Tyrone Cotton: The Louisville Legend You Must Hear

34m | Feb 15, 2024

Tyrone Cotton, a decades-long mainstay of the Louisville, KY music scene just released his 2023 debut album, "Man Like Me." A quick listen to these songs reveals an artist who has spent decades steeped in roots music. Lizzie No spoke with Tyrone and Ray Rizzo, one of the album’s producers, about Tyrone’s journey as an artist and the making of ‘Man Like Me.’ Tyrone grew up listening to his grandfather and his friends in the neighborhood playing guitar. Along with his $60 guitar, Tyrone headed off to music school, studying classic guitar under David Kelsey. At first a shy performer, Cotton leaned into his craft and into the supportive musical community he found in Louisville. He has become a stalwart of the local music scene, playing club shows and a standing gig at a local senior center where he brings the house down with soul classics.

This is where producer Ray Rizzo enters our story. A Kentuckian since the age of eleven, he was well-versed in the Louisville music scene when he came across Tyrone and his music at The Rudyard Kipling, a club in town. Ray’s admiration for Tyrone’s songwriting and musical instincts was a guiding principle as they went into the studio to record ‘Man Like Me.’ Rizzo had spent years watching Cotton perform and wanted to make sure that he captured the magic he had witnessed so many times. If the confident, eclectic roots of ‘Man Like Me’ are any indication, Tyrone Cotton has more stories to tell and we will be lucky to listen. What makes this album special is what makes the best Americana albums special: a patchwork of influences and traditions, the best of contemporary recording techniques, and a singular storytelling voice.

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