You hear a lot of “behind the scenes” stories about the true songwriters of our time, the special ones who are compelled to write, and couldn’t stop even if they wanted to. A most common tale about such songwriters is the one about keeping a notepad by the bed in order to capture those elusive little idea fairies that tend to escape the grasp seconds upon waking. A most uncommon tale is the one about a songwriter who remains totally coherent in the dream state and writes entire songs while in that slumber, and upon waking has it ready to commit to paper and guitar. Meet Gary Kyle.
Born into to a big family headed by musical parents, a very young Gary was scratching out lyrics from the time he could put pen to paper. His urgency to write was a constant companion captaining him through a life infused with rich homemade love, personal family tragedy and a deep respect for the time allotted us in this life. Growing up just outside of Houston, Texas, he did his best to meet all the requirements that would make him a strong, well-rounded young man; did well in school, went to college where he got some of his best songwriting done while sitting in class, even got a sales job accompanied by a big devoted paycheck. Yet nothing gave him the peace he found in creating music, a beckoning that rose above the cacophony of a “responsible life.” The stage had been calling for years, and he finally answered. Gary and his guitar played over 250 shows that first year and had his first full-length album “Livin’” to show for it. The following year, he phased in a fiercely skilled backing band, and within six months went from a brand new act to headliner around his neck of the woods. The course had been set, and Gary was headed towards his true north.
Over the next few years, Gary Kyle released two more studio projects, the full-length album “Turn This Life Around” in 2011 and his latest EP “Texas Strong” in 2014. Combined all three released brought in four Top 30 singles on the Texas music charts including “Texas Strong,” the theme song for the nationally syndicated TV show “Lone Star Roads” with host and revered radio programmer, Justin Frazell. A growing demand for his live show kept him on the road for the most part of each month and he was honored to have the opportunity to share stages with alumni artists including John Michael Montgomery and Tanya Tucker. While Gary’s live show echoes his deep roots in Texas and the storied music scene that thrives there, his writing style is the seasoned recipe found largely in the music city of Nashville. It’s this kind of 50/50 concoction that removes all regional borders leaving Gary free to move about the “country.” It’s also the basis for his decision to release in his brand new album in halves. 2
On September 15th, 2017 Gary released the first edition entitled “Rewind (White),” a 6-song EP that projects the spirit of his big Texas soul. The first single “Tornado” characterizes the overall climate of this bona fide country music release and is already sweeping through radio and headed up the Texas Regional Radio chart. When it comes to putting on the old cowboy boots and heading to the dance floor, Gary does it just right like on the rambunctious “So Good So Far” and the slightly more laid-back “Late Night Runaround.” And when it comes to the more tender spots of the human condition, Gary does it even better. With a voice the listener can actually feel, he escorts you right to the barstool for a drink full of emptiness on “Champagne.” His precision with balladry is a well-honed skill that leaves no doubt that he has faced down demons of his past. That is never more evident than on “Whiskey Dents,” a sober reflection about the ripple effect of an alcohol induced state, and by far the most powerful song of the lot. Overall, “Rewind (White)” is a trip down the familiar roads where Gary grew up in Southeast Texas.
The sequel, “Rewind (Blue),” was released in May 2018 and is the more polished side of Gary’s writing edge. Stepping away from his more dynamic balladeering, Gary embraces the more rock ‘n’ roll side of his personality on this release. Having solely written all six songs save for the title-track “Rewind” in which he co-wrote with Ryan Heady, “Rewind (Blue)” represents the wholly refined sound that Gary has been crafting for a decade. Lyrically it is an outpouring of repentance for self-sabotaging behavior and things nearly lost, for the stubbornness of spirt and for things you wish you could do over if given the chance. There is a heavy drifting feel throughout this collection predominantly in songs like “I” and “Away From You” where the lure of life on the road seems the only natural choice for a music man and the best escape from heartbreak. “Rewind” is a conscious voice that speaks to every human soul, the kind of song that immediately evokes that involuntary smirk when truth finds you hiding in your self-glorification. “Poison Flame” tells the story of a heartless lover, but is, in fact, a self-portrait of a much younger Gary Kyle before genuine love seared its mark on him. Fast forward. Now a very dotting husband and family man, two songs stand as tributes to his wife. “Looking For You” when he first found her, and “Together We Have It All” when she decided to keep him, a song Gary describes as “getting really good at just getting by.” Combined, both releases take us through the journey of Gary’s intimate life as he grows from a vainglorious adolescent to a well cultivated man. Turns out that the biggest mistakes in life make the very best songs…and it’s much cheaper than therapy.
(Photo credit Simone Nicole Photography via GaryKyleMusic.com)