Jonathan Tyler and the members of his band, the Northern Lights, played together in other Dallas groups over the years but took a break from each other five years ago “to live life a little bit.”
It was a shrewd move; the quintet came back together in 2007 tighter and more focused and is now riding a buzz over the vintage rock sound of its sophomore — and national debut — album, “Pardon Me.”
“We had some good opportunities back then, but we were young and inexperienced as people,” explains Oklahoma native Tyler, 25. “So I think when we took a break and came back around, things were a lot more mature as far as the songs and what we wanted to do.
“We’ve been friends a long time. We grew up kind of together a little bit, so there was already this brotherhood there. It was just being in the right place at the right time with each other.”
It’s been a good ride since then, says Tyler — who was working for a restaurant chain and studying business at North Texas University before launching the band. Though he scoffs at frequent comparisons to the Black Crowes, “Pardon Me” does feature a track co-written and produced by that group’s Rich Robinson, and the Northern Lights have played support for some of their own heroes, including ZZ Top and AC/DC.
“We’re music fans to the core,” Tyler says, “so when we get to meet people like Rich or ZZ Top or (Kid Rock), it’s pretty surreal. It makes it feel pretty ... rewarding, I guess, is the best word. All the hard work and time we put into it gets us these cool experiences we’ll never forget.”
Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights and Dirty Americans perform Monday, Aug. 2, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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