Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi award winner, Ian Tyson, is celebrating five decades of performance in 2010 with a full schedule of concerts and the release of a new book to be published by Random House of Canada. With shows planned from coast to coast in both Canada and the United States, Tyson continues to keep his loyal fans in awe with songs that range from his classics - “Four Strong Winds”, “Someday Soon”, and “Navajo Rug”, to his newest works which he continues to write with inspired vigor.
Throughout 2008, Tyson shot a TV Music/Documentary Special for Canada’s Bravo Chanel which aired in January 2010. Now in his mid ‘70s, Tyson maintains a busy touring performance schedule which he combines with the work on his Alberta ranch, nestled in the foothills of the Rockies south of Calgary. It’s a workload that would exceed that of most people generations his junior.
Ian Tyson is one of a kind . . . authentic and durable. In the tough world of show business where an artist can be considered lucky to have one hit and a few good years, Ian Tyson has had two distinctly brilliant careers. Spanning five decades, Tyson has forged a trail of musical innovation. Starting with the legendary folk duo of Ian and Sylvia in the ‘60s, the trail has culminated with the seminal Cowboyography collection reaching platinum status in the mid ‘90s.
At the age of 24, Tyson left behind the itinerant logging and rodeo life of British Columbia and hitchhiked to Toronto. Caught up in the folk music revival, he formed, along with a very young Sylvia Fricker, the legendary duo of Ian and Sylvia.
The influential folk duo, Ian and Sylvia, married in 1964, recorded over a dozen timeless albums, including their best known and often covered hits – Ian’s “Four Strong Winds” and “Someday Soon”, and Sylvia’s “You Were on My Mind”.
During the British Invasion, Ian and Sylvia evolved into pioneers of country-rock. Their band, Great Speckled Bird, rivaled the Byrds and other groups which helped create modern country, a decade before the Urban Cowboy phase of contemporary “new traditionalists”.
After hosting a national Canadian television music show from 1970 to 1975, Tyson realized his dream of returning to the Canadian West. The music and marriage of Ian and Sylvia had ended and it was now or never. Disillusioned with the Canadian country music scene, Tyson decided the time had come to return to his first love - training horses in the ranch country of southern Alberta.
After three idyllic years cowboying in the Rockies at Pincher Creek, Tyson recorded the album Old Corrals & Sagebrush, consisting of cowboy songs, both traditional and new. “Kind of a musical Christmas card for my friends” he recalls. “We weren’t looking for a ‘hit radio’ play or anything like that”. Unbeknownst to Tyson and his friends, the cowboy renaissance was about to find expression at the inaugural Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1983. A small coterie of saddle makers, rawhide braiders, cowboy poets and pickers discovered one another in this small cow town in Northern Nevada. Tyson was invited to perform his “new western music” and the overwhelming response at Stockman’s Casino brought Tyson the realization the he had found his true audience.
Tyson considers himself a very fortunate man. His second music career takes him to concerts all over North America, where he is able to ride the deserts and sage hills with his friends from Alberta to Mexico. “I like to surround myself with the most talented musicians,” Tyson says, “so that people not directly from the ranch culture can enjoy an evening with us through the music alone. Everyone, it seems, can relate to a song like Someday Soon and that’s the kind of communication I strive for.”
The striving continues and the songs keep coming from this word painter of the west. His current album, Yellowhead to Yellowstone and other Love Stories, was recorded in 2008 and has been critically acclaimed in both Canada and the United States. This latest CD is the thirteenth release in Tyson’s steady stream of recordings since 1973. In 2000, Tyson’s “Four Strong Winds” was voted Canada’s top song of the 20th Century by CBC listeners.
Ian Tyson is the recipient of The Order of Canada and has been inducted into five industry Halls of Fame. He has garnered three Honorary Doctorates and received numerous citations and awards from every corner of the entertainment industry. He is exclusively represented by fellow Canadian, Paul Mascioli of Mascioli Entertainment Corporation, Orlando, Florida.
Legendary Canadian songwriter Ian Tyson (“Four Strong Winds,” “Someday Soon,” “Summer Wages,” “Navajo Rug”) is regarded as the most important artist representing the old west. Raven Singer (2012) is Tyson’s first album in four years, created at the age of 78. This release comes on the trail of two books on Ian’s life - his autobiography and a biography on Ian and Sylvia. Raven Singer is a name bestowed upon him by the Nakoda.