Sometimes when you hear a song, it stops you in your tracks, and you need to hear more from the artist immediately.
This was the case for me after hearing Tyler Resch’s music for the first time on a Facebook advertisement.
After listening through Resch’s debut EP, “Highways and Honkytonks,” it was clear that a bright young career was taking off.
Read below to learn more about the Minnesota-born, Nashville-living Resch, including working with a major producer, the stories behind some of the songs on the EP, realizing music was his calling, and more!
Pro Country: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Tyler Resch: Before I had the internet at my fingertips, my dad had me listening to a mix of country and rock artists like George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, Tom Petty, and The Eagles. In my early teens, it was bands like Nirvana, Green Day, and Sum41. During my high school years, I really turned on to country artists like Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley and Eric Church. I basically jumped right into the workforce after high school, so co-workers would introduce me to artists they grew up with. During that time, I became a big fan of Merle Haggard, Chris Knight, Marty Stuart, and The Mavericks, to name a few. As a guitar player, I really look up to Pete Anderson (formerly with Dwight Yoakam) and Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke.
PC: Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to make music for a living?
TR: I formed my first band when I was 15, and I think the experience of playing with other people really lit a fire. We were more of a garage band because we didn’t play many live shows, but I specifically remember one show where it seemed like half the school showed up. I definitely knew it wasn’t something I was going to give up, and I think deep down, I knew playing for a living is exactly what I wanted to do.
PC: You opted not to go to college after high school to pursue artistry. Were you feeling any sort of pressure- internally or externally- to achieve a certain level of success after taking that gamble?
TR: Not really. I chose not to go to college because I wanted to try some things that didn’t require any schooling. After playing with a band for a few years in my early 20’s, I started to take the idea of a music career more seriously.
PC: What kind of leap was it for you when you moved to Nashville in 2016? Has being present in Nashville helped you with your craft in any way?
TR: It was exciting, but I came to town ready for the long haul. I knew it was going to take time, but I also knew how important it was to live in a place where people can help you out. Nashville has been a really great fit for me and for my fiancé Kelsey.
Living here has absolutely helped my craft. Being around so many talented singers, guitar players and songwriters just makes you work harder.
PC: Byron Hill has been a part of a lot of great songs and albums in his career. What did his presence and guidance mean to you as you were putting “Highways & Honkytonks” together?
TR: It was literally a dream come true. Before I moved to town, I read the story about how he helped Gary Allan sign a record deal, and I knew he had produced Gary’s first three albums, which I really connected with. I remember telling my mom how great it would be to find someone like Byron who could guide me and show me where to focus my time and energy. It’s still the craziest thing to see his name on my phone when he’s calling me!
PC: “Broke Down in a Small Town” has been the song that has connected most with fans. What do you think it is about that song that has allowed it to catch on with people?
TR: There was a really cool energy in the room when we recorded that song and I think the lyrics are a perfect match for the music. I’m still learning a lot about the recording process, but I think when you have the right players in the room, sometimes you just gotta turn ‘em loose!
PC: “Honkytonk Overtime” is one of my favorites from the EP. Would you say that is an autobiographical song?
TR: Definitely. I’ve lived that song for years.
PC: “Here Comes the Rain” is my standout track from the record. Can you talk about the inspiration behind that song?
TR: I think I was listening to a lot of Buck Owens at the time, and I realized how many of his songs are ingeniously simple. We took a ‘less is more’ approach, and the band was able to capture some traditional vibes while keeping it fresh. I’m really proud of how it turned out.
PC: Collectively, “Highways & Honkytonks” features a few different styles, including traditional country and southern rock sounds. Was it important for you at all to have some versatility in your sound when you were writing/recording the EP?
TR: Yeah for sure. I wouldn’t want every song to sound the same, and I try hard to write songs that will go over in a live setting. I like the dynamic of rocking it up and then reeling it in with something slow or super country.
PC: Can you describe your music/sound in a few words or a phrase for someone who may not have listened to your music yet?
TR: Gram Parsons coined the phrase “Cosmic American Music” – which is blues, country, and rock all rolled into one sparkling package.
PC: What plans do you have for the near future?
TR: My focus for 2019 is playing live as much as possible, writing more songs, and just continuing to improve my craft. I look forward to meeting folks out on the road! Big thanks to Pro Country!