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Close To The Line
Hailing from the tiny fishing village of Juneau, Alaska, Tyler Preston began his music career at the age of 19, singing old-time folk tunes for the local wildlife at The Alaskan Hotel & Bar.
With his 1000-watt smile and charming onstage personality, he quickly developed a reputation as a talented performer, and for several years he enjoyed regional fame bolstered by his consistent gig schedule and appearances at several major festivals in the area.
But the road was calling him onward, and so in 2014 Preston headed for Nashville, Tennessee. In Music City, he traded in his fisherman’s cap for a cowboy hat and went to work as a busker, performing for tips on the corner of 4th & Broadway.
“Busking in Nashville is how I learned the book; it’s where I learned to work a crowd. It’s a lot easier to get tipped if you play the songs they know. So I learned all the classics: Johnny, Willie, Waylon, Merle… you name it, I’ve played it.
“But the other thing I learned: it’s pretty damn hard to make a living playing music on the street. So after about a year-and-a-half I took all those tunes and went to work on a cruise ship instead.”
However, his stint on cruise ships was to be short-lived.
“The gig itself wasn’t bad. But the living conditions were… well, look: if you want to live below the waterline in what is essentially a well-furnished jail cell with a Polish pianist who keeps pickles in his sock drawer, be my guest. But I didn’t. I left about as soon as I got there.”
At the end of his contract, Preston returned to his hometown, where he spent a quiet winter producing Close To The Line. Following the release of the album, he spent the better part of 2017 and 2018 on the road, touring back and forth across the US in support of the release. In late 2018 he ended the tour and took up residence in Portland, Oregon.
“After all those years drifting around playing dive bars, trying to get my career off the ground, my nerves were pretty frayed. Portland is where I stopped running and gunning and started putting my life back together.”
In 2019 Preston met his wife Kestrel, and in 2021 they got married and moved to San Antonio, Texas where they now reside with their trusty dog Hank. After a couple years off, he’s excited to be back in the spotlight.
“The people here are awesome, man! I love Texas. The gigs have been tremendous so far. I wanna play every stage in the state.”
Though he’s not your typical Texan troubadour, Tyler Preston is the genuine article: road-worn and honest to a fault, with an old soul that resonates with audiences everywhere, he always puts on an unforgettable show that you don’t want to miss.