Home  |  Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News     

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

The Gift: A Tribute to Ian Tyson

Review By Steven Stone
Click here to e-mail reviewer

  Ian Tyson's musical career began in the early days of the folk boom. He and his wife Sylvia were the first Canadian folk act to stride across the border and capture the American pop music scene. Tyson's original compositions also gained favor with other performers including Eric Anderson, Gordon Lightfoot, and Judy Collins. Ian and Sylvia's music wasn't as prettified and plain vanilla as most of the other early folk duos, and Tyson's pioneering spirit quickly led them away from traditional folk into folk-rock. Their band, Great Speckled Bird, who predated the Flying Burrito Brothers and other west-coast American country rock bands, was influential in the early country rock movement. In 1970, tiring of the road, Ian and Sylvia began hosting a national Canadian TV show. That lasted for five years. Then Ian and Sylvia's marriage ended and Tyson decided to return to his first love, training horses. He bought a spread in Pincher Creek, Alberta, and retired from the music business. But he continued writing songs and in 1983 re-surfaced with his own unique brand of modern western cowboy music. Since then he has released nine critically acclaimed albums.

The Gift: A Tribute to Ian Tyson combines Tyson's songs with a diverse set of performers. The roster includes Jennifer Warnes, Chris Hillman, Blue Rode, Corb Lund, David Rea, Amos Garrett, Tom Russell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Stewart MacDougall, the Good Brothers, The McDades, the Circus in Flames, and Jeff Bradshaw. The material spans Tyson's entire career. Early songs include "Summer Wages," "Four Strong Winds," and "Someday Soon."  The Circus Flames' version of "Someday Soon" is the most surprising reading of a Tyson song.  Doug Andrew's simple vocals backed by Buddy Cage's plaintive steel guitar obbligato strips the song down to its essential frame.

The bulk of the material on The Giftcomes from Tyson's more recent cowboy song catalog. Jennifer Warnes' voice soars on the plaintive "Blue Mountains of Mexico," while Gordon Lightfoot delivers a restrained reading on "Red Velvet."  My favorite among the newer material is Jeff Bradshaw's instrumental rendition of "Moondancer."  Assisted by Amos Garrett on electric guitar and David Wilkie on mandolin, Bradshaw's pedal steel and baritone guitars create a lonesome panorama of the Canadian west.

Co-produced and mastered by Peter North, The Gift employed ten different studios. As you might expect, the sonic character of the music changes drastically from song to song. Some cuts, like the Jennifer Warnes' contribution, "Blue Mountains of Mexico," are a trifle reverb-heavy, while others, such as David Rea's "The Gift," are on the dry matter-of-fact side. Although it never sounds bad, The Gift is not as sonically consistent as many anthology releases.

The packaging itself is intriguing. Instead of glossy photographs or brightly colored graphics, the folding CD design features sketches made by the late 19th century artist C.M. Russell. The mood of the sketches matches the rustic quality of Tyson's music.

Unlike some anthologies, which feature overblown performances by "big names" that have little, if any affinity for the music they're covering, The Gift delivers unfailingly genuine and heartfelt renditions of some of Ian Tyson's best work.















































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.