New EP and a 117-Proof "Boone's Bourbon" To Be Released Saturday
Written By: Shank Wilson
Tyler Boone might be professor emeritus for “do-it-yourself” success in the Charleston music scene. Boone is so proficient at it that I’m about to write an article about “Boone’s Bourbon,” in a music and arts magazine. To settle the first debate, yes, I believe the process of making bourbon is an art form. I also believe that two distinctly southern things are the blues-based rock and roll that Boone performs and bourbon, which he now sells. With his bourbon, Boone has cross-branded himself into two areas of the same customer base. There’s a lot more depth here than just that though.
Of course, there is a long road between having an idea and bringing the concept to fruition. Three years ago, when Boone was living in Nashville, an investor approached Boone with the idea for his bourbon. Due to Boone's musical prowess, relentless networking, and proven ability to market himself, the investor trusted Boone with his investment. Boone relocated to Charleston, took the idea with him, and selected Striped Pig Distillery for the job.
As soon as the bourbon was bottled and labeled, Boone put those marketing skills work by going to liquor stores, bars, and restaurants himself. Even before the official launch of the brand, you can already find his bourbon at Burris, Total Wine, Bill's Liquor, Bottles and 40 stores statewide in South Carolina and will be going live in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina & California hopefully by the end of the year.. So, if the bartender tells you they have “Boone’s Bourbon,” it means that Tyler Boone personally walked in with his Striped Pig-made bourbon and sold it himself. You can’t get any more local than that.
Boone says that Striped Pig offered up several different mixtures before he found the one he liked best. Apparently, Boone wanted his recipe to feature a mule kick to the chest. While most bourbons are 80-proof, it was a 117-proof offering that best pleased his palette.
Also pleasing Boone’s palette is his new five-song EP that will coincide with the official bourbon release. Boone recorded his latest EP at a familiar studio, Ocean Industries Studios, located on James Island. Completion of the EP was delayed for months because the owner of the studio, Eric Bass, needed it to record with his band, Atlantic Records recording artist, Shinedown. Months later, Boone went back to Ocean, completed the EP, and the timing worked out to where he could release it in conjunction with the bourbon.
Boone plans on releasing the entire EP at his live shows, while only releasing one song at a time to streaming services with an accompanying video. The first single will be upbeat head-bobber “Let It Go.” The verse of the song features a slick two measure guitar riff using some rhythmic displacement from the school of Keith Richards. The 2nd single is likely to be the watery ballad, “Jealousy,” which Boone and drummer, Eric Rickert, both say is their favorite on the EP. The song combines lyrically focused verses reminiscent of “Death Cab for Cutie” with power-blues hits that flow together nicely behind George Baerreis’ excellent bass playing.
The official Bourbon Release Party will be held at The Pourhouse on July 28th and next Friday, August 3rd the single, "Jealousy" will be released to the public. You can catch Boone and his band at The Pour House on Saturday, July 28 along with Terraphonics and Youngster. (https://charlestonpourhouse.citypapertickets.com/events/53308076/tyler-boone-terraphonics-youngster-boones-bourbon-party)
I asked Boone what the best advice he could give an aspiring artist was. Boone credited the late local manager, Johnny Diamond, for giving it to him years ago. Boone says, "You always have to be someone's friend first. Everybody's a human. Don't just go asking people to do something for you. Maybe something's going on in their life, and they don't want to deal with your email right now. They're all people. They happen to work in the music business. It could be a hospital or any other business, and it would be the same thing."
I don’t want to sell Boone short by overly simplifying his penchant for successful interactions. Making friends can be a difficult thing for a lot of people. Boone is not one of them. He has a combination of social fearlessness, genuine interest in others, and a very potent long-term memory. That last attribute is something that allows him to recall names, dates, events, and conversations that the average person might brain-dump a week later.
Admittedly, those attributes would be far less useful without the continual drive that melds them all together in a way that makes Tyler Boone the person and Tyler Boone the brand almost indistinguishable. It’s not that I have to wonder which one I’m talking to, it’s that I don't care. He's likable, he's putting himself out there in one of the most challenging businesses on the planet, and he's helped a lot of other artists do the same thing.
Therefore, since we’re going to be throwing back some bourbon anyway, we might as well keep our money here where it can circulate back around and benefit us. If you buy Jim Beam, the money ends up in Osaka, Japan. If you buy Boone’s Bourbon, it ends up in the hands of a music and arts supporter in Charleston, SC. It's an easy decision. Boone's, rocks, a splash of water, please.