King's X guitarist Ty Tabor was born on September 17, 1961, in Jackson, MS. As a youngster, he began playing guitar and formed a bluegrass band with his brother on banjo and his father on washtub bass; they played festivals around Mississippi and opened for country legends Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones and Minnie Pearl. But as a teenager, Tabor discovered the wonders of hard rock. Influenced by KISS, Rush, the Beatles, Queen, and Aerosmith, Tabor would spend hours on end practicing and playing along to the latest hits by these legendary acts. This led to a decision to make music his life, as he soon began forming rock bands around the South in the late '70s/early '80s (one being the Christian rock outfit Matthew). Around this time, Tabor became enthralled with the guitar playing of Phil Keaggy and formed a group with ex-members of Keaggy's band: bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick and drummer Jerry Gaskill.
The new band went through a few names (the Edge, Sneak Preview) before settling on King's X. By combining Tabor's irresistible Beatlesque melodies, Pinnick's soulful vocals, and heavy rock à la Queen and Rush, the band has become one of rock's most respected groups, releasing such metal classics as Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, Faith Hope Love, and Dogman on Atlantic Records. Although major mainstream success has eluded them thus far, the band has built a large and loyal following due to incessant touring. In 1997 (during a break from touring with King's X), Tabor released his first solo album, Naomi's Solar Pumpkin (available through mail-order only); its follow-up, Moonflower Lane, was waxed a year later on Metal Blade Records. Despite rumors of an impending breakup, King's X released their seventh studio album, Tape Head, in October 1998, following it up with such further releases as 2000's Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous and 2001's Manic Moonlight.
Tabor has also formed the prog metal supergroup Platypus, joining forces with members of Dream Theater and the Dixie Dregs -- issuing a pair of releases thus far, 1998's When Pus Comes to Shove and two years later, Ice Cycles. As if his schedule wasn't full already, Tabor has guested on albums by other artists, including Carmine Appice's Guitar Zeus, and Greg Bissonette's self-titled debut, and has either mixed or mastered albums for Geek, Driving West, Poundhound, and Supershine.
Comparable to Brian May and Ace Frehley, Tabor has an identifiable guitar style all his own, and unfortunately remains one of rock's most underrated guitarists (just check out King's X tracks such as "Over My Head" and "Moanjam" for proof). ~ Greg Prato