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Catching up with: Tyler Westcott of Folkfaces

Tyler Westcott cannot be tamed.

The guitarist, vocalist and one-man-band of a hirsute dude has his fingerprints on a variety of genre-varied bands, including Black Rock Zydeco (guitar), the Observers (banjo) and his focal point, the Americana-steeped Folkfaces. The local quintet has filled venues like Buffalo Iron Works and Sportsmen’s Tavern with the kind of rollicking, washboard-utilizing thump that was once a Queen City commonality through its Erie Canal heyday.

Live performances of Westcott-led stompers like “Arrows We Break” or the toe-tapping “We’re on the Move Now” have made the collective favorites of the Maker’s-sipping set, and have wedged the act into the thick of the city’s beard-stroking roster of live talent.

But as the raspy-voiced Westcott has proven, he’s not one for labels. Many styles are welcomed into Westcott’s circus of ruckus. He next performs at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at Dailey Planet Coffee shop as part of Rob Fagliano’s January Living Room Songwriting Series.

Westcott recently took some time to discuss his influences, bands and plans.

Question: How do you balance your time with Folkfaces and the Observers; and what are some major differences between the two bands?

Answer: I make sure to keep time for each group. The two bands play a different repertoire without too much crossover. Folkfaces and the Observers play music that’s in the same vein, like with Americana and bluegrass songs. The Observers is made up of three different songwriters with Josh (Gage), Allen (Greystone) and Ben (Perrello), so we play their songs — which are great. In Folkfaces, we play a mix of jugband, old-timey blues and jazz in our own way, originals and some of [slide guitarist] Dan Borodzik’s songs like “Institution Blues,” which we can’t wait to share.

Q: Now that you’ve been playing around Buffalo for a while, do you think the city’s conducive to your brand of hairy Americana? If so, why?

A: Because we get rowdy. People can stomp and dance. We have fun playing, and sometimes the feeling is contagious.

Q: What are your musical/vocal influences?

A: Louis Armstrong, Django Reinhardt, Joe Strummer, Bob Marley, Tom Waits, Hank Williams and Bessie Smith.

Q: What’s next for your band(s)?

A: Folkfaces are about to release our single, “Freedom Fries,” then we’ll have another full-length album to follow. We’re planning on releasing music every month or so in 2016. The Observers are headed to record a second album soon, too.

Q: If you could have a drink with any musician, who would be?

A: I wish could’ve [had a smoke] with Satchmo (Louis Armstrong).

Tyler Westcott

When: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28

Where: Daily Planet Coffee Company, 1862 Hertel Ave.

Admission: Free


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