Back to Tyrone Wells Wells brings his ‘honest music’ to Boardwalk
By Josh Kendrix/Appeal-Democrat

June 13, 2007 - 6:21PM

If you were to cross Stevie Wonder with James Taylor, you might get something that sounds like Tyrone Wells.

“If those two could be morphed together, I would hope that the offspring would be me,” Wells said.

Wells brings that mixture of sounds to his music. He will perform at the Boardwalk in Sacramento on Saturday.

Wells’ sound is something of a surprise for someone born to a preacher who discouraged listening to pop music. His family was musical, but he could only listen to gospel, but it did get him interested in music as a career.

“My four older sisters used to sing a lot and write songs,” Wells said. “Seeing them sing, I thought, ‘Maybe I can do that.’”

That interested led him to learning to play guitar when he was 13. However, he quit playing before he developed the discipline to play well. It wasn’t until he was into his 20s that he would pick up the guitar again and become serious about music.

“I always wanted to (become a singer-songwriter), but I wasn’t sure if I could do it as a career,” he said. “(My parents) was opposed at first, but they loosened up toward the end. ... My father and mother are extremely loving people but are just strict about certain things.”

He honed his skills as a solo artist at a coffee house called McClain’s in Fullerton, initially asking the owner if he could perform every Thursday for a month. That one month turned into three years, with his crowds growing beyond the coffee house’s capacity.

This success led him to getting signed to Universal Republic Records and recording his first two albums in 2005: “Snapshot” and “Close: Live at McClain’s.” His latest album is “Hold On.”

Since being signed to a major label, Wells has had his songs featured on a variety of TV shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “One Tree Hill” and “Rescue Me.”

Having his music featured on these shows has given him wider exposure than a coffee shop could give. “(TV) is another medium to get the music to people,” he said. “I’ve had people at (concerts) who say, ‘We heard you on “Rescue Me” and we love your music.’ That happens pretty often.”

For his show on Saturday, Wells promises “one hour of sheer bliss. You can expect that you’ll get to know me as a person. I think of myself as a storyteller and a songwriter, and I like to tell the stories behind the songs, and tell just weird, funny stories. You can expect an hour of honest music.”

The show at the Boardwalk will also be broadcast live on his Web site, Wells has been broadcasting shows online for most of his current tour. “We just throw up a camera and put it on the Internet,” he said.