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“Rare is the writer who is able to spin a tale so rich in the lore of folk music and dance traditions. To do it in a manner that spellbinds and beguiles and gives us meaningful insights into our collective spirit is extraordinary.”

– National Endowment for the Arts Master Fiddler Rodney Miller

Tunes

Most of the music that you’ll find on this site is composed by Tyler and is intended to be played for dancing. Here is a video of Peter Ostroushko and Danny Gotham playing a selection from Tales from the Red Book of Tunes.

About

Tyler Johnson is a writer and musician living in central North Carolina, having grown up in a log cabin near Scotchtown, Virginia. Traditional music and dance have long been integral to his life and work. His writing emerged from that Southern voice, but is influenced by an ear for other dialects and a taste for other cultures.

Tyler’s books include The Swamps that Close (2004), Tales from the Red Book of Tunes (2014), and Dancing the Haw (2015). His poems have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Iodine, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Prairie Wolf Press Review.

Tyler is a regular contra and Irish set dancer. He plays the mandolin, Irish tenor banjo, and guitar for dances and for fun, and is a member of the band Rip The Calico.