For the second year, 20 Under 20 recognizes young leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs and visionaries of East Tennessee.
Angela Gosnell, Knoxville News Sentinel

Stonefish, the band Tyler Larrabee co-founded and manages, has plenty of gigs and a large following in the area.

This year, Tyler decided other high-school and college-age bands should have similar opportunities to be heard.

Tyler, 17, called on Rusty Odom, owner/publisher of the independent Blank Newspaper and founder of the Second Bell musical festival, to mentor him while he put together a music festival. The result: September’s New Ground Festival, featuring nine young local bands, on the grounds of Lakeshore Park.

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Tyler Larrabee, member of the 20 Under 20 class of 2019, in the Knox News photo studio in Knoxville, Tennessee on Wednesday, October 2, 2019. (Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel)


“The first music festival I ever attended was Rhythm ‘N’ Blooms, as a performer,” Tyler said. “I realized how little I really knew about being a performing musician and how much could be shared with other musicians my age.”

For the New Ground Festival, Tyler formed an LLC, solicited sponsorships, designated Boys and Girls Club of the East Tennessee Valley as beneficiary for part of the proceeds, and promoted the festival on radio and television.

Knoxville-based band STONEFISH will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Concourse. (Photo: Submitted)

“There were so many aspects I never would have even thought of” if not for Odom, including tents, stage-and-sound crew, insurance, bathroom facilities, website, ticket sales and other details, Tyler said. “The most rewarding part was seeing it all come together on show day, and seeing other people enjoying themselves.”

Tyler Larrabee is a member of the 20 Under 20 class of 2019. (Photo: Submitted)

Tyler always thought of Stonefish as a business as well as a band, said his mother, Holly Larrabee.

“Within a short time of writing songs, they were recording an EP, which Tyler released on all music platforms,” she said. He raised money for recording by selling merchandise, learning to tie-dye and screen print shirts by hand.


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Tyler is an Eagle Scout, performs musical theater, and plays football, soccer and rugby.

Now with Stonefish working on a new album, the West High senior plans to continue recording and playing and possibly attend Middle Tennessee State University for an education in music business.

“The biggest life lesson I’ve learned is that it takes a lot more work than talent to succeed,” he said.

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