Nashville-based musician Tyrone Carreker is a skilled guitarist and singer currently touring with GRAMMY-nominated artist, Sam Hunt. When he isn't playing to packed arenas, Tyrone keeps his creativity alive through his own musical endeavor titled "Golden." Below, we explore his work with Sam Hunt, the inspiration behind his passion-project candle startup, and his favorite PRS gear.
PRS: It’s been some time since the last full studio release from Sam Hunt, his 2014 debut album Montevallo, are there any plans for a follow up, and how involved do you get in his writing process?
TC: There is a follow up in progress now actually. We toured so much the first couple years that we all felt a little burnt out. We LOVE playing shows, but a recharge was much needed. Now we're at a place where we really feel like we can genuinely bring the energy that we once brought when we first started and that's really exciting! I'm not too involved in the writing of the actual song, that’s a lot of Sam coming up with ideas and concepts that he feels are worth sharing with the world. My involvement comes in musically and sonically. I really enjoy digging into vocals and taking an overall look at how everything sonically fits together. As a band we really spend a lot of time trying to make the live show great. It’s a pretty unique grouping of people as I personally feel, and I’m sure everyone would say the same, that we all bring something special to the table that is pretty specific to our own abilities. It comes together in a way that brings a special energy that is undeniable live.
PRS: In addition to your work supporting Sam Hunt, are you involved in any other musical projects that we should be aware of?
TC: My own, ha-ha. We've had much time off this year, as I said for a recharge, and it really gave me the chance to dig into some songs of my own. I can't wait to release them. It's probably the most genuine stuff I have to date. I can honestly say I’m influenced by every genre I've ever heard. It’s make for a tough road to synchronicity but the challenge is always worth the reward.
PRS: It may surprise some our readers to learn that you are also the founder and CEO of your own business, Nashville’s Golden Candle Company. Tell us a little about how that got started and how you balance that with your music career.
TC: Yes, I own a fragrance company. We recently changed the name to 27.9. It comes from Proverb 27:9 "Oil and perfume makes the heart glad". I find that I have to be creative or creating something. I came to that realization a few years ago when I always found myself deeply invested in a new project of some sort. Whether it was producing music, drawing, building things or cooking. So, when I found out that you could make your own candles, I became obsessed. I have always loved fragrance and being able to create my own was very intriguing. I have a fragrance formula book here with probably over 2,000 recipes. It's intense, but that’s me. Making candles isn't quite the undertaking that people expect it to be and country touring is mostly "weekend warrior" type travel. So you're probably gone from Fri- Sun. That leaves another 4 days to be productive in some way. I love that.
PRS: When it comes to your touring rig are you a “keep it simple player” or do you fall into the “everything but the kitchen sink” camp?
TC: I’m for sure a “keep it simple” person, but also Sam's music allows for me to stick within a certain range of options. A soulful tone on clean, and then I can just turn up the gain and rock when it’s necessary. I travel with 3 electric guitars and two acoustics. Honestly PRS gives me so much flexibility I don't really need to reach for anything else. That's an honest statement. I've recently picked up a telecaster for very vintage country sounds, but other than that, I get everything I need.
PRS: You play various PRS electrics on stage, what is your favorite model if you had to choose just one? How do these vary for songwriting?
TC: DGT hands down. It's not even close. I have big hands, so the neck feels just right. I can flow seamlessly between chords and soloing, and it stays in tune which is super important! You don’t want out of tune solos when all the lights are on you. There's also around 5 distinct tonal options that I personally use ALOT. There are more, but I’ve found my favorites. When it comes to songwriting, I usually make a track and go from there. I always start with guitar because I feel the most comfortable on it. The PRS allows me to dig right into the vibe I’m going for whether it is a soulful smooth tone, bluesy thick bite, or a rocking gritty tone.