Jenny & Tyler: A Concert in the Park

By  Kay DeVries

I first heard of Jenny & Tyler several years ago. I had downloaded a song from their debut album and was instantly in love with their sound. Then at the end of this summer, I saw that Grace was planning to book Jenny & Tyler for a concert. My first thought was to make plans to attend the concert and catch up with their new music. However, at the time I didn’t foresee myself getting to meet and interview them.

The evening of the concert was hectic, but I got to talk with Jenny as she rocked her two-month-old baby girl, Jane Mercy, to sleep. Having an infant on tour has been an adjustment for them, but a pleasant one. The couple tries to keep their schedule low-key for both their sakes and the baby’s, but they still find time to meet with their fans and get to know them.

“The best part [of touring] is the relationships we build and the people we meet. I don’t think performing alone would mean as much to us if not for the people.”

This mentality of relationships comes through in their lyrics as well. With songs that tell of their marriage, their struggles in faith, and their desire to see Christians advocating for others, they paint lyrical pictures of powerful themes of worship and God’s grace.

“Tyler has this ability to write from a narrative perspective. He can look into situations, write about them, and turn them into a song. We write separately most of the time, and then come together and perfect what we each have.”

After hearing about the writing process, I was more excited than ever to get to the concert. It was held at the Hillside Amphitheater and Jake Ousley opened the show. Quick word on Jake: his energy is contagious. From the moment I met him before the performance, he was upbeat, friendly, and anxious to get to know everyone. This transfers seamlessly into his music and stage presence, where he interacts with the audience as close friends. With a great acoustic, peppy sound, he sings about falling in love, missing the people we care about, and his growth in his Christian faith. He relates his themes to his audience before each song, making them more personal and his performance more powerful. If you haven’t yet, go check out his work.

Once Jenny and Tyler took the stage, the sun was setting over Winona Lake as beautiful as ever, and the sounds of mandolin and guitar echoed across the village. Jenny and Tyler perform as a couple in love with each other but with room for smiles and giggles—something obvious in songs such as “One- Eyed Cat” and “As Long as Our Hearts Are Beating.” At the same time, they challenge their audience to action and change. As supporters of International Justice Mission, songs like “Faint Not” and “The Sound of Silence” (a Simon & Garfunkel cover) show that we need to work to free those in slavery and bondage.

The night ended with “This is Just So Beautiful,” a song about the grace of God and the joy we find in Him. It was the perfect way to close, and Jenny and Tyler’s wonderful reminder to always look to the one in whom we find our happiness.