Ty Tabor started out in bluegrass, playing with his father in their native Mississippi as a young man.
Then he discovered the Beatles.
With that opened the door that exposed Tabor to a slew of hard rock legends in the 1970s, prompting his switch to harder stuff and ultimately as guitarist for power alternative rockers King’s X.
Along the way he defined his own style.
Tabor has often baffled critics who have trouble pinpointing his influences — they are simply too varied. He has, however, been often pegged for his singing style, which has been compared to John Lennon.
“Well, John Lennon was probably my favorite singer growing up,” Tabor told mondernguitars.com in a 2005 interview. “I was a huge, huge Beatles fan. But I didn’t even realize, I guess because I grew up singing along with the Beatles, that I had leanred to sing with John Lennon. Later everybody told me that I phrased like him and everything.”
“It was never intentional,” he said. “I guess it’s just a matter of loving the way he sand so much and singing with him all my life that I ended up being like that.”
He’s made good use of it, and remains among the most underrated guitar players in rock. Despite more than a dozen albums with King’s X, mainstream success remains elusive. Still, Tabor has been a prolific performer and has released seven solo albums, starting with Naomi’s Solar Pumpkin in 1997, and this year’s Something’s Coming.
“It’s tough to have success and everyone knows that, and everyone’s trying to do that, and it’s way worse than a mere thirty teams in a sports league,” he told modernguitars.com. “It’s thousands going for those few slots. The competition is ridiculous. So I personally don’t even concern myself with that.”
Seems like his only concern is the music. Thank God for that.
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NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
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