Tyler Hilton at Visulite Theatre tonight (1/8/2013)
By Pat Moran
on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM
TYLER HILTON With smoky good looks and a soulful stare tailor-made for a CW teen drama, it's no surprise that Tyler Hilton is best known for his recurring role on One Tree Hill. Despite this high-profile heartthrob gig, along with an appearance as Elvis Presley in the Johnny Cash bio-pic Walk the Line, Hilton's dreamboat status hasn't derailed his music career. (Hell, looks plus a knack for heartfelt, alt-country-tinged MOR music hasn't hurt John Mayer!) Though Hilton penned Top 40 hits while still in high school, he is less a teen idol than a man caught out of time. Growing up with a love of Presley, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, he delivers mature, middle-of-the-road pop in an appealing, slightly husky voice. His pleasing, Americana-tinged tunes suggest a freshly scrubbed Ryan Adams ultra-lite, and they'd be Billboard gold if the market had been trapped in amber in the early '90s. Unfortunately for Hilton, the days when Richard Marx ruled the roost are long past. Long-delayed new material is edgier in tone, reflecting Hilton's screwing at the hands of his former label, but it's still comfortably familiar. Hilton is good at what he does, but he's crafting perfect pop in a style that doesn't mean much in 2013. With Teddy Geiger, Ryan Cabrera. $12-$15. Jan. 8, 8 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-358-9200.