Cereus Bright was born out of a blind love of playing music. Meeting each other on a porch in Knoxville, TN, founding members Tyler Anthony and Evan Ford connected over a shared passion–connecting with people by writing and performing meaningful, melodic songs.
“We didn’t know what we were doing at the beginning,” recalls Tyler Anthony (acoustic guitar, vocals). “Evan and I wanted to play music and were ready to work hard. So we made a couple EPs and started travelling around the South playing for whoever would listen. We were learning as we went.”
They quickly found kindred spirits in Luke Bowers (drums), Matt Nelson (bass), and Jake Smith (electric guitar). Jazz performers by trade, the trio’s musicality complemented the raw energy of Anthony and Ford, and Cereus Bright soon became a five-piece.
“We knew right away that we wanted these guys in the band,” says Evan Ford (mandolin, electric guitar, vocals). “Every song felt better with them playing it; we could do more with the arrangements and sound. It made us even more excited to get out there and play.”
So that’s what they did. In the coming year, Cereus Bright played over a hundred tour dates across the country, opening for acts like Sturgill Simpson, The Oh Hellos, Philip Philips and The Lone Bellow. They released videos racking up over 200,000 views and gained over a million plays.
“We figured out what kind of band we want to be,” Ford explains. “We want to write songs about real life, which can be beautiful or messy or both. We want to play them in a way that’s melodic and catchy, but is still musical and real. And we want to connect with people–whether it’s in person or through our music, we want our music to mean something to people.”