Small Town Pistols, made up of brother and sister duo Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson are back. Their eclectic personalities, confidence and ambition are to be admired. They have been performing together forever but a lot of “life” has happened in recent years which bleeds into their lyrics. Their perfect harmonies blend together in a debut self-titled album coined as “half heartbreak, half healing”.
They aren’t new to the music scene.
Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson got their start when they were just teens living in Canada. Along with their father they formed a group knows as The Wilkinsons which produced 2 top 20 singles in the US. (“26 Cents” and “Fly”) They received multiple CMA nominations, won 9 Canadian Country Music Awards and a Juno Award. (equivalant to a Grammy award in America) The group also starred in a hit reality TV series on the Canadian version of CMT.
Reunited as Small Town Pistols
Tyler was living contently in Canada and playing in a rock band when he got the infamous call from his sister. Amanda had been finding her own way in Nashville working on a solo project when something hit her. After 2 bad breakups there was a pocket of songs that just sounded different. They were infused with raw emotion and set off a spark that couldn’t be stopped. Amanda knew it was time to record these songs, knew she needed her brother to co-write and sing with her and knew they had something important to say.
Music and Songwriting
Amanda and Tyler believe at their core that fans deserve honestly. Recording songs to fill a record goes against everything they believe in. Their songs are rich with meaning and most are based on personal experience.
When they wrote “Living on the Outside” they were in a bad place. Their mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer amongst other personal issues. They wanted this song to be healing for people going through a rough time.
“Colour Blind”, cowritten by Joey Moi (“Cruise”, “Get Your Shine On”, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night”) has a completely different feel. They came together to write the song with beautiful mountains as a backdrop. Tyler came with a hook prepared and the 3 of them had frosty pints in hand. Soon after they had a song that rounded out the entire vision of the album. There are so many flavors and colors to love and the song speaks to releasing those boundaries.
Amanda and Tyler both have innate respect for any artist that paved their own way and carved their roots in songwriting first. In the early days they hung out with Kree Harrison, Kacey Musgraves and Charlie Worsham but never got a chance to write with any of them.
Many faces are the same but the biggest difference is how technology has changed the music industry. When they first came to CRS, interviews were recorded on tape decks. Social Media grants them instant access to fans. It used to take forever to release a song but now they can throw it up instantaneously on sound cloud if they choose. The first album they released cost over half a million dollars. Technology has made it possible to do the same for under 50k.
Tyler – HATES pickles. “They anger me”, he said. Amanda said when they were younger they would torture him and put pickle juice on him when he was sleeping. His hatred is unnatural.
Amanda – Seriously double jointed. I can turn my feet completely around backwards.
Check out the video for “Colour Blind” here:
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