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Fresh Tracks: Guitarist William Tyler Takes a Journey to “Area Code 601”

“We’re gonna end with a kind of a Hawkwind meets Charlie Daniels band number,” says William Tyler before launching into “Area Code 601,” the Southern fried space odyssey that is the final track on his new live album “Secret Stratosphere.” 

Recorded last May at a show in Huntsville, Alabama, the nine-minute instrumental jam blends choogle grooves, distorted riffs, and prog freakouts—a wild ride from a perpetually underrated cosmic fret wizard. Tyler, an inventive guitarist who’s an alum of indie forbearers Lambchop and Silver Jews, was born in Nashville, but he spent time during his youth in Mississippi, which inspired the composition.

“Area Code 615 was a Nashville instrumental ensemble that our group has always pulled inspiration from,” Tyler says in a statement. “601 is the area code for southern Mississippi where all my family hails from, and where I spent a great deal of my childhood. I guess it’s my tribute to that beautiful, troubled, and defiantly hopeful part of the world that feels more like home than anywhere else I’ve ever been.”

For the entire set is backed by his band The Impossible Truth, which includes bassist Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs and pedal steel ace Luke Schneider.

“Secret Stratosphere” will be released on March 31. 

Full band photo by Angelina Castillo

William Tyler photo by Garland Gallaspy

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