Tylor & The Train Robbers Hum of the Road

By Brian Rock

Tylor & The Train Robbers ride again on their fourth album, Hum of the Road. The band brings its rustic americana rhythms to the fore as they explore the cycles of life in rugged, sepia tones.

“The Way We Learn,” sets the tone for the album. Lively honky-tonk rhythms accentuated by pedal steel create a danceable melody that belies the pensive nature of the lyrics. Noting how people react differently to the same challenges, lead singer Tylor Ketchum sings, “Remember, you’re just living the way you learned to be.” A simple statement of awareness and a call to refrain from judging others, but Ketchum takes it one step further. Singing, “Go out and find yourself an old mentor; one that’s done the deed and done walked the floor, to pass along knowledge just to even the score and keep the circle turning ‘round;” he urges us to seek guidance for our own self-improvement. But also hinting that experience is the best teacher, he adds, “if you find an oyster, you can have the pearl.” Like vintage Willie Nelson, the song has a restless energy that pushes the edges of classic country.

Willie’s influence is also felt in, “I Ain’t The Only One.” Another uptempo honky-tonk tune, this song celebrates Willie Nelson’s second most famous pastime. “Workin’ Hands,” keeps the outlaw country rhythms, but turns more introspective. Singing, “Searching for oneself don’t always come about easy. You mostly want to find what you couldn’t lose along the way;” Ketchum illustrates that most of us don’t see ourselves as we truly are, but as we idealize ourselves. To reconcile the two, Ketchum advises, “Put workin’ hands on your plans and try to stand for something.” Sage advice that’s delivered with a voice as honest as dirt on a pair of working hands. “Straight As An Arrow,” adds lilting folk tones to country rhythms as the band explores themes of getting off track with our life and how we rationalize our actions. The ballad, “Ton of Trails,” allows the band to self-reflect on all the decisions that lead us to where we are now. For better or worse, we are the sum of those decisions. “Skittle Man,” brings back the rollicking outlaw country rhythms to tell the story of a man whose decisions cause family and friends to offer some unsolicited life advice in the form of an intervention. “On The Go,” incorporates Spaghetti Western tones to tell the tale of a man running from his past. “Next Long Haul,” is a Texas blues infused ode to the road. Whether life on the road is running from the past or running toward the future, the band rolls merrily along, trusting that they’ll eventually end up where they’re meant to be. “Hum Of The Road,” examines what happens when the allure of the highway begins to fade. Ketchum sings, “A good piece of wood and a pocket knife will whittle away the day. When it ain’t shaping up to nothing, what do you do? You keep shaving away. Day in and day out like that will wear you out pretty damn quick. Till that block you’ve been carving ain’t nothing but a tool for your tooth to pick.” Getting back to decisions and outcomes, Ketchum sings, “A straight line will do you fine until you miss the turn.”

Coming full circle, Ketchum and the band realize that life is a cycle of action and reflection. Too much action can be reckless. Too much reflection can be stagnant. To fully appreciate life, the hum of the road must be balanced with the quiet of home. The message is profound and poetically expressed, yet it still takes a back seat to the music. Tylor & The Train Robbers deliver classic honky-tonk rhythms with the precision and power of a modern bullet train.   |   fb   |   buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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