Ty Causey - Tyangles (2017)

Ty Causey
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Like all independent artists, Ty Causey must make his career happen where he is, using what he has at hand. He doesn’t have the benefit of a massive budget, courtesy a record label. Causey happens to be in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the second largest city in the Hoosier state, that is in the northeast corner of the state. Fort Wayne is a nice town, but nobody will ever confuse the city with Atlanta or any other soul music hubs where indie and mainstream artists congregate.

Still, Causey built a well-deserved reputation as one of indie soul’s must prolific and recognizable voices, and in doing so repaid in spades the faithfulness of his mother, who made the initial investment in her son’s fledgling career.

Like all independent artists, Ty Causey must make his career happen where he is, using what he has at hand. He doesn’t have the benefit of a massive budget, courtesy a record label. Causey happens to be in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the second largest city in the Hoosier state, that is in the northeast corner of the state. Fort Wayne is a nice town, but nobody will ever confuse the city with Atlanta or any other soul music hubs where indie and mainstream artists congregate.

Still, Causey built a well-deserved reputation as one of indie soul’s must prolific and recognizable voices, and in doing so repaid in spades the faithfulness of his mother, who made the initial investment in her son’s fledgling career.

There is definitely a Ty Causey sound, and he rarely deviates from it. Causey’s music is sonically rooted in the ultra-smooth, jazz infused brand of R&B that ruled radio from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, while also mixing in more contemporary elements, such as cuts aimed at the steppers. Causey has built a loyal following among music fans who long to hear those elements in their music, and that fan base grows due to Causey’s engaging live shows.

Accordingly, Tyangles, the new project from one of indie soul’s hardest working men, will have the air of familiarity for Causey fans. Causey’s artistic, lyrical and thematic choices are guided by qualities that are viewed as old-fashioned by some and timeless by others. The women in his wife are to be respected as equals and honored, and not doing so has definite consequences.  On “Let Me In,” the strongest cut on Tyangles, the consequence for being selfish and unresponsive to his woman’s needs is the knowledge that is woman rests in the embrace of another man. That realization leads to an excellent example of that R&B staple – the begging ballad: “Baby don’t deny what’s in your heart/I know you’re with another/but that’s just a part/of trying to find healing for a broken heart/Cuz that’s what we do.”

Causey also aims several tracks on Tyangles toward the steppers set, just as the “Hot Tonight Medley,” which mashes up  Causey songs with a mid-tempo stepper’s set swing, and “Some Kind of Wonderful,” a track that finds Causey lending his smooth baritone to a track where he lavishes his lady with praise. “Only heaven knows the way to touch my soul/Is some kind of wonderful.”

Causey remains rooted in the gospel tradition even when singing about love and romance, which is why tracks such as the aforementioned “Let Me In” and “Be A Man About It,” where he admonishes the brothers not to mistakenly believe that an abundance of material things can be substitute for integrity and love. “It’s Not Over Til It’s Over” is an inspirational track that sports a never give up message derived from church sermons and the examples of faith he saw in his mother.

It helps for an indie artist to possess that kind of relentlessness, because the potential sources of discouragement are numerous and often reside in the least obvious places. Yet, Causey thrived and prospered by believing that that there were music fans who cared whether anybody still sang about love. Those fans have stood by this talented artist, and are rewarded again with Tyangles. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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