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Aaron Lee Tasjan

As a guitarist, Aaron Lee Tasjan has played with a wide array of bands, including Alberta Cross and the New York Dolls. As a solo artist, his music traverses blues, classic rock, country-rock, and a 1970s influence that recalls singer/songwriters like Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. He made his full-length solo debut in 2015 with the rootsy In the Blazes before edging toward '60s and '70s rock with his third album, 2018's Karma for Cheap. In 2021, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! looked to influences including Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty as touchpoints for his bold yet vulnerable songs. Born and raised in New Albany, Ohio, outside of Columbus, Tasjan started playing guitar at the age of 11. Self-taught, he opened for Peter Yarrow and won a guitar competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center by the time he was 16. After graduating from high school, he recorded and released The Smile and Nod E.P. in the fall of 2005 before relocating to Brooklyn. In 2006, Tasjan co-founded the glam-inspired indie rock band Semi Precious Weapons with Justin Tranter (vocals), Cole Whittle (bass), and Dan Crean (drums). Their 2008 debut LP, We Love You, was produced with studio icon Tony Visconti. That same year, Tasjan parted ways with the group and released the country-rock-flavored Hard Love EP. The five-track August Moon appeared in 2011, followed by another EP, The Thinking Man's Filth, in 2012. In the meantime, Tasjan found work as a sideman, playing guitar with bands ranging from the New York Dolls to Drivin' n' Cryin' and Everest. He made the move from New York to East Nashville in 2013 and released two more EPs, Crooked River Burning and Telling Stories to the Wall, before self-releasing his full-length debut, In the Blazes, in late 2015. New West Records took notice and signed him for his second LP, Silver Tears, released in October 2016. While those albums represented assorted roots influences all sifted through his offbeat demeanor, the relatively focused Karma for Cheap (August 2018) looked toward the power pop, psychedelia, and Lennon-McCartney works that first inspired him to pick up a guitar. Exactly a year later, Karma for Cheap: Reincarnated stripped back production on a complete re-recording of the album. When he returned in 2021 with Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, it put a personal, modern spin on his classic influences.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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