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Music in the veins of Small Town Pistols’ Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson

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 Country music runs through the veins of siblings Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson who  grew up performing with their family’s multiple Juno and Grammy award winning band the Wilkinsons.

Cutline: Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson are excited about their new CD Pistology. Photo by Richard Amery But they branched out on their own as the Small Town Pistols, who release their second CD “ Pistology,” which  was released May 26.
 They released their self titled debut CD in 2013 after both going through breakups and watching their mother fight breast cancer.

“ Mom got breast cancer. She's cancer free now. But when that happens, it puts a lot of things in perspective,” said Tyler Wilkinson,31, who decided to form the new band with his sister after that.

It has been a busy few years since then as they both have new relationships and each have new children. All of which contributed to Pistology.

“ It’s definitely about time,” said Tyler Wilkinson sitting with his sister in a Lethbridge coffee shop in the midst of a press tour for the new CD.

“ We’re excited about returning with the new album,” he continued, adding the new music shows the siblings’ new maturity and contentment with their new optimistic outlook on life.

“ There was a lot of heartbreak on the last one,” observed the 32-year-old Amanda Wilkinson.

“ It’s certainly not one dimensional,” Tyler Wilkinson added.
 While the new CD is still strongly in a country vein, there are  a lot of pop, alt country and folk influences  to the new music.
“ I like a lot of new music too. There’s always been good and bad music in all genres. You just have to dig for it,”Amanda Wilkinson observed.

 The first single “Can’t Wait To Meet You,’ written about their newborns has become an instant hit  and the album itself has already been nominated for four CMAO ( Country Music  Association of Ontario) awards for best single, video, songwriters and Group or Duo.

“ There’s a lot of colours to it. Our tastes tend to be fairly broad,” added Amanda Wilkinson.

“We’re really trying to stretch out artistically,” Tyler Wilkinson added, noting the songs reflect their influences.
“Another song “Ghost” is a particularly influenced by  traditional  country story songs. We listen to a lot of songs like ‘ Fancy,‘ ‘Thunder Rolls, ‘ The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down’ and  Marty Robbins’ “ El Paso,’” he said.

They will have to leave their new  babies at home to support the new CD on the road.
“ It’s a balancing act. But we’re excited to be touring again. We’ve got a good village of people  who love us and  who will take care of them like our parents,” Tyler Wilkinson said.

 While they grew up on the road, their parents have settled down as their dad Steve is a well known songwriter for other artists.
“ That’s the way we were raised. We were gypsy babies. As soon as we started growing up, we joined the circus,” she said.
 The siblings enjoy working together.

“When we get together there’s that chemistry. There’s that excitement and it’s fun,” Tyler Wilkinson said.
His sister added they aren’t afraid to butt heads over musical differences.

“ It’s a delicate dance. We’re comfortable, but not so comfortable that we won’t speak up if we have a different opinion,” she said.
 “We have this love of creation. There’s a lot of variables. But it’s about getting the best end result. We haven’t killed each other yet,” she chuckled.
“ The process is we toss around some ideas first, table some and fight about  them until we produce something we think we both like. And we’ve come up with something we’re really proud of,” Tyler Wilkinson said.

Rising country star Brett Kissell is on the track “ The Other Man.”
“Dad met him about 10 years ago,” Tyler Wilkinson said, adding the band forged an instant connection with him.

“ The hook on that song is made for him. We love Brett. He could be a sibling,” Amanda Wilkinson said.
“It was one of these things. we asked him if he'd like to record it with us. So it’s very cool to have him play on it,” she continued.
 While it is tough to choose favourite songs on the CD, Tyler Wilkinson is drawn to “ Jester In A Crown.”
“It’s a fun song and my four-year-old loves it,” he said.
“ For me it’s probably ‘I’ll Remember’. It’s an old song  that Tyler and our dad wrote together,” she said.

 A version of this story appeared in the June 3, 2015 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Monday, 08 June 2015 10:05 )  
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