Friday, November 9, 2007

Review - VARIOUS ARTISTS -- The Gift: A Tribute to Ian Tyson

Various artists
Stony Plain

I just couldn't resist the idea of reviewing a tribute to Ian Tyson in the same issue as Quartette, which of course includes Sylvia Tyson, Ian's former wife, and musical partner. While the musical careers of the pair went their separate ways, they will be forever linked in the mind's and hearts of Canadian music fans.
Ian Tyson has of course had an outstanding career helping to preserve and re-popularize the genre of true western music.
As a performer you tend to know your career has earned respect when other artists gather to do a tribute album, and one listen to this effort and you know Tyson's career is indeed worthy. This CD is crammed full of recognizable hits covered by some of the best in Canadian music, along with a few American friends added in. I truly enjoy the mix of veteran and new musical stars paying their respects here.
The CD starts with Canadian super group Blue Rodeo doing a sweet rendition of Four Strong Winds, an early hit from when Ian and Sylvia were famous just by their first names in this country.
On the very next cut Corb Lund, a more recent arrival to the country charts in Canada doing the western classic MC Horses.
Cindy Church, yes another tie to Quartette, offers a rendition of Range Delivery.
Amos Garrett, a great bluesman does Some Kind of Fool, and the Good Brothers do Summer Wages.
A favourite cut here though has to be Canadian folk icon Gordon Lightfoot's rendition of Red Velvet.
The only thing really missing here is a rendition of Navajo Rug, maybe Tyson's best known, and best-loved songs. Perhaps for that reason no one felt comfortable covering such a signature song.
Overall 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. He has released 11 solo CDs, dating back to 1973, and Four Strong Winds was a hit a decade earlier than that.
This is one to be cherished.

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 7, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada


Edna said...

Well written article.

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