Paul Tyler


Originally from a small town in Indiana, Paul Tyler (b. 1950) has lived in Chicago and taught fiddle and country music at the Old Town School of Folk Music for more than twenty years.   


A veteran performer, who plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar,  Tyler did a long stint with the Volo Bogtrotters, one of the foremost old-time string bands of the 1990s.  Their CD, “Old Time String Band with Vocal Accompaniment” received acclaim across North America.  Tyler also performs with the Fantastic Toe Trippers Orchestra and the Fly Boys, the band behind the WAZO County Warblers.   He has also shared the stage with the legendary Lotus Dickey & Friends, worked as an ensemble player in “As You Like It” at the Goodman Theater;  and been a featured artist for Urban Gateways in Chicago and Young Audiences of Indiana.  During his long career, Tyler has also called old-time square dances in twenty-five states.


Besides teaching fiddle and early country music at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Paul Tyler is a respected folklorist and ethnomusicologist who holds a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University.  His “The Rise of Rural Rhythm” is the lead essay in The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance.  He was co-producer and author, as well as performer on Folk Songs of Illinois #2:  Fiddlers (2007).  Tyler also worked as a free-lance researcher and fieldworker for the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music, the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, the David Adler Cultural Center, and the Wyoming Arts Foundation.