Tylor & The Train Robbers Blend Rock, Country and Family Ties on ‘Non-Typical Find’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Tylor and The Train Robbers is a family band from Boise comprised of Tyler Ketchum, his brothers Jason and Tommy Bushman, and his father-in-law Johnny Pisano. Of the band, Ketchum said, “We are all family, we’re connected and I think it shows in all aspects of our music. We know each other well and we bring that knowing into our songs and our live shows. We work hard for each other because we are all equally invested in this music, the band and the life that we are building around it.”

Non-Typical Find is the band’s third album and their first one produced by Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly. Of Braun, Ketchum said, “Having the opportunity to work with him and have him bring his vision to the record was really incredible. He has a unique understanding of our band because he has also played music with his family for most of his life.” The album contains 11 songs that show how connected the band members are to each other. On top of that, these songs will also get listeners dancing, even if it’s right in the living room.

It doesn’t take long to realize that Ketchum is quite the wordsmith. In “Equation of Life”, he paints a picture of “rickety fences, red bricks, and plastic pools of blue”. Over a melody that features mandolin and pedal steel, he goes on to deliver a message we all need when he sings, “When you spend time well, you get back time well spent.” Another thing that becomes apparent pretty quickly is the similarity of Ketchum’s vocals to Mike Stinson.

“Jenny Lynn” is a ballad that could capture even people who are cynical about love. With the mandolin and fiddle, this one seems to have some roots in bluegrass. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is frequently on the road and away from his woman. You can hear the regret in his voice when he sings, “For now, this phone call will have to do.” He follows that up by singing the heartfelt sentiment, “I’ll sing this song ‘til I make it home again. I’ll send my love to you, Miss Jenny Lynn.”

The title of the album comes from a song about a situation that is anything but typical. Ketchum grabs your attention immediately with the opening lyrics, “I saw a rib cage reflecting from the sun.” Over six minutes, he tells the story of a woman hitchhiker who catches a ride with a reckless driver who crashes through a guardrail. The theme of the song is dark, but the melody is easy to dance to. Not many folks have the ability to make a song about a dead body danceable.

The band creates seemingly effortless melodies that are a good blend of rock and traditional country. On top of that, the harmonies are top notch. It’s clear that these family members have spent a lot of time playing and singing together. Ketchum’s lyrics are not only smart, but also easy to sing. 

Photo credit: Maggie Grace Photography

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