Native fiddler comes to town

Published 11:30 pm Thursday, July 9, 2009

Those who remember Tyler Sanderlin as an eight-year-old with a fiddle and a bow, probably won’t recognize him when he comes to town this weekend.

Sanderlin is all grown up and his fiddle often gives way to the guitar and the music he plays doesn’t sound quite the same.

But deep down in his music, Sanderlin is not all that different from when he was playing “Boil that Cabbage Down.”

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As a youngster, he took fiddle lessons from Calvin Bodiford and played traditional music and hymns. He had progressed to the point that he competed in the fiddler’s contest at Landmark Park in Dothan.

When asked what he was going to play, the eight-year-old said, “Boil Them Cabbage Down” cause that’s all I know.”

But that’s far from all that Sanderlin knows now.

After graduating from Auburn University, he is now in graduate school at Middle Tennessee State and is also a teaching assistant there. His major field of study is history with an emphasis in historical preservation.

“History is my safety net,” Sanderlin said, laughing. “My passion is music but music doesn’t let you sleep. It just puts too many demands on you.”

But that hasn’t kept Sanderlin from playing music. Since he first picked up the fiddle nearly 15 years ago, music has been a big part of his life.

So, it was the natural progression of things for him to be a part of a band and Tennessee is not a bad place to be “banging” around.

“There were two of us, me and a friend, and we thought that we could put together a band and play some pretty good music,” Sanderlin said. “We put together a band called Junction Road, which is sort of a rock ’n roll band.”

Two of the band members are from Nashville, one is from New Orleans and Alabama’s contribution is Tyler Sanderlin.

“We’re playing all around Nashville right now and things are going good for us,” Sanderlin said. “We’re playing mainly clubs and bars and we’re booked solid. That’s good because we’re getting our name out there and getter better known. But, of course, we’re working around the edges and trying to crawl our way into the bigger gigs. But there are so many really great bands in Nashville so we’ve got to be patient and keep working hard.”

The Junction Road band members write a lot of their music and it’s “their” music that sets them apart from the other bands on the Nashville scene.

“What we play is sort of rock ’n roll but with a Southern country sound,” Sanderlin said. “It’s a rather unique sound that incorporates bluegrass into music that has a rock ’n roll feel to it.”

When Sanderlin breaks out the fiddle the music has a Charlie Daniels’ sound but the way he describes the music of Junction Road is that it’s Southern country and bluegrass stepping into rock ’n roll.

If that’s a hard to imagine, then don’t try. Just come and hear for yourself.

Junction Road will be the featured band at the Double Branch on Saturday night, July 11. They band will kickoff at 9:30 p.m. and that’s an early start for them.

“We usually don’t start playing until about 11:30,” Sanderlin said. “But we’re looking forward to being in Troy. This is an opportunity for the band to play before my homefolks and I’m excited to be back home.”

Although it might be hard for some of Sanderlin’s Troy and Pike County fans to stay awake that long, Junction Road can guarantee that the band will wake you up and keep you up with it’s Southern country rock ’n roll sound.