Ian Tyson Songs from the Gravel Road

A Canadian songwriting legend best known for songs like "Four Strong Winds,” Ian Tyson returns with his first album since 1999’s Lost Herd. The songs on this disc were written during s tumultuous personal period in the cowboy’s life as he went through a divorce with his second wife. This is evident in the lyrics of these prairie poems that are filled with lament and loss. A prime example is the contemplative "Love Without End,” where Tyson sings "Maybe love without end/ Is in God’s eyes only.” Later, Tyson laments the loss of his dog in one of two bonus cuts "Casey’s Gone.” As with most of Tyson’s catalogue, these songs celebrate the cowboy and country life, documenting a life lived "home on the range.” Most of the songs were recorded in Toronto, except for the two bonus tracks "Moisture” and "Casey’s Gone,” which were recorded live at East Longview Hall. Fellow Albertan, Canadian country crooner Cindy Church, adds her delicate vocals on "Range Delivery,” while other guests include guitarist Kevin Breit (Norah Jones) and pedal steel player Burke Carroll. A bunch of horn players add a unique jazzy sound to Tyson’s traditional cowboy country. One of the standout tracks is the tale of world champion saddle Bronco rider Jerry Ambler, appropriately called "The Ambler Saddle,” which features a cowboy yelp by Tyson as part of the intriguing chorus. (Stony Plain)