Arts & Culture

William Tyler soundtracks a Bakersfield line dance in “Fail Safe” music video

With his new full-length Goes West just two days away from release, William Tyler has shared the first proper music video from the album. “Fail Safe” was shot last month in California farm country by filmmaker Elise Tyler, William’s sister and frequent collaborator, and captures the guitarist and composer as he performs for a growing crowd of line dancers at a local roadhouse, shuffling and waltzing in harmony.

Three years ago, William was preparing for the release of Modern Country, and I was preparing to move from Nashville to Los Angeles. He accompanied me on my cross-country drive to relocate, and we filmed what would become the video for “Highway Anxiety”while driving across Kansas plains, Colorado mountains, Utah and California deserts. During that trip, we began dreaming up the next video—song to be determined—full of line dancers dancing to William’s music. Little did we know that it would take years for this idea to come to fruition. 

In those years, William also moved to Los Angeles, and both of us discovered Bakersfield, where we filmed “Fail Safe.” I joked to him that when I’m homesick for Nashville, I can just drive to Bakersfield. The country music legacy that is alive in this oil town is like stepping into a Nashville honky-tonk or Texas roadhouse. Goes West may mark William’s transition from America’s South to West, but his native roots are alive and well. The visuals for this video are just that as well—here we are in California, but each scene is down home and seemingly Southern—from the line dancing to the semi truck to the landscapes to the lite beer to the “Stone Fox” shoutout at the end. It could have been shot in Nashville, but I’m thankful that the magic of Bakersfield brought this to life. This video is a like a letter sent back home, letting everyone know that we haven’t forgotten where we came from.

William Tyler is currently in New York for a free in-store performance and signing at Rough Trade tonight, but will return to Los Angeles next week for a live taping of Aquarium Drunkard’s Talk Show series at Gold Diggers. East coast tour begins next month, with recently added shows in Vermont, Connecticut, and Georgia.

William Tyler on tour:
Jan 23 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
Jan 29 Los Angeles, CA – Gold Diggers
Feb 18 Burlington, VT – ArtsRiot
Feb 20 Portland, ME – One Longfellow Square
Feb 21 Portsmouth, NH – 3S Artspace
Feb 22 Hamden, CT – Space Ballroom
Feb 23 Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
Feb 24 Holyoke, MA – Gateway City Arts
Feb 26 New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
Feb 27 Philadelphia, PA – Jerry’s On Front
Feb 28 Washington, DC – Songbyrd
Mar 01 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Mar 03 Asheville, NC – The Mothlight
Mar 05 Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
Mar 06 Bluffton, SC – The Roasting Room Lounge & Listening Room
Mar 07 Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic
Mar 08 Savannah, GA – Savannah Stopover
Apr 19 Berlin, DE – Roter Salon (Volksbühne)
Apr 20 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso Noord, Tuinzaal
Apr 21 Utrecht, NL – Ekko
Apr 24 Antwerp, BE – TRIX
Apr 25 London, UK – St. John on Bethnal Green
Apr 27 Guildford, UK – The Keep
Apr 28 Bristol, UK – Bristol Folk House
Apr 29 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Apr 30 Glasgow, UK – The Hug and Pint
May 01 Todmorden, UK – The Golden Lion

About the author

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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