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The hidden music of Tyler

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At first glance, Tyler, Texas doesn’t appear to be much of a “hot spot” for musicians to find a gig. However, the town known for roses and evergreens just might have a bit more soul than you’d think.

From the very first step while walking into Fat Catz Louisiana Kitchen, located across from Clicks on Old Troop Highway, patrons are hit with the same blues and jazz music that gave cities like New Orleans its name.

“We started up the live music about four months ago,” said Johnny G, the bartender for Fat Catz.

Customers can feel the full effects of the Louisianastyle kitchen through the Cajun-based genres of music played there.

“Thursday night is a rock, blues, acoustical style set up, and Friday is the full Blues and Jazz bands,” he said. “Thursday night from 6 to 9 we have an acoustical night in the bar, and Friday from 9 to 12 we run a full-fledge band.”

For rock and roll fans, Clicks Billiards and Bar is right across the street.

“We run the gamut of rock,” said Mike, Clicks bartender and general manager of three years. “We’ll do about 20 to 25 national concerts per year.”

“Thursdays and Friday from 9 to 12, and Saturdays from 9 to 1 are full shows.” He went on to explain that Clicks absolutely supports local music. However, there is one exception.

“One of the biggest things to me is professionalism. If someone is a pleasure to work with it means a whole, whole lot more than anything else,” he said. “It’s like a job. You’re going to need to have experience to get that job.”

Surprisingly, Tyler is still not even close to being out of live music venues. XL’N, The Down Under Pub, Half Moon Grill, Where’s Rufus, Café Tazza, and Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar-B-Que are just some of the many locations throughout Tyler to find live music. All of which contain separate genres of music.

Marissa Wallace, a shift manager of Café Tazza, Tyler’s Italian-style gourmet coffee bar, described their music scene.

“The Live music started up around the end of May. It was going to be a summer evening thing on Thursday nights, but it became so popular that we are carrying it over into early fall,” said Wallace. “The genre is usually an acoustic,folk, background music. It’s a very coffee shop style of music.”

Another soon to be hot spot is XL’N Billiards bar on Fifth Street, East of TJC’s campus. The new General Manager/Bartender Sean Patterson had a sense of anticipation coming from him when discussing his plans to re-establish the bar.

“I want to have every genre of music here,” said Patterson. “I come from a place where you can listen to Jazz, Blues, Rock and Funk all in the same night. That’s the kind of thing, not so much financially, but more for the people to enjoy, that I want to create here.”

The same goes for nearly all of the live music locations.

Stanley’s Famous Pit Bar- B-Que owner Nick Pencis was thrilled to try and get the news out for their re-introduction to Tyler’s live music scene. “Porterdavis, a band out of Austin, Texas, is going to be here the 26th of September, and we’re planning on carrying on the live music through the Fall with the cooler weather.”

Though it may not be Austin, it appears Tyler has a selection of live music venues available for both the public as well as talented musicians.

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