Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights set sail for rock 'n' roll adventure

As Dallas-based band Jonathan Tyler and Northern Lights prepares for a run of four Oklahoma shows this week, the frontman compares the group's transition from regional rockers to national names to an oceanic voyage.
BY BRANDY McDONNELL bmcdonnell@opubco.com Published: July 20, 2011
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Jonathan Tyler likens his rock 'n' roll adventures of the past 15 months or so to launching an oceanic voyage to some exotic far-flung land.

Life-changing. Thrilling. Isolating. Exhausting.

“Believe me, when you're out for 200 days a year or even more than that, it's like going out on the ocean in a boat or ship and just being away from everybody that you love and being with a small group of people, and you're out by yourself,” said the frontman for Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights in a phone interview from, yes, the road.

“It isn't for the faint of heart. A lot of bands think that they can go out and it would be their picture-perfect situation, and we thought that, too. And it's not that I don't still think that, it's just that there's also a lot of things that come along with it that test a person's will and their personality. And I think that as a band, we're tied together, but every person has to go through that alone.”

“At the same time,” he added, “it's awesome. It's an adventure, and that's what's cool about it.”

Building a name

So far, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, including Oklahoma-grown drummer Jordan Cain and bassist Nick Jay, have successfully navigated the often exhilarating, sometimes choppy waters on the journey from regional rockers to national names.

Still, the lead singer/songwriter for the Dallas-based rock band is pleased to have four Oklahoma tour dates on their itinerary this week: Wednesday at The Conservatory in Oklahoma City, Thursday at Two Frogs Grill in Ardmore, Friday at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa and Saturday at Eskimo Joes' BBQ & Blues Street Festival in Stillwater.

“It's definitely a second home,” Tyler said. “It's been a good year. People all over the country are starting to be turned on to us, so we're traveling a lot more all over the map. You know, it's been a lot of work ... a lot of playing, a lot of shows. It's been busy.”

In April 2010, the band released its major-label debut album “Pardon Me,” a collection of genuine throwback, blues-based rock 'n' roll reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Lenny Kravitz.

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IN CONCERT

Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: The Conservatory, 8911 N Western.

Information: www.conservatoryokc.com.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Two Frogs Grill, 2646 W Broadway, Ardmore.

Information: www.twofrogsgrill.com.

When: 7 p.m. Friday.

Where: Cain's Ballroom, 423 N Main, Tulsa.

Information: www.cainsballroom.com.

When: 5 p.m. Saturday.

Where: BBQ & Blues Street Festival, outside Eskimo Joes, 501 W Elm St.

Information: www.eskimojoes.com.

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