William Tyler - "Cadillac Desert"
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee Album: Impossible Truth
Listening to music that's purely instrumental is a challenge for our device-addicted, digitally-ill society. It takes a special guitar player to release an album devoid of lyrics and still gain attention from coveted media scions. Tyler is special, his guitar playing feels like a narrative in itself, and on his excellent sophomore release Impossible Truth, the track"Cadillac Desert" especially feels like a story. If it could speak, it seems the music would tell of sadness, of windy, sand-strewn struggles and failures to escape the blasting heat. The heft of the track comes in the first two-thirds, eventually slimming down into what amounts to one thread at the end, resigned to the ending of the tale, whatever loss it may contain. Truly the best solo acoustic guitar work released since John Fahey, it's impossible not to evoke his name in any discussion of Tyler's music, a promising omen for such a young artist.