist, you’re an artist. It’s not a part-time deal, a hobby. Once you get on that horse, you gotta ride it ‘til the end. So quitting, or saying “man, I didn’t get signed, its brutal out here”, “nobody digs me, I better find something else to do”….it’s not in my nature to do that. It’s not about money, and damn sure not about fame. It’s who you are. If you can’t at least get ‘popular’ locally, you get odd jobs to survive…etc etc. I’m lucky enough that folks, for the most part, dig the music. But like anything, you do it long enough, you become better, smarter at the craft, find your own sound and rhythm. If you put yourself out there, people will find you.

Our conversation was interrupted several times by people wanting to praise him for the set he’d just played. He was gracious, warm and grateful and I got the sense that people really like this guy and connect with him through his songs. People have actually got married to Lee Tyler Post songs.

I find his stance refreshing. At this moment in popular history, people seem so desperate to be a ‘celebrity’ that they will do pretty much anything to get on TV or YouTube. Young ‘Pop Stars’ are plucked off the street (or from Performing Arts schools) and given contracts, fame, celebrity, without having developed their talents or worked up to it. Lee Tyler Post doesn’t care about celebrity, he just wants to sing his songs and connect.

7th Avenue, New York.

Lee is waiting to do a live-broadcast radio gig, a singer-songwriter’s showcase. Tainted Blue Studios are at the top of a skyscraper. We are outside on the balcony, looking down on Times Square and out across Manhattan. Lee tells me a little about how he got started on this road.

He was driving to work one day, heard Bob Dylan singing ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” on the radio and, in an instant, something inside of him changed. He knew what he was meant to do. He had heard his calling. The next day, he bought a 12 string acoustic and began to teach himself to play and write his own songs. And 22 years later, Lee has never played a cover tune.

Before an invited audience, in the beautiful wooden studio, Lee is last to perform. Introduced by the MC as “a gypsy troubadour from Southern California” he plays three songs from ‘Emancipate’ – ‘Revisited’, ‘And We Danced’ and ‘Thunderclap’. He looks like a Cherokee biker – an unusual look, even by New York standards, and he stands out amongst the pencil-skinny, shabby-chic audience. He doesn’t care what people are wearing in Paris this season – he wears what he wants. He may wear his favourite wide-brimmed hat if he feels like going ‘formal’, but that’s it. He’s not here to win a fashion award.

The applause is spontaneous, rapturous and loud. If he can move an audience in ice-cool Manhattan, he can move one anywhere. And move them he does. In the space of three songs, he has turned a room full of cynics into a crowd of romantics. No-one is immune. I look through the glass and even the engineers in the control room are nodding with eyebrows raised.

There were some A&R guys in the audience, and after Lee returned from a brief ‘meet & greet’, I asked him about his attitude towards The Music Industry and ‘Getting Signed’.

“Well, I was raised by blue collar parents, who taught me that if you wanted something, you work hard for it. Earn it. Nobody’s gonna hand it to you on a silver platter. As my Dad would say, ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is“.So right there, is the foundation of my mind set.”

I’ve been offered deals along the way, but it’s always ‘great voice Lee, but you’re songs have no air-play quality. We can’t market you’ or ‘you’re not Rock, or Blues, or Country or Soul. But with the right producer we could pick the right songs for you to sing, get you more mainstream.’ Man, I haven’t spent 20 years writing and finding my sound for someone to change it so they can make money off me!’

“It’s a shame young singer songwriters or artists still think ‘getting signed’ is the end all. The ‘I’ve Made It’ status. Does being ‘signed’ validate your work? Does it make you good? Turning on the radio answers that question! No, it doesn’t.

I mean, I get it. I can’t afford to get my albums sounding the way I’d like them to, but that’s a small price to pay for having the freedom to do what I want. And with all the resources available to us today, that we have access to, anyone can carve out a nice little career. All it takes is hard work, integrity, faith and belief in yourself.

Early in my career, in Nashville, I saw ‘The Machine’ up close and personal. Man, it was like sharks in the water after blood. Everyone fighting for position, trying to get heard, seen by the right people. A lot of broken hearts and dreams man, let me tell ya.

I just see music as a sanctuary, something that is very sacred. And I guess at the core of my beliefs are, ‘how can I protect this passion of mine, and keep it as pure as possible?’

I was told long ago, ‘Find out what you love to do, then figure out how to make a living at it.’ And if you can do that, consider yourself the luckiest man alive. That’s the American Dream. It’s the journey, not the destination.”

In the studio control room, listening back to the recording of Lee’s performance, I notice how respectful the ultra-cool, Dracula-pale engineers and studio crew are towards him. This is in sharp contrast to the short thrift they gave to some of the more ‘in-your-face’ performers earlier. People are respectful and sincere because he is genuine. He is the real thing – an artist, doing what he does and doing it well. On his own terms. I’m not saying that he doesn’t perform, he does, but it’s not an act. It’s real. People can see that and respond accordingly.

Back in the van, we head out of New York to a motel close to New Jersey. Lee and his wife, Jackie, talk about the show, assessing his performance, song choice and reception. Like every artist I’ve ever met, Lee is his own harshest critic. He’s not happy with his performance of one of his songs. He is too hard on himself, in my opinion, but I bite my tongue. Jackie hears him out then is totally honest – “I’ve heard you sing it better, but, you know, it’s not always about technique.”

A nail has been struck firmly on the head. By the time he finished his set, he had that room tonight. Every single person. All the performers were really good, but only Lee Tyler Post won the audience. Not many people can do that. It’s a gift.

Fayetteville, North Carolina.

It is hot outside, well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I say a prayer of thanks to John Gorrie from Florida. He invented Air Con in 1842 and Lee has it in his van. The drive has been a long one and Virginia seemed to go on for days. We are definitely not in New York anymore. Checked shirts, cowboy hats, Southern flags, big trucks, fried food and accents like golden syrup.

Tonight’s venue is ‘Paddy’s’, an Irish bar with strong military ties. Fort Bragg is in Fayetteville and is the home of The Airborne and US Special Forces. Just like every other gig so far, there is a large gathering of Lee Tyler Post followers.

Lee and Jackie are greeted warmly like old friends, drinks are bought and the bar starts to fill up, split evenly between military personnel, college students and ordinary, ‘blue collar’ American music lovers. The bar owner comes over to thank Lee personally for making the journey and over-sees his soundcheck. By the time Lee goes on at 11pm, the bar is packed, buoyant and very, very noisy.

He starts the set with ‘Vacant’, which gets the crowd’s attention and follows it with ‘Miles From Home’, then slows it down a little with ‘When It’s Over’. The hot, humid weather seems to suit him, because his voice is particularly expressive and he is clearly enjoying himself.

During the second set, an ex-Marine friend, Bill, joins Lee on stage, playing fiddle for two songs, and the interplay between Lee’s fluid voice and the weaving violin is stunning.

As Lee climbs off the stage to raucous applause, it is announced that a young, local soldier has been killed in action earlier in the day. In a spontaneous move, Paddy, the bar owner, gets up on the stage, raises his glass and says the soldier’s name. Every single person in the place stands, holds two minutes of silence, then sings the National Anthem and salutes the fallen young man. It is hard to convey the raw emotion and sense of shared identity that held the place for the duration of that song, but it moved everyone, myself included. Lee and Jackie are quiet on the journey from the venue, deeply touched by it. Lee keeps shaking his head, “man, that was unreal. I was choked up. Serious.”

There are several things that I seem to hear at every gig – one of them is: ‘I love it when he plays the songs off ‘Emancipate’. From the first show in New York, all the way to Nashville and again here, in Fayetteville. People seem to really love that album.

‘Emancipate’ was recorded using only analogue equipment (a 1970 MCI), sparse arrangements and was engineered, mixed and produced by Lee himself. When we get back to our accommodation for the night (a huge, free-standing chalet on a fellow musician’s farm), I ask him about it:

“Emancipate was written while working 12 hour shifts on a assembly line, in a factory. Over the course of a year. Then recorded in 3 weeks, mixed and mastered and finished in about a month.

I wanted to put together a concept album. I won’t dive into what it all means, because it’s too personal, but that album was like setting a bird free from a cage. It’s saying, ‘if you hold out long enough, have faith, love will find you. It’ll all work out in the end’. I have a ‘gut’ feeling that no matter what else I do, this will always be people’s favorite album of mine.

It was also the first time that my sound and style got captured correctly. I felt comfortable behind a board now, and could make sure it was done exactly how I heard it in my head. I engineered, produced, and mixed it. I wanted it raw, honest, recorded on analogue tape, with all the warmth and fuzz. No pro tools, or automation. I wanted it flawed. It was my creation. I had no idea anyone would even like it. Seriously. When it was released, it was like it wasn’t. Then 2 yrs later, bam. People started digging it.

I have to add that my good friend Simeon helped me out a lot. He played lead guitar, percussion, djembe, bass. Couldn’t have done it without him.

Themes like Love, Hope, Despair, Betrayal, Redemption – they’re universal. I have one friend or fan who won’t buy any other album of mine. All she does is listen to Emancipate every day. She walked up to me at a show one day and said “its true isn’t it? About the songs. It’s you and Jackie.” I told her “it means whatever you think it does.” She said “no, it’s about you guys. I know it.” I’ve heard this a LOT over the years.

Whites Creek, Tennessee.

‘Dead Crawfish, Live Music’ is the motto of the next venue. It’s a relaxed restaurant, with a homely feel. There are large wooden tables with red and white checked table cloths. Quilts and lobster-pots. Local, handmade cards and tee shirts in the corner by the door. It’s worn appearance belies a strong musical history. In the men’s room is a signed photo of Charlie Daniels, who also played here back in the day.

Prior to Lee’s set, there’s a performance by a 14 year-old fundamentalist Christian girl, who sings her own song about the Internet being an instrument of The Devil, and that ‘pen and paper work just fine for me’. I find it alarming, charming and thoroughly bizarre.

The place fills up with cowboys and music fans. The sun is long gone and the moon is full and bright. I meet more of Lee’s fans, or friends, as he calls them. They take up the first five tables. The lights go down and Lee sits on a tall bar stool, head down, face hidden by his black hat as he strums his Guild, the crowd clapping as they recognise the ominous chord progression to ‘Hurricane’. Once again, when he sings, even the old-timers at the bar turn to watch and listen.

He’s at it again – mesmerizing people. It really is extraordinary. Lee Tyler Post, when not performing on stage, is a quiet, respectful, slightly reserved man. Yet when he sings his songs, he is transformed. It’s a remarkable thing to witness.

A second thing that occurs at every show is the appearance of people of Native American descent. Lee himself is part Cherokee, and on the porch of a house in a place called Eden, we talk about how his heritage affects his life and music.

Well, I have always related to Native American Spirituality. Felt that connection with the earth, its rhythm. What you give, or take from it, finding a balance, the meaning of it all. And in my own way, I’ve tried to live my life with a purpose, reflecting that. I hope it shines through in my music. I think the combination of being part Cherokee, and half Spanish, is why I feel at home on the road. Blending the Free Spirit and Romantic elements of me, together.”

The next day, this nomad caravan is off again, heading back towards New York. Amongst the bags, guitars, hats and bottles of water, I carve out a nice bed in the back, watching the country roll by. Before we leave ‘The South’ though, Lee has another gig.

The Bistro, Oakridge, NC

At the venue, the Air Con has broken. It is sauna humid. 107 degrees outside and hotter inside. The place is packed. You can’t move. The stage is at floor level, two monitors separating the performers from the audience. It’s up-close and personal. There are no A&R people here, just music-lovers, and some of them have travelled a long way to hear Lee Tyler Post. The stifling heat doesn’t put them off one bit. I sit in a corner, barefoot, eating ice cubes and drinking my body weight in Diet Coke.

The first performer plays some laid-back Country Blues, which sounds great and I see Lee nodding along, enjoying it too. Jackie is busy chatting to people and selling CDs.

Lee sells a lot of albums at gigs and spends a fair bit of time signing them and writing messages for people. I’ve seen 40 year old women turn into giggling schoolgirls and big, battered bikers struck dumb before him. Lee is always courteous and chats politely, answering questions and thanking people for their support. The only occasion I saw him behave differently was when a guy was rude and disrespectful to Jackie. Trust me – you do not want to fall out with Lee Tyler Post.

I notice that he excuses himself and finds a quiet place before he goes on stage, just to have some peace, warm up his voice and focus. Performers are the same the world over. That short time of solitude before going on is vital. There’s nothing ‘diva’ or precious about it – it is simply a part of the whole process.

During the second of Lee’s sets, he invites two local musicians to join him on the tiny stage, adding vocal harmonies and some lead guitar. It’s a nice moment and the enthusiastic, sweating crowd appreciate it. Despite the heat, not a single person leaves until Lee finishes the night with a stunning, soaring, 14 minute version of ‘Thunderclap’.

Back at the motel, I sit under a cold shower and dream of snow.

Greenwich Village, New York.

We are back in The Village again, on Bleecker Street, as Lee is playing a short set at The Bitter End. Across the street we find a little bar and restaurant with tables outside. The conversation inevitably turns to music, while we watch the Saturday night hookers go by on roller-skates and hear the buskers start to play. Couples walk by, loved-up and in their own little worlds.

I ask about Jackie, Lee’s wife, manager, muse and all-round stunning lady. It is the only time he becomes reticent and he chooses his words carefully:

I met Jackie at a Christmas party. Became instant friends. Her love of piano, and hearing me sing that night, drew us together I think. Over the course of a few years, we became very close. Not every day you marry your best friend. And I mean best friend. She’d still be the first person I call, or hang out with, even if we just had remained good friends. We haven’t spent a night apart in 15 years. She’s a very kind and soulful person. An “old soul” you could say. She says the same about me, but I believe I got the better part of the deal.

The Bitter End is small, dark, cool and shabby. I love it. The bar is busy so we take Lee’s guitars backstage. The back room is tiny, with a broken sofa and two chairs. The walls are covered in artist signatures and messages.

Everyone has played here – Chuck Berry, Joan Baez, Bo Diddley, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, Lady Gaga, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott Heron, Nina Simone, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Lenny Bruce and Stevie Wonder. It has a certain amount of history. The stage is bathed in orange light and the sound is superb. The quality of the acts tonight is high and Lee fits right in. He plays a stunning version of ‘Revisited’, another brilliant track from that album, ‘Emancipate’. Earlier in the evening, I had asked him about that track:

Well, ‘Revisited’, which has become very popular to some folks, was co-written with my good buddy Jeff Hightower. He wrote it for his wife and asked if I would sing it. Demo it for him, to pitch to Nashville. I listened to it, a bell went off in my head, and I kinda took it from him…ha-ha. I asked if I could rework it, change some words, chords etc.
He said “LTP, do whatever you want to it.

Even though our versions of the song are very different, I would of never come up with what I did, had I not heard Jeff’s version. It’s the only time I have ever co-written a song with someone.”

Tonight is my last night. Ten days, nine gigs and three thousand miles have passed by in a flash. We go for pizza with some of Lee’s friends then head off to another motel. I check my emails because I asked people I met at the gigs to tell me why they like ‘Emancipate’. Some of the replies are fascinating and beautiful:

When I have a bad day I run to this album. “Thunderclap” is my drug of choice, but any song on the album will do nicely for the pain. Lee evokes such emotion in his songs that it’s almost unbelievable at times. How can one man breathe so much life into words on a piece of paper using (at times) just his voice and a guitar? I don’t know. He’s a marvel, that one. I’m proud to say that I’ve seen him live, and he’s the best live performer I’ve ever seen. (And I’ve seen Dylan.)” –Serena Matthews, Nashville, TN.

Emancipate is just one of those albums you always take with you. Like ‘Blood On The Tracks’ or ‘Astral Weeks’. I like the fact that not everybody’s heard it. It’s my secret treasure. It’s a classic.” – Bob Keane, Raleigh, NC.

“I’ve never experienced so much heart & soul poured into lyrics. Listening to Lee and watching him perform Emancipate is electrifying and always has me wanting more – more heartfelt songs & more opportunities to listen to such an amazing talented singer/songwriter/performer. I know he’s truly one of a kind as I’ve never met anyone quite like Lee and for that I’m thankful and incredibly lucky”. – Tania Peguero, NC.

You can feel that Lee ‘gets’ it when it comes to music. On ‘Emancipate’, he blends all the parts of who he is to awaken your soul. His music makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a wheat field with a soft wind blowing across to create that perfect sound. I feel honored to have shared the pen with Lee on ‘Revisited’ . That album reminds me of what it’s like to hear real music again.” – Jeff Hightower.

I watch a fuzzy TV and reflect on the journey. Lee is clearly on a quest. He is searching for something. It isn’t fame, fortune or some self-esteem validation from applause. It’s not drugs (Lee has been clean and sober for a long time) or sex (I haven’t met two people more committed to each other than Lee and Jackie). It’s something else. According to the man himself:

All I’m in search of is being the best human being I can be. To look at myself honestly, try and correct things I know in my heart are wrong. Writing songs, touring, getting the stuff ‘out of the basement’ so to speak, is very liberating. Trying to Understand, learn, what it all means. I love plugging into that ‘invisible socket‘ live. When something spiritual is happening… its flowing through you. Knowing You’re not alone. I never feel closer to God then those moments. I live for them. I love this quote “You may tie the laces, but God gave you the boots.” I take nothing for granted, and credit for nothing. So I always give it my all. No matter what. Tomorrow is promised to no- one.

To me, The road is just a metaphor for ‘teacher.’ And I’m always trying to learn!

Most people have at least one discernible talent. I don’t care if it’s genetic, organic, divine or whatever – it seems to be true, in my experience of life. Lee Tyler Post’s talent is being able to connect with and move people through his extraordinary voice and song-writing skills. He seems to trigger a very spiritual and emotional response in people. I have seen it, felt it and know it to be true. I believe that he is a conduit, through which the divine passes when he performs. A middle-man of sorts. I think he is looking for the source of that power, and that is what compels him to keep going. I don’t think he has a choice.

Either that, or he just loves being on the road.

JFK Airport, New York.

My Delta Airways flight is leaving shortly. We listen to some old Tom Waits albums on the way to JFK and in no time I’m at Departures and saying goodbye.

I have seen some amazing performances by an extremely charismatic and talented performer but more than that, I have made good friends with Lee and Jackie. The chance to go ‘on the road’ has been everything I hoped for and more. And like Lee says, “it’s the journey, not the destination”.

www.leetylerpost.com
Copyright © 2012 William Henry Prince.

PENINSULA PROFILE: Troubadour weaves life's stories into songs

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)

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.

Encore Magazine

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.

IndustryMag.net

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 ...*

Encore Magazine in Cape Fear NC

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.

San Diego Troubadour

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."

The Great American Music Hour

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.

Music Community Resouces

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

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.

AwesomeRadio.net

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

Gods of Music.com

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)

The Coast News (Oceanside, CA)

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.

Effective blend

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

Black Rose Caffe - Tucson, AZ

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.

DigitalCity.com

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.

A and R Productions LLC

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

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

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!