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Index of Artists

Ian Tyson

Video photography courtesy of Box J Bar Ranch.
Music: Ian Tyson - Old Cheyenne

Biography:

Download Biography

IAN TYSON: CANADA’S LEGENDARY SONGWRITER FACES LOVE, LOSS AND A CHANGING, DISAPPERING WEST

Carnero Vaquero is Tyson’s 13th album for Stony Plain — a stunning collection of new songs

 

Ian Tyson is 81 now. And he’s still going strong. Still touring. Still running the Tyson ranch south of Calgary. Still watching the West as he’s seen it change — and not always for the better. Still writing about love, horses, and the country and sky he loves. And he’s still facing the future with a mixture of optimism and resignation.

You can hear all of that in Carnero Vaquero, his 13th album for Edmonton-based roots music label Stony Plain. These are ten songs that ring as true as the western sky and the foothills of the Rockies.

The title? “Carnero” is the Spanish word for ram, and “Vaquero” is Spanish for cowboy, and, indeed, the cowboy tradition, particularly in the south-western United States.

Recorded in the Stone House, just down the gravel road from his ranch house, there’s an intimacy and warmth that draws you into his life… It’s the place where Tyson writes his songs, practices guitar, and reads his library of western histories and the early books of Will James.

I remember back on Dead Man’s Creek sixty years ago
I hired up breaking broncs which I’d never done before
Just a city kid and I asked myself
Now what would Will James do?
You know it was the damndest thing
‘Cause it kind of got me through

Your eighties, Tyson tells people, is not a time for sissies. Age is one thing, but the changing West is another, and since Tyson moved to Alberta forty years ago he’s seen way more changes than he’s comfortable with. But the sky and the mountains keep him there, and his alternating regrets and optimism spark his songwriting.

The old songs are forgotten
Gone with the ravens on the wing
And love no longer matters and the wind no long sings
The old man sold his horses
The children sold the ranch
.

The rain will come again some day
The stars keep on shining
The poets will return one day
Magic melodies and rhyme
And God is up there somewhere looking down on everything
And love will always matter and the wolves will always sing.

Carnero Vaquero is a special Ian Tyson record. There are half a dozen new songs — as good and better as dozens crafted in the Stone House. There are also two co-writes with a younger, alternative songwriter out of Calgary, Kris Demeanor, and another collaboration with Tom Russell (they co-wrote “Navajo Rug,” one of Tyson’s biggest hits). The opening song, “Doney Gal,” is a traditional song that probably goes back to the earliest days of discovering the West, and he reprises “Darcy Farrow” from one of his earliest Ian & Sylvia records.

Tyson’s smooth relaxed voice has been part of the musical landscape since the early 60s, when — with his then-wife Sylvia Tyson — he conquered the folk boom of the day. Hits kept coming — “Four Strong Winds,” “Someday Soon,” “Summer Wages” and more. A move to Alberta, a hiatus from the music business, and a reluctant return that earned his first platinum record for Cowboyography led to a storied career as North America’s preeminent western singer.

Tyson doesn’t like looking backwards at five decades of a career that’s earned him countless awards, the Order of Canada, and a devoted following. He rarely talks about what he calls “the Ian and Sylvia days,” pointing to a four-decade “solo” career.

Now recovered from a torn and damaged voice that drastically changed his vocal sound in 2008, he’s singing with the strength and range of his earlier years.

He has concerts booked well into next year, and 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.

Tonight I hear the call of Cottonwood Canyon
Listen, you can hear it on the wind
There ain’t no cell phone towers in Cottonwood Canyon
Maybe some old coyote will give you a call
Can I find my way back to Cottonwood Canyon?
Have the drillers come? Have I waited too long?
Cottonwood trees they cry to me
Her songs of long ago
And I slept in the sand far below
Down where the clear waters flow

Carnero Vaquero

Carnero Vaquero
SPCD 1384
Genre: Country
Released: 26 May 2015

It’s another world, the West. It’s not the city, it’s not the Internet, it’s not your office, your house, or your new clothes.

It’s hard weather, horses, cattle, space and sky.

There’s time in the West — time for stories, legends, myths and songs.

And it’s Ian Tyson’s world.

And now, with Carnero Vaquero, Tyson’s 13th album in the Stony Plain catalogue, the legendary singer and songwriter brings his world to yours. Ten memorable songs with tunes you can remember, stories that resonate, and a resolute, strong voice.

  • The album title: "Carnero" is the Spanish word for ram, and "Vaquero" is Spanish for cowboy, and, indeed, the cowboy tradition in the south-western United States.
  • Now 81, Tyson is the preeminent western singer in North America. He continues to tour across Canada and the U.S. and still manages the Tyson Ranch south of Calgary.
  • Key tracks: Colorado Horses, Darcy Fallow, The Flood, Cottonwood Canyon.
  • Recorded (mostly live off the floor) at the Stone House on the Tyson Ranch.
  • 10 songs ranging from the traditional ("Doney Girl") to co-writes with Calgary’s Kris Demeanor. Five new Tyson songs, a tuneful remake of "Darcy Farrow" (originally recorded in the early ‘60s Ian & Sylvia days). "Wolves No Longer Sing" is written with Tom Russell — the pair co-wrote "Navajo Rug," one of Tyson’s biggest hits.
  • The distinctive Tyson voice has recovered from the accident that damaged it in 2007.
  1. Doney Gal (3:35)
  2. Colorado Horses (3:18)
  3. Will James (4:11)
  4. Jughound Ronnie (3:43)
  5. Darcy Farrow (3:02)
  6. The Flood (3:04)
  7. Shawnie (5:45)
  8. Chantell (3:32)
  9. Wolves No Longer Sing (3:36)
  10. Cottonwood Canyon (3:22)

Reviews:

CASHBOX
By David Bowling

"Carnero Vaquerois Spanish for ram and cowboy. It sets the tone for his stories of the Canadian west. Rotating between original compositions and covers, he presents a laid back album of authentic and soulful tunes."

All The Good 'Uns Vol. 2 (Greatest Hits)

All The Good
SPCD 1367
Genre: Country
Released: 21 May 2013
Vol. 2 is Ian's second "Best Of" collection and includes 19 songs from 1999 to 2012.
  1. Land Of Shining Mountains (3:10)
  2. Brahmas And Mustangs (3:35)
  3. This Is My Sky (3:31)
  4. Smuggler's Cove (3:50)
  5. Lost Herd (4:17)
  6. Elko Blues - The Roan Mare (3:45)
  7. La Primera (5:21)
  8. Jerry Ambler (4:00)
  9. Bob Fudge (5:01)
  10. Little High Plains Town (4:05)
  11. Blaino's Song (4:18)
  12. Yellowhead To Yellowstone (6:01)
  13. Fiddler Must Be Paid (3:45)
  14. Ross Knox (2:45)
  15. Song In A Dream (3:05)
  16. Charles Goodnight's Grave (3:30)
  17. Road To Las Cruces (4:12)
  18. Love Without End (3:47)
  19. Somewhere Over The Rainbow (3:39)

Reviews:

Elmore Magazine
By Robert Myers

"This is unforgettable songwriting."

Raven Singer

Raven Singer
SPCD 1361
Genre: Country
Released: 29 May 2012

The legendary Canadian songwriter returns at the age of 78, with 10 remarkable songs. From the part-travelogue "Under African Skies" to "Blueberry Susan" that offers a tribute to many of the musicians that touched Tyson, this collection of songs is Tyson rediscovering himself and his "new voice."

The 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.

  1. Charles Goodnight's Grave (3:31)
  2. The Circle Is Through (3:38)
  3. Rio Colorado (3:08)
  4. Under African Skies (3:38)
  5. Song In A Dream (3:05)
  6. Blueberry Susan (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:51)
    * free full length download *
  7. Back To Baja (2:32)
  8. Saddle Bronc Girl (3:02)
  9. Winterkill (4:31)
  10. The Yellow Dress (3:10)

Reviews:

FAME
By Mark S. Tucker
Tyson is as much an elder statesman of folk music north of the Montana line as Bob Dylan is south of it.

Yellowhead to Yellowstone and other Love Stories

Yellowhead to Yellowstone and other Love Stories
SPCD 1339
Genre: Country
Released: 11 November 2008
  1. Yellowhead To Yellowstone (6:01)
  2. Fiddler Must Be Paid (3:45)
  3. Lioness (3:24)
  4. Ross Knox (2:44)
  5. Blaino's Song (Listen to mp3 clip) (4:17)
    * free full length download *
  6. Estrangement (3:29)
  7. My Cherry Coloured Rose (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:41)
    * free full length download *
  8. Bill Kane (3:55)
  9. Go This Far (3:48)
  10. Love Never Comes At All (4:54)

Reviews:

Goldmine Magazine
By Lee Zimmerman
If Springsteen and Mellencamp speak to the pulse of the American heartland, Tyson is their Canadian equivalent, equally intrepid, clear-eyed and compelling.

The Gift - A Tribute To Ian Tyson (Various Artists)

The Gift - A Tribute To Ian Tyson (Various Artists)
SPCD 1322
Genre: Country
Released: 17 June 2007
  1. Four Strong Winds - Blue Rodeo (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:44)
  2. M.C. Horses - Corb Lund (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:16)
  3. Blue Mountains Of Mexico - Jennifer Warnes (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:15)
  4. What Does She See - Chris Hillman (3:26)
  5. Red Velvet - Gordon Lightfoot (3:37)
  6. The Gift - David Rea (4:20)
  7. Range Delivery - Cindy Church (3:43)
  8. Smuggler’s Cove - The McDades (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:07)
  9. Some Kind Of Fool - Amos Garrett (3:28)
  10. Old Cheyenne - Tom Russell (4:52)
  11. Someday Soon - The Circus In Flames with Buddy Cage (Listen to mp3 clip) (5:31)
  12. Will James - Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (2:50)
  13. You're Not Alone Anymore - Stewart MacDougall (3:56)
  14. Summer Wages - The Good Brothers (3:07)
  15. Moondancer - Jeff Bradshaw (3:49)
  16. Bonus Track - Interview with Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Buddy Cage (2:09)
    Please note: Ian Tyson does not perform on this album.

Reviews:

Yorkton This Week - 7 Nov 2007
By Calvin Daniels
9.5-out-of-10 This is a great western CD, made even better because of the collection of artists coming together to pay homage to a true star of the Canadian music scene for decades.

Songs From The Gravel Road

Songs From The Gravel Road
SPCD 1305
Genre: Country
Released: 8 February 2005
  1. This is My Sky (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:32)
  2. Land of Shining Mountains (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:10)
  3. The Ambler Saddle (Listen to mp3 clip) (3:02)
  4. Love Without End (3:48)
  5. Silver Bell (3:35)
  6. Road To Las Cruces (4:12)
  7. Range Delivery (3:45)
  8. So No More (3:25)
  9. One Morning In May (3:34)
  10. Always Saying Goodbye (3:33)
  11. Moisture (3:44)
  12. Casey's Gone (2:19)

All The Good 'Uns (Greatest Hits)

All The Good
SPCD 1234
Genre: Cowboy
Released: 23 July 1996
  1. The Wonder Of It All
  2. Alberta's Child
  3. Irving Berlin (is 100 yrs Old Today)
  4. M.C. Horses
  5. Springtime In Alberta
  6. Jaquima To Freno (3:49)
  7. Navajo Rug (2:58)
  8. Claude Dallas (5:02)
  9. Magpie (3:41)
  10. The Steeldust Line (3:51)
  11. Rockies Turn To Rose (3:10)
  12. Alcohol In The bloodstream (3:36)
  13. The Old Double Diamond (5:06)
  14. Barrel Racing Angel (3:22)
  15. Casey Tibbs (3:32)
  16. Will James (3:25)
  17. Fifty Years Ago (3:55)
  18. 'Til The Circle Is Through (3:76)
  19. The Gift (4:15)

Old Corrals And Sagebrush & Other Cowboy Culture Classics

Old Corrals And Sagebrush & Other Cowboy Culture Classics
SPCD 1307
Genre: Country
  1. Gallo de Cielo (Tom Russell) (5:55)
  2. Alberta's Child (Ian Tyson) (3:45)
  3. The Old Double Diamond (Gary McMahany) (5:08)
  4. Windy Bill (traditional) (3:03)
  5. Montana Waltz (Ian Tyson) (3:37)
  6. Whoopee Ti Yi Yo (traditional) (3:12)
  7. Leavin' Cheyenne (traditional) (3:52)
  8. Old Corrals And Sagebrush (Ian Tyson) (2:55)
  9. Old Alberta Moon (Ian Tyson) (3:08)
  10. Night Rider's Lament (Mike Burton) (4:03)
  11. Oklahoma Hills (Jack Guthrie) (2:56)
  12. Tom Blasingame (Ian Tyson) (3:25)
  13. Colorado Trail (traditional) (2:35)
  14. Hot Summer Tears (Ian Tyson) (6:07)
  15. What Does She See (Ian Tyson) (3:25)
  16. Rocks Begin To Roll (Ian Tyson) (4:00)
  17. Will James (Ian Tyson) (4:32)
  18. Murder Street (Ian Tyson) (3:25)

Ol' Eon

Ol
SPCD 1295
Genre: Country
  1. Some Kind of Fool (Listen to mp3 clip)
  2. Bad Times Were So Easy (Listen to mp3 clip)
  3. BlueBerry Susan
  4. Sam Bonnifields Saloon
  5. If She Just Helps Me
  6. Lord, Lead Me Home
  7. Great Canadian Tour (Listen to mp3 clip)
  8. She's My Greatest Blessing (Listen to mp3 clip)
  9. Spanish Journey
  10. The Girl Who Turned Me Down
  11. The North Saskatchewan
  12. Love Can Bless The Soul of Anyone

Live At Longview

Live At Longview
SPCD 1282
Genre: Country
  1. Navajo Rug
  2. Ol' Corrals And Sagebrush
  3. Desert Motel
  4. I Outtgrew The Wagon
  5. Herry Ambler
  6. Sorta Together (Listen to mp3 clip)
  7. Fifty Years Ago
  8. Someday Soon
  9. Smugglers Cove
  10. Casey Tibbs
  11. Blue Moon (Listen to mp3 clip)
  12. Somewhere In The Rubies
  13. M.C. Horses
  14. Horsethief Moon
  15. Little High Plains Town (Listen to mp3 clip)
  16. Bob Fudge
  17. Magpie

Lost Herd

Lost Herd
SPCD 1255
Genre: Cowboy
  1. Brahmas And Mustangs
  2. Lost Herd
  3. Summer's Gone
  4. Smuggler's Cove
  5. Blue Mountains Of Mexico
  6. Roll On Owyhee
  7. Legends Of Cutting
  8. La Primera
  9. Elko Blues - The Roan Mare
  10. Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Eighteen Inches Of Rain

Eighteen Inches Of Rain
SPCD 1193
Genre: Country
  1. Horsethief Moon (3:15)
  2. Heartaches Are Stealin' (3:39)
  3. Eighteen Inches Of Rain (3:13)
  4. M.C. Horses (3:32)
  5. Big Horns (4:05)
  6. Rodeo Road (3:50)
  7. Chasin' The Moon (3:14)
  8. Nobody Thought It Would (3:43)
  9. Old House (3:27)
  10. Alcohol In The Bloodstream (3:36)
  11. Old Corrals And Sagebrush (2:51)
  12. 'Til The Circle Is Through (3:16)

Reviews:

Midwest Record
By Chris Spector
The jury is still out on whether we have ultimate or penultimate or what, but this set is still a killer 15 years on.

One Jump Ahead Of The Devil

One Jump Ahead Of The Devil
SPCD 1177
Genre: Country
  1. What Does She See
  2. One Jump Ahead Of The Devil
  3. Beverly
  4. Turning Thirty
  5. Newtonville Waltz
  6. Lone Star And Coors
  7. One Too Many
  8. Texas, I Miss You
  9. Goodness Of Shirley
  10. Freddie Hall
  11. Half Mile Of Hell

And Stood There Amazed

And Stood There Amazed
SPCD 1168
Genre: Country
  1. Black Nights
  2. Lights Of Laramie
  3. Jaquima to Freno
  4. Springtime In Alberta
  5. Non-Pro Song
  6. Milk River Ridge
  7. Rocks Begin To Roll
  8. Jack Link
  9. You're Not Alone
  10. Magpie
  11. Home On The Range

I Outgrew The Wagon

I Outgrew The Wagon
SPCD 1131
Genre: Country
  1. Cowboys Don't Cry
  2. Casey Tibbs
  3. I Outgrew The Wagon
  4. Arms Of Corey Jo
  5. Adelita Rose
  6. Irving Berlin (Is 100 yrs Old Today)
  7. Since The Rain
  8. The Wind In The Wire
  9. Four Strong Winds
  10. The Banks Of The Musselshell
  11. The Steeldust Line

Cowboyography

Cowboyography
SPCD 1102
Genre: Country
  1. Springtime
  2. Navajo Rug
  3. Summer Wages
  4. Fifty Years Ago
  5. Rockies Turn Rose
  6. Claude Dallas
  7. Own Heart's Delight
  8. The Gift
  9. Cowboy Pride
  10. Old Cheyenne
  11. The Coyote & The Cowboy