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Tyler Bryant jumps - photo by Andy Merrick

Tyler Bryant


by Tina Hall
August 2010

Tyler Bryant won the Robert Johnson Foundation’s New Generation Award at the age of 16. He is the youngest endorser Fender and has shared the stage with legendary artists like Vince Gill, B.B King, REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Heart. His song ” Who I Am” is featured on Guitar Hero 5. He appears in the Robert Knight documentary film, “Rock Prophecies”,with the likes of Jeff Beck, Santana, and Slash. He is without a doubt one of the most talented of the new guitarists.

Maximum Ink: At what age did you first start trying to imitate Elvis? Do you remember that and what led you to do that?
Tyler Bryant: I decided I was gonna be Elvis when my first grade teacher, Mrs. Witcher, showed the class a video of him playing live. I was seven years old and instantly hooked. He was the coolest guy I’d ever seen. I didn’t know anything about rock and roll before I saw Elvis. I was obsessed. I’m sure all the other kids thought I was out of my mind! My mom even let me dye my hair black and made me some leather pants and a shiny gold jacket. I remember my first grade teacher telling me to “be quiet”..I raised my lip at her and said, “Thank you very much.” She called my mom and told her I had an identity crisis. Later I realized that I wasn’t Elvis.

MI: What did it feel like to win the Robert Johnson award at such a young age?
TB: It felt really really good. Ha. I submitted a video of me playing “Walkin’ Blues”. I honestly didn’t think I had any chance of winning, but I figured it was definitely worth a shot. I’ll never forget getting a voicemail from Steve Johnson saying that I was the winner. That was a happy day for sure.

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