The sky is the limit for singer-songwriter Dylan Wheeler, a Texas native from Edgewood, that is just getting started. From being “just a broke-ass kid beatin’ on his guitar” this young artist has crawled his way into the Texas Country Music scene and has gained quite the committed fan base that finally got what they were waiting for yesterday after he released his debut album “Times Are Changing.”
Wheeler’s music with lyrics that contain an immense amount of depth reinforced by the overwhelming power behind his voice that is influenced by rock vocalists such as Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, and Layne Stayley has blessed the Texas Independent Music scene with his unique sound that doesn't exactly fit into any one specific box. His music blends both Rock and Alternative genres while still holding true to Country music roots. There is no denying that Wheeler is a truly unique and special artist and a perfect example of what the evolution of Texas Independent Music looks like.
The journey for Wheeler first started through his use of social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram, where he would post acoustic videos playing both original and cover songs. With the help of social media, Wheeler gained fans from all over early on before he ever released any original music or committed to being a full-time musician. Some of these videos such as one where he covers the 90’s country hit “Strawberry Wine” quickly gained over 100,000 views in 2017 and gave Wheeler a peak of what would soon become. During the early stages in this young artist's career, Wheeler paid his dues cutting his teeth in tiny dive bars around Texas while still working a daytime job within the Oil & Gas industry. With eager fans waiting for his first release, towards the end of 2018 Wheeler released his highly anticipated EP “Tell Me If I’m Wrong” produced by Philip Mosley; these songs quickly gained 10’s of thousands and then 100’s of thousands of streams across major music platforms that left Wheeler knowing that he could no longer deny his fate as a full-time musician.
In 2019, Wheeler finalized his decision of quitting his day job to commit to his art full-time and signed with Red 11 Music - a boutique talent agency - with direct management from Jon Folk. With his full-time commitment to his art, Dylan’s schedule quickly filled up and the shows got bigger and better, and with that came more releases. In 2019, he released his most impactful single “Broke-Ass Kid” which took the young artist from getting 10’s of thousands of views on acoustics videos to millions of streams across major platforms. In many ways “Broke-Ass Kid” became a staple to his brand by allowing his fans to get to know who he is. Keeping the momentum going, in 2020 he released two new singles “Hey Baby” and “Bad Bitch” then in 2021 two more singles “My Head” and “Save You Now” along with a five-song EP “Evermore”. As Wheeler continued to gain fans from his releases and from playing in front of more and more people, his fans were left asking “when’s the album coming?”
On Thursday, the wait was finally over as Wheeler released his debut album “Times Are Changing.” Produced by Philip Mosley, the ten-song album was recorded at Sound Emporium in Nashville, Tennessee. Listening to this album from front to back, I experienced a wide range of emotions and vibes that took me back to some of my favorite rock bands. To simply say, it’s clear to see that Wheeler gave his all when it came to this album with heartbreak songs, ballets, and a lot of personality that gave his fans exactly what they waited long for. He didn’t shy away from sticking to the Alternative, Rock sound he’s known for, with distorted guitar tones and rock-influenced lead riffs that reminded me that of Guns N’ Roses along with big powerful drums, driving bass lines, and even an occasional banjo accompaniment. With flawless music arrangements, Wheeler reminds us just how talented he is with his unique and powerful vocals that are filled with sweet raspiness, huge vocal range, and belting melodies that almost feel gospel. The unique thing about this album is that Wheeler recorded it almost entirely with his own touring band – Darius Ross, Brock Wilson, Kyle Masten, Jared Lee French, etc – instead of session musicians, which is not typically something you can successfully do at the level he’s at. There is no doubt that the album was perfectly executed and that it will have a great impact on Wheeler's career.
From playing those tiny dive bars as “some broke-ass kid beating on his guitar” with 10’s of thousands of views on acoustic videos to now selling out major venues with millions of streams across music platforms, it’s safe to say Wheeler is something to talk about and will continue growing as an artist along with his fan base. I’m proud and lucky to be able to say that I got to see Wheeler before his big break at our local College Station bar “The Tap” and getting to watch his career transform over the past few years. The sky is the limit for Wheeler and he’s just getting started. Don’t believe me? Find out where he’ll be next and find out for yourself just how extremely talented he is.