Free Times, Vincent Harris
Music and Nightlife
Tonya Tyner’s clear, vulnerable voice carries her confessional lyrics through slow-building Americana-folk songs. Read more... http://www.free-times.com/music/concerts-in-columbia-sept.-16-21-091615

Free Times, Michael Spawn
Music and Nightlife
Tonya Tyner take[s] a more pop-oriented approach... wielding a strong touch for Top 40 melody and a youthful, Jewel-esque warble. Read more... http://www.free-times.com/music/concerts-in-columbia-jan-29-feb.-4-012815

What Jasper Said, Annie Brooks
The Word on Columbia Arts
This will be the second year that Tonya Tyner has played with a group for the festival. She is proud to be a returning artist to a festival that brings so many different components of the arts community together. Thrilled with the group she has joining her, Tonya will play guitar, along with Brodie Porterfield, and L.J. Errante on the mandolin. Read more... http://jaspercolumbia.net/blog/?p=5829

Free Times, Kevin Oliver
Music and Nightlife
Tyner, a Columbia native and University of South Carolina graduate, has lived and played music in various locales from California to Texas with a rootsy folk-pop style comparable to Kim Richey or Tift Merritt. www.free-times.com/index.php

SC Music Guide, Sean Knight
CD Reviews
Beautiful Light, the latest offering from the much-travelled Tonya Tyner blows in off the road with a strong spiritual undercurrent that helps define the singer-songwriter’s style. While playing a traditional form of folkish country rock, her inspirational story-telling and sweet, pure voice ... Read more:  http://scmusicguide.com/tonya-tyner-beautiful-light/

The State, Otis Taylor
Picks of the Week
Tonya Tyner, a Spring Valley High School and USC graduate who has come back home after moving around the country (her last stop was in Austin, Texas), refers to herself as a spiritual, acoustic songwriter. Tyner, who released her debut CD, “Beautiful Light” in 2012, fills her stories with a mix of realism and humor... Read more: www.thestate.com/2013/01/18/2593757/otis-taylors-picks-of-the-week.html#.UQ2W5OjZqOZ

Free Times, Kevin Oliver
Sound Bytes
Tyner is a Lexington native who moved home recently after spending several years honing her craft in California and Austin. With her crystal-clear voice and heartfelt lyricism... Read more:  www.free-times.com/index.php

The Austin Chronicle, Margaret Moser
Music:  Texas Platters
Tonya Tyner's Beautiful Light rose quietly this year, bright country rock balanced with spiritually thoughtful lyrics ("Mariana") and the fine hand of Stephen Doster producing. Tyner's lengthy history on the West Coast brings a natural, Southern California familiarity to her melodies ("Get On Out," "I Keep Trying"), wrapped as they are around story-songs of a life that steers her in unexpected directions ("On Your Wall"). Read more: http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2012-10-12/texas-platters-the-blues-broads-blue-j-beautiful-light-ten-foot-twins/

Roots Music Report, Duane Verh
CD Reviews
In order to connect with listeners, songs of an extremely personal nature must, first and foremost, work purely as songs. In lesser hands, the content of Ms. Tyner’s material might read as mere diary pages with chord changes. But the Austin-based singer/songwriter matches her intimate contemplations on romance and faith with cut-above song crafting... Read more:  http://www.rootsmusicreport.com/index.php?page=reviews&search=single&id=419

Country Line Magazine, Dale Martin
Album Spotlights
The first thing you notice about Tonya Tyner is her incredible pure voice, one that sounds vaguely familiar yet distinct all at the same time. She wrote all 10 tracks on the CD, which was recorded at Austin’s EAR Studio and produced by Stephen Doster. I fell in love with the opening track... Read more:  http://www.countrylinemagazine.com/images/2012/CLM_1203_FINAL.pdf

Free Times, Kevin Oliver
Sound Bites
Though she lives in Austin these days and has spent time in various far-flung locales such as Big Sur, Calif., and Wyoming, Tonya Tyner spent her high school years in Columbia and studied English at the University of South Carolina. Read more:  www.free-times.com/index.php

The Daily Gamecock, Thad Moore
USC alumna releases inspirational new album
A native Kansan and a 1995 graduate of USC, Tonya Tyner, who now resides in Austin, Texas, has moved fairly widely across the United States, living, at times, in Virginia and California as well. It seems somewhat appropriate, then, that the singer-songwriter croons a soft and twangy Americana. Read More:  dailygamecock.com/mix/item/1570-usc-alumna-releases-inspirational-new-album

The State, Otis Taylor
Picks of the Week
Tonya Tyner at The White Mule. Tonya Tyner, a Spring Valley High School and USC graduate now based in Austin, returns home to promote her upcoming CD, "Beautiful Light." Her music has the spirit of Tammy Wynette. Read More: www.thestate.com/2011/07/28/1913371/3-day-weekend.html

Paso Robles Press, Hayley Thomas
Songbird Tonya Tyner flies ‘home’ for Paso performance
Country crooner Tonya Tyner has chased her musical dreams across the country, but she’s still keenly drawn to the Central Coast’s unique beauty and friendly atmosphere.  She’ll bring her rootsy mix of contemporary folk and thoughtful songwriting back home to Paso Robles at Sculpterra Winery on June 26. Read more:  

Big Western Flavor, Western Homes 
from Demo Sweat #10
Tonya Tyner and I don't have a lot of interests in common, it seems from listening to her songs and reading about her influences, but she's a gifted musical communicator. It makes her talent all the more impressive given that she's easy to relate to even for a listener with a very different perspective. Read more:
Tonya Tyner Biography

Tonya Tyner is a spiritual, acoustic songwriter who draws upon her colorful life experiences and delivers her message with a crystalline voice.  She recently returned to South Carolina after a formative stint in Austin which produced her 2012 debut release, Beautiful Light, a stirring collection of stories about her eclectic life. Compared to Emmylou and Jewel, she crafts intentional lyrics with unforgettable melodies into an Americana Roots blend of country, folk and blues that will make you laugh one minute and cry the next.  Mostly performing solo or with a small supporting ensemble, she is also half of the newly formed duo, The Dawn Key Shotguns.

Tyner has been singing for nearly as long as she’s been able to talk. In fact, you could practically say she was raised on the art.

“My mother’s a singer,” the 38-year-old Tyner says of the influential figure who raised her on Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. “She was a single parent for most of my childhood, and we’d always sing together in the car and in church.”

A believer, whose relationship with God resonates throughout her lyrics, she spent her formative years in Allen, Kansas, before moving with her mother to Columbia, South Carolina, at the age of 13.

“We’d go to Oak Grove Baptist Church with my grandmother,” remembers Tyner, an Austin resident since late 2009. “You want to hear some Southern women give real heart to old gospel songs? My goodness! It’s as if I can still hear my Great Aunt Margaret and my Aunt Sally belting out harmonies from the pew behind me.”

Surprising as it may be, considering her penchant for scripting heartfelt, contemporary Americana folk songs today, Tyner didn’t start writing songs until her senior year of high school, when she pulled her mother’s old Martin acoustic guitar out of the closet and taught herself to play.

“You can’t really sing without accompaniment!” she explains with a laugh. “You can do a little a cappella thing, but I’ve always been motivated as a guitar player by the power of the song. If someone didn’t know how to play it, I couldn’t sing it, so I learned to play it myself.”

With her mother’s old Martin strapped on her back, Tyner spent the next seven years moving around the country, studying English at the University of South Carolina before moving first to Norfolk, Virginia, and then to Big Sur, California. She honed her songwriting throughout, carefully constructing songs that drew from her fascinating life experiences, such as living entirely off the grid in a teepee or running an alternative school program for the children in Big Sur. During these California days, two of her songs, 2007’s “Honky Tonk Chains” and, 2008’s “The Selkie Song” (co-written) earned Tyner “Best Song” accolades from the West Coast Songwriters group.

After a brief, two-year stint in Wyoming, Tyner packed up and moved to Austin, where she quickly became involved with the vibrant local songwriter scene after attending 2010’s Austin Songwriters Symposium.

In February 2011, Tyner began recording and producing her first album. Called Beautiful Light, the album displays her thoughtful sense of humor and knack for extended, sweeping narratives (“I Keep Trying”), her feelings on acceptance and human compassion (“Someone Else”), and her lyrical grit (“Get On Out”). Nationally released in 2012, Beautiful Light is marked most poignantly by a touching tribute to her mother (“What Should I Do”) and a memoir of her personal relationship with God (“Letting Go”).

“I’ve written a lot of music over the years,” says Tyner. “I’ve got a few country tunes that are fun and flirty—whiskey-drinking songs— but until recently, I’d never thought about what it was I wanted my songs to say to the world. I was writing songs because they were in me, but in terms of sharing them with the world, that was a whole different aspect to consider.”

Then she asks a telling rhetorical question: “Is the message that I want to leave in a song about how somebody did me wrong? No, not at all, I want to be talking about the pieces of life that are truly important to me, like hope, and love, and God.”

Imparting the message she was born to relay with her debut album, Tyner shines a Beautiful Light.