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Dallas-based country rockers seem destined for ubiquity

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Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights should already be one of those bands that is impossible to avoid, popping up on commercials, "Monday Night Football" promos and television and movie soundtracks, and playing on the main stage of every jam band-heavy music festival in the nation.

"Gyspy Woman" could have been the song that got Tyler and his fellow Dallas band members there, aside from one little catch: The actual recording of the track, featured on the debut album, "Hot Trottin,'" is sketchy, having been recorded in less than a week.

"The first album was this really raw thing. It was low-budget and we didn't really have the expectation of it getting us this far," Tyler said. "I thought we would have recorded another album before now, but we've been so busy with the first one that we haven't had time yet."

Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights perform at 9 p.m. April 30 at Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan.

TEXAS ROCK FORMULA
Despite its technical shortcomings, the album is impressive and stocked with other gems such as the revivalist "Time for Love" and the Dust Bowl-meets-psychedelic blues track "Devil's Basement." With touches of Stevie Ray Vaughn virtuosity, the swagger of The Black Crowes and the grit of early Deep Purple, Tyler and his bandmates have a handle on the Texas rock formula that hundreds of other Lone Star bands haven't quite worked out in recent years.

"Gypsy Woman" might not be gracing car commercials to demonstrate the rugged attitude of some boxy hybrid import, but relentless touring elevated the outfit's visibility enough to convince Atlantic Records to release its next album.

To help brew another batch of buzz-worthy tracks, Tyler recently trekked to New York City to spend a couple days writing with Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. Tyler has been anxious to get back to writing, but the unexpected success of "Hot Trottin'" put off work on the next album. He put a recording studio in his house, so that whenever he has a break from the road, he can write and audition new ideas.

"That is going to help a lot since I'll have more time to try new things," he said. "The writing will be cleaner " it'll still have the same attitude, but the sound will be much more mature. We recorded the first album so fast, we'd been playing as a band for only a week or two. Now that we've played together for so long, you will see the energy and chemistry coming across."

There is still more touring ahead, however, including a 9 p.m. Thursday performance at Wormy Dog Saloon and a stretch with the notorious Kid Rock. Tyler insisted his band won't be going for the same stripper-laden spectacle stage show as Kid Rock, but when asked if he'd be able to keep up with the chart-topper backstage, he sounded skeptical.

"I don't know, man. I do my fair share of partying, but I'll see how far I can hang," he said. "I'll try to go the distance with him, but there's no telling since I'm still a rookie. I'm not a stripper guy, but I do like the drink. That is at least one vice we can agree on." "Charles Martin

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