Title - The Longing
Artist - John Tyler Wiley
For those unaware, Fredericksburg, VA-based singer-songwriter Jon Tyler Wiley is set to release his solo album, The Longing, on February 25th, 2022.
Wiley made the album by himself; he wrote everything, performed all of the instruments, produced, engineered, and mixed the album. Like many other performers, he delayed the release of The Longing due to the pandemic.
The songs on the new album proudly blur the lines between genres, creating a southern sound caught halfway between anthemic rock ’n’ roll and atmospheric Americana.
The first single from the album, the psychedelic Americana rocker, WannaBe, is set for release on January 28th and will premiere earlier that week at Glide Magazine.
“I’ve always loved Americana music and singer-songwriters, but I’ve been at odds with the phrase ‘three chords and the truth,’” admits Wiley. “I never understood why music couldn’t be lyrically interesting and musically interesting at the same time, so it’s my goal to write great stories and poetry but to support them with more compelling music.”
2. St. Mary’s River
4. Just Another Heartbreak Song
7. Want a Little More
8. He Knew Me
9. Laredo Texas Oil Well Blues
This barnstorming Americana musical juggernaut, that sounds way larger than you could even possibly give credit to given its quietly ambient album cover, opens on the free wheelin’ blues-rock intensity of Wolves and the beautiful, mid-tempo balladry storytelling of St. Mary’s River and backs those up with the train track roll of Whiskey, and then comes the thunderously guitar-wrangled Just Another Heartbreak Song.
Next up is the gentle, in part, atmospherically-charged and jangingly fraught in others, WannaBe and that is in turn followed by the perky country, Americana-rock, sidewinding nuances found within the gentle rocker Cake, and then comes the pleading yearn of Want a Little More, the album rounding out with his honest heartache of loss for the past’s country music heroes within He Knew Me, coming to an all-too-soon close on Wiley’s brand of blurring the lines between anthemic rock ’n’ roll, blues and atmospheric Americana with Laredo Texas Oil Well Blues.
Before the pandemic started, Wiley found himself between projects, and he whittled a batch of original songs into sharp shape. Some were character-driven love songs, like the waltzing country-rocker, Laredo Texas Oil Well Blues, and the funk-soul standout, Cake.
Others made room for stomping, bluesy rock ’n’ roll (Wolves), introspective folk (Whiskey), and bombastic guitar work (Just Another Heartbreak Song). Free to follow his muse wherever it led him, Wiley began crafting homemade demos. Gradually, The Longing took shape.
When it came time to start thinking about playing those new songs in a live setting, he reached out to a group of longtime friends with whom he’d performed in the past — including keyboardist Thomas Johnson, fiddle player Eddie Dickerson, bassist Joanna Smith, and drummer Brian “Piper” Barbre — who not only joined him on stage; they all joined the Virginia Choir, his live lineup, turning what began as a one-man project into an official band.
Influenced by acts like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir is a band of players and personalities, led by a front man who pulls triple-duty as the group’s singer-songwriter, lead guitarist, and producer.
During the year preceding The Longing’s 2022 release, Jon Tyler Wiley & His
Virginia Choir made their official debut with a string of collaborative singles. Songs like “Laura Lee” and “I Won’t Miss You” showcased the full range of the band’s abilities, mixing entwined riffs from Wiley’s electric guitar and Dickerson’s fiddle with plenty of percussive stomp, rootsy rhythms, and swirling organ.
The Longing follows on the heels of those singles, offering its own mix of groove, guitars, and roots-rock grit. The Virginia Choir will continue to round-out Wiley’s solo songs in a live setting, giving them the depth and breadth live that they have on the record.
Jon Tyler Wiley & His Virginia Choir describe themselves as a country band that doesn’t play country music. They exist in the grey area between genres, playing melody-driven songs that are hard to categorize… but easy to love.
Before forming the band in 2019, Wiley spent the better part of a decade as a hotshot guitarist for other acts, playing with Melodime, touring with Stephen Kellogg, and occasionally performing with Sister Hazel.
These tours took him all over the world, where he played in nine different countries on three different continents and graced stages in 42 states in the U.S. He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, and PBS’s “A Capitol Fourth” as an instrumentor/resident artist with the MusiCorps program.
Wiley already has some East Coast tour dates on the books in 2022 (confirmed tour dates are listed below). Fans should keep an eye on his website and social media pages for updates to his tour plans.
Jon Tyler Wiley Tour Dates:
1/26 – Baltimore, MD / The 8x10
1/27 – Leesburg VA / The Tally Ho Theatre
1/28 – Rocky Mount, VA / Harvester Performance Center
1/29 – Carrboro, NC / Cat’s Cradle
1/30 – Asheville, NC / Salvage Station
2/25 – Vienna, VA / Jammin’ Java, CD release show
4/2 – Fredericksburg, VA / Fredericksburg Fairgrounds
John Tyler Wiley @ Facebook
John Tyler Wiley @ Instagram
John Tyler Wiley @ Bands In Town
John Tyler Wiley @ YouTube