Kasey Tyndall’s sweet southern charm is often rudely interrupted by an impressive collection of rock ’n’ roll t-shirts. AC/DC, Ramones and Guns ’n Roses — crop tops preferably.
“You can help me Mr. Dave, I have so many,” she says looking with wide, innocent eyes toward her manager when pressed to quantify her collection. “Stryper. I just went on tour with them, it was awesome. I wear my Stryper shirt a lot. Some of my other favorite shirts are Bon Jovi, Loverboy, Lucinda Williams, Jason Isbell … ”
Yes, she calls her manager Mr. Dave and her agent Mr. Jay – that’s kind of her thing, recognizable by anyone raised in the south. But she says their name with respect and reverence instead of the sass and flare one would expect from a girl who prefers leather and denim over dresses and heels, just like she prefers a rowdy crowd dancing on a bar top over a seated one golf-clapping after each song.
Don’t be totally fooled — Tyndall isn’t a rocker hiding in a cowgirl town. Her Eastern North Carolina accent and penchant for aching love songs gives her away as a grounded country thoroughbred. The newly released “Everything Is Texas” is a heartbreak song so deep it nearly made the guy she wrote it about cry.
Each night on the road before playing "Everything Is Texas", Kasey Tyndall tells the story behind the song and how the guy she loved, a Texas-native, just disappeared on her. No explanation - just up and left. “His face … I almost felt bad for him,” she says with guilty laughter as she recalls the night he turned up in her crowd and planted himself front row.
The heartfelt song was penned with the help of Lena Stone and Lainey Wilson.
Tyndall’s journey to Nashville was accelerated in 2014 when she won a radio station contest to sing “We Were Us” with Keith Urban. Opportunities came quickly after that late summer performance, including signing with WME’s Jay Williams for booking (Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley). The then college student was greener than new money when she moved to Music City — during her first co-write she had no idea she was working with Doug Johnson (Randy Travis, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts) until he stepped away and the other writer in the room, Nick Autry, said, “Do you know who that is?”
“Anyone that’s big … I get super nervous,” Tyndall says, the anxiety flushing her face even as she thinks about writing with some of the veterans and legends she’s sat down with. She’s has opportunity to be nervous a lot lately. Neil Mason from the Cadillac Three, Driver Williams from Eric Church’s band and Tommy Cecil are a few of the seasoned writers she’s worked with. A publishing deal with Sony ATV promises to bring more top-end talent to her door. After working with her, Cecil (Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, North Carolina’s Parmalee) agreed to produce her EP due in March 2017.
During a song like “Who I Ain’t”, a song on Tyndall's upcoming EP, the fire inside this fast-rising singer breaks containment. Between songs and offstage, Tyndall couldn’t be more approachable. She’s quiet, but increasingly confident about who she is, and who she ain’t. “I wasn’t the prettiest or most popular or anywhere remotely close to that,” she says recalling high school. Her multiplying fan base appreciates this and her rock anthems have become their anthem.
“You get on social media and you see society saying ‘That’s what you should look like.’ I instead wanna be a voice of ‘Hey it’s totally OK who you are, just like you are’ … I’m excited to not be the prettiest country singer on the circuit.”