Photography: Dovetail & Jonathan Tyler


Jonathan Tyler at The Blue Light. March 06, 2015. Photography by Susan Marinello/New Slang.

by: Thomas D. Mooney

Some bands, they just emit the classic rock n’ roll persona. They’re cool. Walk into a crowded venue on a Saturday night, I’ll give you five minutes to find people in the band. Some bands, you just can’t miss them. Dovetail and Jonathan Tyler, they’re those kind of bands.

Hat? check. Denim? check. Vest? check. Garnier Fructis level hair? check. Guitars? Check

They’re just beaming with larger than lifeness we’re told about in the movies. Get to know them, yeah, you figure out they’re just regular people creating music at levels near absurdity.

It was roughly three weeks ago when Dallas’ Jonathan Tyler and Dovetail came to Lubbock’s Blue Light. They were in true form. All things go.

Midway through Dovetail’s opening set, I heard whispers of “Hmm…I think I like Dovetail more…I don’t know how Jonathan Tyler can do better than that tonight.” You really couldn’t blame them either. For most of the crowd, it was the first time hearing the “Holy Shit” harmonies of the band. Their debut Mount Karma captured those harmonies, but like with anything that great and precise, you’re naturally hesitant to believe they’re going to be able to do it in a live setting. It’s normal to think so because you’ve been let down by inferior talent in the past. 

Dovetail, it’s not the case. 

I’d describe the harmonies of Dovetail as a dog whistle. If you’ve ever seen a dog respond to a dog whistle, you know they do the sudden head jerk to that direction. Phillip Creamer and company begin singing and bar stools begin to turn. Wallflowers approach. Mobs form.


Tyler seems rejuvenated with the imminent release of his album Holy Smokes. Not sure if it’s a game changer…but it’s set to be the best damn thing he’s ever done. It’s a loose, cool, Easy Rider Jonathan Tyler.

Their burning set shows that. I don’t want to say they’re tired of playing the same old songs, but they’re definitely ready for songs like “California Sunshine,” “Hallelujah,” and “Riverbottom” to be the new staples that people go into frenzy mode for. Yeah, they’ve been playing those songs for a second now, but it’s only now that you’re seeing the crowd recognize–they always responded–but recognizing within a few seconds is another level. 

Midway through Tyler’s set, those drunken whispers resurface with lines like “Well…maybe Jonathan Tyler is still better…I don’t know, they’re both fucking incredible…etc…etc”

You can’t really blame them either.



One response to “Photography: Dovetail & Jonathan Tyler

  1. Pingback: New Slang Reviews Dovetail's Performance at The Blue Light Live - OK! Good Records·

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