For those who are new to Canada’s Ian Tyson, the singer/songwriter comes across as a singing Clint Eastwood. His voice, clearly he voice of experience, has that instant authority and is compelling in a way that you wholeheartedly trust. Add to that the songs that he sings — songs of rural beauty and a vanishing cowboy culture — and you’ll know what I mean. This is the guy who wrote “Someday Soon,” one of the great cowboy songs of all time. And that was nearly 50 years ago. Imagine what he does with the craft of songwriting these days. All that life has found its way into the strum of every chord, believe me.
Ian Tyson is closing in on his 80th year, so he has more than enough to choose from to put together a “Best of” album. Therefore, this one’s a “Best of, Volume 2,” It’s a follow-up to his 1996 gold album, All the Good’Uns. Each track here has the sound of an old friend, one with whom you wouldn’t mind spending more time. The melodies sound refreshingly “right” and the lyrics tell stories that are entertaining and inspiring.
Here’s a track from Raven Singer (Ian Tyson’s previous album) — “Saddle Bronc Girl”…
An added bonus to the 19-song collection is Tyson’s soft, plaintive and dreamy “Over the Rainbow.” What a treat to hear him sing the classic to the accompaniment of his own acoustic guitar, keeping a steady cadence like a horse on a long, familiar trail, and Gord Maxwell’s bass, drifting by like some sort of musical tumbleweed. To hear the song anew, in the context of this compilation of cowboy songs makes it seem even more likely that a young girl from the plains of Kansas would sing it just like this.
Come to think of it, just about any song that Ian Tyson sings makes complete sense. Now that’s something to celebrate and share.
Essential Downloads: “This Is My Sky,” “Little High Plains Town,” “Ross Knox.”
To preview or purchase this album on Amazon, click here.