Ever since I wrote about my favorite records of the first half of 2016, I’ve felt like I missed something. And then it hit me: I left off William Tyler’s Modern Country, and it was a big mistake.
What made me forget it? What was I thinking?
Leaving Modern Country off my list seemed like a good reason to listen to the whole thing again, start to finish. So I did. And then I listened again. And now, as I’m writing this, I’m diving in yet again.
This really is a fantastic album, guys.
Tyler is a guitar player from Nashville, and his axe is the central focus of this record. But there are no overblown solos here. There are also no vocals. Modern Country is 40 minutes of beautiful, intelligent music that, despite what its called, could probably be best described as modern folk music; a natural progression of what John Fahey did throughout how brilliant career.
Album opener “Highway Anxiety” is more than 9 minutes long, but you never even think about the length while you’re listening. It absorbs you instantly, creating the perfect soundtrack to whatever you may be thinking or doing at that point in time. And the rest of the album follows suit.
It was a mistake not to include Modern Country as one of my favorite albums of the year so far. When it’s time for my official year-end review, I won’t make that mistake again.
Listen to the full album below …