Ian Tyson Songs From the Gravel Road
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- Released: April 12, 2005
- Label: Vanguard Records
- 1.This Is My Sky
- 2.Land of Shining Mountains
- 3.The Ambler Saddle
- 4.Love Without End
- 5.Silver Bell
- 6.Road to Las Cruces
- 7.Range Delivery
- 8.So No More
- 9.One Morning in May
- 10.Always Saying Goodbye
- 11.Moisture - (bonus track)
- 12.Casey's Gone - (bonus track)
Personnel: Ian Tyson (vocals, guitar); Ian Tyson; Gordie Matthews (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Kevin Breit (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, mandolin); Michael Francis, Mike Francis (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Tony Michaels, Don Reed (fiddle); Phil Dwyer (soprano saxophone); Guido Basso, Steve McDade (trumpet); John Sheard (piano, organ, keyboards); Gord Maxwell (bass instrument, background vocals); Thom Moon (drums); Cindy Church (vocals); Rick Whitelaw (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, nylon-string guitar); Mark Kelso (drums).
Audio Mixer: Danny Greenspoon.
Recording information: Phase One Studios, Totonto (11/16/2004-11/19/2004).
Photographer: Jim Moore .
Over the past 30 years or so, Ian Tyson has transformed himself from '60s folkie to a contemporary Western poet. Songs from the Gravel Road, then, will hold few surprises for old fans, but nonetheless excels as a solid performance from a confirmed romantic. Tyson divides his material up into a couple of types of love songs, one dedicated to the open landscape ("This Is My Sky" and "Land of Shining Mountains") and the other to true love ("Love Without End" and "So No More"). Of course, love never seems to last or the object of one's desire isn't always interested or available in Tyson's world, so the land itself is Tyson's true mistress. "Range Delivery" tells the story of a boy determined to avoid boarding school by running away to his natural environment, the hills and canyons. In these songs, the wide expanses of land may be haunted by the past and they may be altered by modernity, but even these facts seem to evoke more romanticism than despair. Tyson's voice has a mellow, quiet quality perfectly suited to the material and low-key arrangements. Two bonus tracks, "Moisture" and "Casey's Gone," help to fill out the album. Songs from the Gravel Road is Western-styled folk music, delivered with confidence. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr.
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