IAN TYSON: A NEW ALBUM OF
MORE OF THE GOOD ‘UNS, AND THE RECOVERY OF A DAMAGED VOICE
Ian Tyson, Canada’s iconic singer and songwriter, turns 80 in September, but his energy remains undimmed — and he’s releasing a second “best-of” compilation of songs from some of the dozen-odd albums he’s recorded for the Edmonton-based Stony Plain label.
The new collection— the follow up to All the Good ‘Uns, his 1996 Gold album — will be released by Stony Plain Records on May 21.
Titled All the Good ‘Uns Vol 2, is a collection of 19 recordings — including many of the “story” songs that Tyson has crafted about life in the west, the vanishing cowboy culture, and a few of the more personal songs that reflect the singer’s own experiences. The new CD is distributed in Canada by Warner Music, and in the United States by ADA.
The songs, chosen by Tyson and by record label head Holger Petersen, are taken from five of the dozen Ian Tyson albums Stony Plain has released over the years.
A familiar voice returns
Tyson is also celebrating the near-complete recovery of his voice, badly damaged six years ago by the combination of a near-deaf rock and roll sound man at a massive outdoor county music festival, followed by a cold virus that wouldn’t quit.
“I fought the sound system, and lost,” he recalled. “I remember coming off stage and telling Ray Benson, of Asleep at the Wheel, ’Ray, I think I hurt my voice.’ I saw a doctor, and he said, basically, live with it.”
Tyson was forced to learn, with courage and craftsmanship, to sing his songs with what he called “my new voice.” Two superb Stony Plain albums, Yellowhead to Yellowstone (2008) and Raven Singer (2012) saw a wide range of new songs presented in a uniquely intimate, arresting and heart-to-heart voice.
“Late last year, I did three nights of my annual shows in Longview, near the ranch I have south of Calgary,” he says. “The last night was really hard, so I figured I’d have to do something drastic.”
He visited Tom Gillis, a Calgary ear, nose and throat specialist. “He checked me out very carefully, explored my throat, and found a whole mountain of polyps down there. The operation to remove them, and a continuing course of therapy with Katherine Ardo of the Canadian Voice Care Foundation seems to have done the trick.”
Looking at the future with clear eyes
Closing in on his 80th birthday, he looks back at five decades of a career that’s earned him countless awards, the Order of Canada, and a devoted following.
He has concerts booked well into next year, including three shows in early July at Calgary’s Martha Cohen Theatre and fall dates across the country with Corb Lund.
At the same time, he continues to supervise his working ranch; this is a man for whom “the cowboy life” is an ever-present reality.
And Ian Tyson stares at the future with clear eyes and a weather-worn face. Bring it on, he seems to say. Meanwhile, the songs keep coming and the stories he shares are as true as a well-worn saddle.
April 16, 2013
Comment about Ian's 'new' voice
Well, to quote a friend's text during the show , "Holy crap, his voice is SO much better."
Yes it was terrific. Just like it's supposed to be.
Thanks for the show. It was great that we all could hear him again. And I'm happy for Ian that he can be proud of his show again. I gather this past couple years has been hard for him. He's in the pantheon of all time musical greats and to have his shows be A+ material again is just as it should be.
The Palms Playhouse
13 Main Street
Winters, CA 95694
IAN TYSON RELEASES A SPARKLING NEW
STONY PLAIN RECORDS ALBUM,
RAVEN SINGER, --- COMING MAY 29
Tyson’s 14th album for the Edmonton-based international roots music label comes as All The Good ‘Uns, his 16-year-old “best-of” compilation, goes Gold
EDMONTON, AB - Canada’s legendary songwriter, Ian Tyson, may be 78, but he’s not slowing down. He still runs his working ranch in the foothills of the Rockies south of Calgary; he still performs some 40 shows each year; and now he’s releasing an album of sparkling new songs titled Raven Singer (his first album in four years), coming out internationally on May 29. It’s his 14th for Stony Plain, the Edmonton-based international roots music label.
The new album comes on the heels of the announcement that his 1996 “best-of” compilation, All the Good ’Uns, has earned a gold record in Canada, indicating sales of more than 50,000 copies.
Tyson, always remembered for classic songs such as “Four Strong Winds,” “Navajo Rug,” “Someday Soon” and “Summer Wages,” recorded Raven Singer over a three-year period, as he wrote the new songs.
Tyson’s songs always have the ring of truth, and his travels have provided the background for two of the 10 remarkable songs — “Under African Skies” and “Back to Baja.” The first is partly travelogue and partly a story of “running from the memories” of a broken relationship. The latter has a distinctly southern Californian feel and is a song that Jimmy Buffett would feel at home singing.
Other songs that maintain his reputation as one of Canada’s most distinctive writers include “Blueberry Susan,” which offers a tribute to the first guitarist he ever heard, and some of the players — Red Shea, Monte Dunn and David Rea —whom he worked with and who have passed away since Tyson’s last album. “Charles Goodnight’s Grave” and “Saddle Bronc Girl” are warmly-observed songs of the real West, not the romanticized version shared by weekend cowboys and Nashville “new country” singers. One of the most moving songs on the CD is a new version of “The Circle is Through,” which he originally recorded almost 20 years ago with Nashville singer Suzy Bogguss.
Tyson himself says the record is a collection of songs built around the road back from the much-publicized loss of his voice in 2006. “I think I’ve learned how to make my ‘new voice’ work,” he says, and the new album seems to bear out his assertion. Tyson’s voice is less “grainy” that it was on his last album, Yellowhead to Yellowstone, but it carries an emotional punch that suits the new songs he has written.
The new album’s Dali-esque cover is by Calgary teacher Paul Rasporich; it depicts a raven’s skull. The title of the CD followed a sweat lodge ceremony at the Nakoda First Nation, near Banff Alberta, when Tyson’s name — Ka-ree-a-hiatha (Raven that Sings) — was chosen.
March 29, 2012
Ian Tyson named 100th Calgary Stampede parade marshal
The Calgary Stampede launched its 100-day countdown to its 100th year today by naming Ian as the 2012 parade marshal. The head of the Stampede says they wanted to pick an iconic parade marshal who represented western values. Michael Casey says Ian Tyson was at the top of that list. In addition, the Stampede will honour its historical partnership with First Nations people by inviting the seven chiefs of Treaty 7 to ride as honourary parade marshals.
March 28, 2012
A tribute to longtime Western singer and songwriter Ian Tyson was unveiled today in downtown Calgary. The Calgary Transit public art piece features the lyrics to Land of Shining Mountains, displayed in glass and stone.
Ald. Druh Farrell says the art project, which is on a transit utility building wall at Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street S.W., was part of a plan to bring poetry to Calgary’s downtown.
She says when they decided on cowboy poetry, it was clear that Ian Tyson was the right fit.“We went through the lyrics together of all of his songs and, of course, the Land of Shining Mountains really stood out for us. It is a quintessential Alberta song. It's a beautiful song.”
Tyson says this is the right song to pick because it reflects a modern urban Alberta. The song is off of his 2005 album Songs From the Gravel Road.
“When Ald. Farrell called me, I guess it’d be year ago now or more, I couldn’t quite grasp the concept of what we were doing,” said Tyson, laughing. “Of course, now that I see it, it’s wonderful and it’s very clear, but I kept thinking New York Subway and graffiti or something.”
Local musicians Chris Gheran and John Rutherford sang on the C-Train, while Tim Hus performed at the event.
Allan Gregg in Conversation
Watch the Ian Tyson interview by Allan Gregg on TVOntario about Ian's live and his memoir "The Long Trail" (30 minutes)
Ian's new 2 disc DVD set 'Ian Tyson - This is my sky' will be available as of December 2010
This two-disc collector's edition captures Ian Tyson's life and music through an original authorized documentary and his first official concert video in more than two decades.
The documentary takes fans on a musical odyssey through five decades of his career - from folk to country to cowboy roots.
The collection includes riveting performances of some of his greatest songs, filmed at the historic Knox United Church in Calgary.
Fans can purchase the DVD package in Canada exclusively at Wal-Mart and Zellers stores and for the rest of the world from Hitching Post Supply
The Long Trail - My Life in the West- Autobiography by Ian Tyson.
A Canadian icon on his longstanding love of the West and his life. "I live on a ranch about six miles east of the town of Longview and the old Cowboy Trail in the foothills of the Rockies. On a perfect day, like today, I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world. Of course, I'm not going to say there aren't those other days when you think, 'What am I doing here?' It's beautiful country and it can be brutally tough as well." Ian Tyson
Ian Tyson's journey to the West began in the unlikely city of Victoria, BC, where he rode his dad's horses on the weekends and met cowboys in the pages of Will James's books, and eventually followed that cowboy dream to rodeo
competition. Laid up after breaking a leg, he learned the guitar, and drifted east, becoming a key songwriter and performer in the folk revival movement. But the West always beckoned, and when his marriage to his partner
and collaborator Sylvia broke up and the music scene threatened to grind him down, he retreated to a ranch and work with cutting horses. Soon, he'd bought a ranch in Alberta and found a new voice as the renowned Western Revival singer-songwriter and horseman he is today. This book is Ian's reflection on that journey...
Ian Tyson Limited Edition Guitar Launched by World's Smallest Guitar Store
Canadian-based guitar makers MacKenzie & Marr are launching the Ian Tyson Limited Edition Guitar to pay tribute to the folk and country music legend's classic, unembellished style.
The Ian Tyson Limited Edition is a solid wood instrument with a factory installed Fishman Sonitone Onboard Preamp System. The top is 3A solid spruce with scalloped x bracing and mated to solid Akoumé back and sides. It boasts the strong bass of a superb dreadnought-styled guitar without the associated size and bulk, and without burying the mid and treble response delivering a deep, rich sound. It's a flat-picker's guitar that doesn't leave a finger style player lost when he moves up the neck.
Check out the latest press reviews of Ian's music on the Recent Reviews page