About Me

Armed with a banjo and a powerful voice, Massachusetts native Tyler Alderson brings his energetic blend of traditional American and Irish singing and playing to stages and street corners around New England.

Tyler got his start playing at open mics and folk clubs around his hometown of Harvard, Massachusetts. Working backwards from the music of the 60s Folk Revival, he fell in love with the scratchy old records of itinerant songsters, medicine show performers, and old-time banjo pickers from the pre World War II era. He started on the guitar and harmonica, and added the banjo in high school. When it came time to choose a path after high school, he didn't hesitate to follow his passion for music to Carnegie Mellon University, where he completed a BFA in vocal performance.

While at CMU, Tyler was an active member at WRCT, the university's student-run community radio station. He hosted the "Heaven's Radio Old-Time Music Hour," a weekly themed show centering around traditional American musics and their progeny. After graduating, he headed to Cork, Ireland, where he completed an MA in Ethnomusicology at University College Cork. While there, he developed a interest in traditional Irish music and singing, playing in sessions in pubs around the country. His dissertation, "From the Road: Singing, Music, and the Settling of the Irish Travellers" examined the rich traditions of Ireland's Travelling community, as well as the challenges its members face today. It came in the form of an audio documentary, which aired on UCC98.3FM, and can be heard on mixcloud. When not in pubs or out doing fieldwork, Tyler could be found on street corners, banjo in hand, entertaining passersby and honing his craft. 

While he plays a number of instruments, including the banjo, harmonica, guitar, tin whistle, and flute, Tyler's focus is on the power of the human voice to move, excite, and evoke. From traditional ballads to newly written songs (and even some originals), he strives to find the perfect melding of words, music, and arrangement to bring out the best in each piece.

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