As a teenager, Tighe was in many New YorkDowntowntheater productions in the 1990s, where he met Jeff Buckley. Though having had no experience, he was drafted into Buckley's band, with which he toured until the singer's death in 1997. He co-wrote the song "So Real" with Jeff Buckley, in addition to "Vancouver", "Moodswing Whiskey" "Demon John" and "The Sky Is a Landfill".
Afterwards, he was a member of Black Beetle, which included former Buckley drummer Parker Kindred, in addition to Joan Wasser (Dambuilders) and Oren Bloedow (Elysian Fields); the band split in 2002.
In 2002, Tighe formed the band The A.M., with Kindred and bassist Andrew Wyatt. The band released one album, The A.M. in 2003, before disbanding in 2005.