Features, Print October 8, 2023

Tyler Halverson: What The Hell To Do With “Different.”

by Landon Ungerman

Dive into Tyler Halverson’s online presence, and you’ll be greeted by a cheeky cartoon: a Western cowboy, sporting stubble and flashing a grin, while a joint smolders between his lips, captioned “Western Amerijuanna Music.” This isn’t just a playful nod to his persona but captures his distinctive take on the country music world. Amerijuanna represents sincere tales, masterful songwriting, and a raw, red dirt vibe. Halverson explained in a chat with BandWagon Magazine, “It’s my own way… Nashville is still grappling with my style. I’m all about creating my own rhythm.”  He’s suggesting that music should be about genuine artistry, not mere replication, especially in a scene still acclimating to fresh sounds.

From the South… Dakota

Growing up in South Dakota, Tyler Halverson was unsure where his passion for music would lead. Fast forward to today, and it’s clear he’s found his path, albeit not in conventional ways. He forged a unique sound that doesn’t quite fit the traditional country mold, and this difference is resonating widely, especially in the West. 

For Tyler, mainstream playlists are not his endgame but instead sources of inspiration. His diverse musical influences span from indie-punk to bluegrass to rap, evident in tracks like the one named after his favorite artist, Mac Miller. He sees this varied taste as essential, stating, “I don’t think you should listen to the sound that you best fit into. Then you’d just be creating something that’s already out there.” This open-minded approach can be traced back to his indiscriminate consumption of all music genres. Reflecting on his younger self, he advises, “Be different and be ready for people to not know what the hell to do with different.”

Early in his journey, he played for audiences that seemed indifferent. However, he persisted, honing his craft until relocating to Nashville after his education. His collaboration with fellow Nashville artists like his now roommates in Ben Chapman and Meg Mcree among others, and the connections he’s fostered in Nashville have been pivotal in his journey. Occasionally, he acknowledges the depth of his immersion in music, reinforcing his commitment to the art.  “There’s just the little moments where you realize you’re in it a little too deep to go anywhere else, so you just gotta keep going.” Halverson said. From seeking opportunities to perform at almost any rodeo beer garden to now headlining clubs, honky tonks, and theaters nationwide, Halverson has come a long way in a short time with his distinctive sound.

Your Bar Now

In the fall of 2023, he is set to partner up with Kylie Frey for the “Your Bar Now Tour,” named after their joint song. This tour promises memorable nights in Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming, with shows in Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley, and Cheyenne. 

Tyler and Kylie’s synergy is palpable. Their shared Western roots and previous collaborations promise a memorable tour experience. Tyler reflects, “(Kylie) and I are a good little cross of voices and vibes, and like me, she just does her own thing.” He goes on to say, “We’re just trying to go around and have a party. A whole lot of country and western music is what you can expect from this tour.”

While Kylie Frey is captivating the country with her stunning performances on America’s Got Talent, Tyler Halverson is rolling out a new collection of tracks centered around his recent single Run Wild. Charming harmonica melodies and gentle vocal paths paired with imagery of open Western plains and galloping horses work to return each of these new tracks to the idea of letting yourself loose. Seeing that Halverson made it this far in his career by freeing himself from “the rules,” the tracks feel like some of his most authentic pieces yet. When asked what inspired them, he replied, “Me and my fed-up self wrote this one a few years back. They’re all just about the same time in my life, and that’s what really brings them together.” Not only does the writing and music of these tracks share a timeline, but the visual accompaniment for the collection, directed by Wales Tony, cohesively bridges the gap between each individual song, telling a story beyond what each song has to say on their own.

A Western Story Worth Telling

His trajectory seems promising. Major platforms have taken note, and renowned venues like “The World’s Largest Honky Tonk”, Billy Bob’s in Texas, have invited him to perform. Separately, Halverson has shared stages with big names such as Parker McCollum and offering one of the standout performances at the inaugural Red Dirt Days at the Greeley Stampede this year. The chorus of fans singing his lyrics during his live performances this year all over the country is, for him, “God’s tip of the hat.”

Currently on his nationwide “Run Wild” headline tour, Halverson is delivering tales that resonate especially with Rocky Mountain fans. He mentions, “It’s been well-received here. Being from South Dakota, I can relate more to the Rocky Mountain lifestyle than many southern country artists.” Thus, his Amerijuanna music finds a passionate audience in the West.

Before Tyler Halverson could share his story with crowds around the country alongside some of the most promising names in the industry, he had to decide to live a life with stories worth telling – ones that hadn’t been told before. What came out of that decision was a new movement of country music: Western Amerijuanna. On the surface, he’s just a hippie in a cowboy hat, singing songs for the heck of it, but in truth, Tyler Halverson and everyone in his circle are the youngsters in the industry who put artistry and originality before all else. When the plan is to just figure it out, step one is to do what feels right, and for Tyler, it felt right to simply “be different.”

Join Tyler Halverson and Kylie Frey this October in Colorado & Wyoming on the Your Bar Now Tour in Colorado Springs, Denver, Greeley, and Wyoming. Tickets available at bandwagonpresents.com.