San Luis Obispo, CA. (July 24, 2007) - The winner of Ernie Ball’s first ever Play Crossroads Competition was born in 1991. No, that's not a typo. 16-year old Tyler Dow Bryant's MP3's wowed internet voters and a panel of judges and now he's set to jam with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, John Mayer BB King, Sheryl Crow, Derek Trucks and others at the 2007 Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Saturday, July 28 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview IL.
Bryant got his first guitar at age 7. Two years later he sold a dirt bike he got for Christmas so he could buy what he really wanted- a red guitar he had fallen in love with at a music store in Paris, Texas. One day, he was hanging out at a music store playing a Jimmy Reed shuffle when a blues player named Roosevelt Twitty took notice. They jammed together on the spot and ended up playing out as the Blues Buddies. “I was mesmerized,” said Bryant. Twitty taught Tyler the blues and the rest is history. Tyler has since worked and played with Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Chris Duarte, Albert Lee, Brent Rowan, Don and Donnie Nelson, Sean Neff, Wes Jeans, Alan Haynes and Lance Lopez. He describes his music is something of a cross between blues, funk, rock and gospel.
Tyler says he’s excited to demonstrate his unique style at the Crossroads Guitar Festival.
“This is probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me. I was planning on going even if I didn't get to play, but it is an honor to play this festival with so many of my heroes. This is the coolest opportunity ever!”
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of talent in the years that we’ve been promoting unsigned musicians,” says Brian Ball of the Ernie Ball Company, “It takes a lot to be wowed, but Tyler blew the judges away.”
Profits from the Eric Clapton Guitar Festival will benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua. Founded in 1997, Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons, those with other compulsive addictive behaviors, their families and significant others. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle. Crossroads Centre, Antigua also operates a 16 bed halfway-house called The Bevon House (exclusively for local Antiguan residents) and facilitates a school-based education series, Breaking the Cycle, in all local schools.
Ernie Ball was the first to offer rock strings with the creation of Slinkys, and further revolutionized the market by offering guitarists Custom-Gauge single strings. The Ernie Ball Company also produces Music Man guitars and basses, volume pedals, and other accessories. The company's strings and accessories are available in more than 6,000 music stores throughout the U.S. The company also exports to 82 countries.
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