Tyler Ramsey's Magnificent Solo Run

 
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via Guitar Player

On 'For The Morning,' Tyler Ramsey breaks away from Band of Horses with simply one of the most gorgeous folk recordings you’ll hear this year.

Being an accomplished guitarist doesn’t mean much if you can’t write terrific tunes, especially when you’re blazing a troubadour trail and incorporating instrumentals. Tyler Ramsey is that rare breed of player who is brilliant on guitar and vocals, a wise wordsmith, clever with arrangements and creative in the studio.

“I’ve always aimed to have my songs sound complete with just a guitar and a vocal,” Ramsey says, “even if I ultimately wind up adding a rhythm section and other layers to the recording.”

After 10 years as lead guitarist for Band of Horses, Ramsey departed the group in 2017 to focus on his solo career, which dates back to his 2005 eponymous debut album. The guitarist makes his country home outside the roots-music sanctuary of Asheville, North Carolina, and his music has a distinctly natural and never-in-a-hurry quality. “Long walks in the woods with my dog feed my songwriting,” Ramsey says of his method, which is depicted on the cover of his latest solo album, For the Morning (Fantasy Records). On it, he encapsulates serenity via fleet fingerstylings and inventive, textured arrangements, creating what is simply one of the most gorgeous folk recordings you’ll hear this year. The track “White Coat” has a fingerpicked “Dear Prudence”-like descending pattern, with lush sonics and Ramsey’s lovely tenor vocal in a cinematic setting, and features a bridge that sounds as if a string band from the Civil War era happened into the studio. The evocative instrumental “Darkest Clouds” sets the scene for “Firewood,” which starts off with a Harvest-era Neil Young vibe before blossoming into an expansive affair that sounds like members of Wilco and Radiohead gathered around Ramsey’s campfire.

Anyone wondering why a player might walk away from a big-time gig as Ramsey did when he split from Band of Horses will find an answer on For the Morning. The album doesn’t simply sound pleasing — it feels like peace itself.

What are your acoustic guitar roots?

I started playing a Sigma acoustic guitar just before my freshmen year of high school, when my family moved to Nashville. My uncle gave me a cassette tape of Leo Kottke with A Shout Toward Noon on one side, and 6- and 12-String Guitar on the other. I loved hearing the guitar covering all the bases: melody lines, bass lines and crazy rhythmic stuff. It wasn’t at all cool to be into Michael Hedges at that point, but I was way into Michael Hedges. His music inspired me to start toying around with open tunings on the acoustic guitar. Those two players opened my eyes to the fact that a song could be completely played solely on the acoustic guitar. It’s an incredible instrument with limitless potential.

Can you connect the dots between being a solo acoustic enthusiast and joining Band of Horses?

We crossed paths while working in the same studio in 2007, when I was finishing up A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea. Bill Reynolds played bass with me and with them, and he was the connection. The first album I made with them was Infinite Arms, which was pretty heavily produced, aside from a song I had on there called “Evening Kitchen”; it was just my fingerstyle acoustic guitar and lead vocals with harmonies, so it stood out. I used a lot of alternate tunings trying to find space that wasn’t represented in Band of Horses, but that song is actually in standard tuning with a capo at the fifth fret. There’s a new version on the new album, called “Evening Country.”

Your 2011 solo album, The Valley Wind, is full of fantastic fingerstyle acoustic tunes. Can you talk about a couple of them?

“1,000 Blackbirds” is a good example, and the opening instrumental track, “Raven Shadow,” was essentially an introduction. I played it on a 12-string tuned C G D G C D from the sixth string to the first. I used that same tuning with a capo at the second fret for “1000 Blackbirds,” which is rooted in country-blues fingerstyle. It’s essentially a basic folk form, but it takes some interesting twists and turns. I like to incorporate instrumental movements within the framework of a lyrical folk arrangement to make it more multifaceted.

What’s your overriding M.O. regarding acoustic guitars, and how does that play into the arsenal you used on For the Morning?

I get a certain feeling in my chest when I pick up a guitar that hits me in the right place, and it can happen with any kind of acoustic. I love how a vintage guitar has its own story, and I’m just a part of that storyline. I do have some newer ones though. One of my go-to guitars is a Martin D-18 that my grandma gave me when it was pretty new, around the year 2000. Her maiden name was Martin, and she remembered me saying that I wanted one when I was a kid. I still cherish it, and it really sings in lowered open tunings. I’ve got a Guild Orpheum OM from their custom shop that was made about seven years ago. I used it a lot on Band of Horses’ Acoustic at the Ryman. It’s great for fingerstyle stuff, and it carries open G tuning really well.

I had a late-’60s Martin 12-string with me for these sessions, and a Gibson Folksinger from the same era that I found in a pawnshop. I keep that in standard tuning, so a lot of my standard songs are written on that. And I’ve got a fretless banjo from the Civil War era that I used on the new record as well. I played it in my clumsy attempt at clawhammer style on the bridge section of “White Coat.” I also played it with an EBow on the instrumental “Darkest Clouds” to get that flute-like sound in the background.

“Darkest Clouds” is a great example of your unique fingerpicking technique.

Most guitar teachers would probably advise against my kind of technique, because it’s probably not ergonomically correct for most people to hang their fingers as straight up-and-down as I do. But I’m very tall, and I’ve got big hands with long fingers. Somehow I wound up bracing my ring and pinkie fingers on the guitar top while I use my thumb and first two fingers to pluck.

Did you plan the way “Darkest Clouds” flows seamlessly into “Firewood”?

I like to write companion pieces. I was working on the instrumental and thinking of how “Firewood” might go, and how they might help tie the album together in a way. Those were born of the same tuning. From strings six to one, it’s D A D F A D. Nathan Salsburg is an amazing fingerstyle guitar player. I was thrilled to have him add the second guitar that comes in briefly during the middle of “Darkest Clouds.” He walked in, killed it and walked out. He blows my mind, so it was like a dream to play with him. I played “Firewood” on the same Guild acoustic that I used for “Darkest Clouds.” It starts off sounding very similar, and then builds. I like to double an acoustic part precisely with a clean electric guitar in the background, so the listener almost loses track of what’s what. I used a late-’60s Guild Starfire strung with flatwounds to do that on “Firewood.” Gareth Liddiard from the Drones dropped in and added some guitar as well. He’s one of my electric guitar heroes, because his playing is so raw.

Can you share some insights on the song “White Coat”?

That was originally in open-G tuning, but I took it down a step to accommodate the instrumental section that I wrote separately on banjo, so from low to high it’s C F C F A C. In addition to the banjo on the middle section, I played a 12-string Martin and Scott Moore played fiddle. And then there’s another section where the acoustic and electric guitar double each other. It’s same trick as on “Firewood,” but with a Strymon BigSky reverb on the electric guitar that winds up sounding somewhat like a cello.

How do you tackle your tunes on tour?

Mostly I’ve been using the Guild Orpheum OM with an L.R. Baggs M80 soundhole pickup. I’ll run that through a direct box and use the house monitors. I like to have a microphone on the acoustic as well that only goes to the front of house, so I don’t get feedback in my monitor but the audience hears the natural acoustic sound. I use the Guild Starfire electric strung with D’Addario flatwounds running through a Matchless Spitfire amp a lot, as well. I fell in love with how it responds to fingerstyle playing in open tunings. The sound is very expressive, with lots of overtones and other interesting nuances.

I’m actually just about to head out for a run of solo dates, and I’m excited to stop at Baxendale Guitar in Athens, Georgia, where Scott Baxendale rebuilds old guitars. I did a tour with Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, and I was knocked out by how good his Baxendale sounded, so I ordered an H162 remanufactured Harmony Sovereign. I can’t wait to pick it up and go play. The audience has become a blend of my longtime followers, Band of Horses fans and brand-new faces. I’m looking forward to playing the new tunes for everybody. In a way, it feels like I’m just getting started.

Tyler Ramsey in WFUV Studio A

 
 

via WFUV

Tyler Ramsey draws inspiration from nature. He lives among mountains and rivers, his creativity flourishing among the trees and fields. It’s a natural and pure existence that lends itself to his musical vision. The Ramsey home is in North Carolina and the new Tyler Ramsey album, For The Morning, was born from times spend hiking in the forests, walking in the fields, and swimming in the streams.

For The Morning is the fourth solo album from Ramsey and his first in more than seven years. It’s also the first solo album he’s released following his time in Band of Horses, where he spent roughly a decade as guitarist and backing vocalist. Although this album comes in the wake of his 2017 departure from the band, its first seeds were planted while he was still very much active as part of the band. For The Morning reflects the difficulties Ramsey faced as a touring musician, and as a new father forced with being away from his home. It’s a human response that matches the surroundings from which the album emerged.

It was great to welcome Ramsey back to the Studio A with this terrific new album in hand. He’s visited with us in the past (including a session with Band of Horses), and this time he brought his own band to perform songs from his wonderfully organic album, For The Morning.

New Releases From Solo Careers

 
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via RICentral

Tyler Ramsey - For the Morning
Fantasy Records

On his latest solo release called For the Morning, former Band of Horses lead guitarist and songwriter Tyler Ramsey delivers a genre-blurring collection of expansive and dreamy roots pop. Ramsey cites the changes in his life – birth of his daughter, a retreat to the mountains outside of Asheville to lay stakes, and a general moving away from the touring grind of a musician – as providing newfound inspiration for this creative burst. Taking stock in his new surroundings plays into the overall feel of For the Morning. Like a hike in the woods, it is meditative in its many sounds, lush and languid but thankfully devoid of any overproduction to get to that place. Guitars, piano and pedal steel with Ramsey’s tenor voice gently sweep into a soundscape often as striking as his newfound views living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Standout tracks include the luxuriant “A Dream of Home” written on an off day during a Band of Horses tour, “Breaking of a Heart” and “Evening Country” each featuring harmony vocals by Thad Cockrell and Molly Parden, and the beautifully spare “Cheap Summer Dress” featuring spot-on harmony by Joan Shelley. For the Morning is Ramsey’s first solo album since 2011’s The Valley Wind. It finds him in a good place and in a groove all unto his own.

 
 

Sara's In Tune Pick of The Week

 
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via Maine Public - Week of 5.31.19

Tyler Ramsey — For the Morning

"I always feel a little guilty when I listen to a record over and over. I'm supposed to be checking out the piles of CDs that appear in the mail every week, not getting obsessed with one record. But it does happen and that's how I feel about Tyler Ramsey's new CD, For the Morning. I just want to put it on repeat in the house or sneak out for a long car ride so I can just listen. It makes me feel like it's 1974 and Neil Young and Paul McCartney just made a record together. Lovely, beautiful playing and great songwriting?that's all I'm ever asking for!" — Sara

Tyler Ramsey: In Studio Performance and Interview (WTMD)

 
 

Tyler Ramsey has a new record, For The Morning, out now on Fantasy Records. The former member of Band of Horses stopped by the WTMD studios and talks with Alex Cortright about his new album, his days in Band of Horses, and his upcoming First Thursday Festival performance. He also plays a couple of acoustic versions of his songs, and one surprising cover. Listen below and plan to see Tyler and his band on Thursday, June 6th in Canton Waterfront Park.

West Coast Duo Quest with Carl Broemel

 
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Very excited to share the news that Tyler will be heading back out on the road with Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) for the West Coast Duo Quest - a new leg of the collaborative shows the pair put together earlier this Spring! Tickets for the shows are on sale now, and be on the lookout for more dates to be added real soon.

Hope to see you out there!

July 7 @ Knuckleheads in Kansas City, MO | Tickets*
July 9 @ Larimer Lounge in Denver, CO | Tickets*
July 11 @ Live from the Divide in Bozeman, MT | SOLD OUT*
July 12 @ The Bartlett in Spokane, WA | Tickets*
July 13 @ Polaris Music Hall in Portland, OR | Tickets*
July 14 @ Columbia City Theatre in Seattle, WA | Tickets*
July 16 @ UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley, CA | Tickets*
July 18 @ Highland Park Ebell Club in Los Angeles, CA | Tickets*

For The Morning Relix Review

 
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via Relix

“There’s a dream of home for those that work out on the road/ And there’s a vision of the road for all the others,” Tyler Ramsey sings on his fourth solo LP, his voice blanketed by swooning slide guitar and a delicate acoustic strum. “I can tell you what I’ve seen because I’ve been at both extremes/ There’ll be a time you will wish you could trade your life for another.” It’s a sentiment as old as pop music itself: a musician worn down by traveling and missing his family, and the sobering realization that the touring lifestyle isn’t the fantasy one may think. It’s the central theme from For the Morning , his first album since 2011’s The Valley Wind and a reemergence into the solo realm since leaving Band of Horses in 2017. Ramsey crafted the record partly on tour, cramming in writing sessions in hotel rooms and on airplanes, and partly at his idyllic home near the woods outside Asheville, N.C. Both of those realities, the longing and the contentment, flow through the music. “Who will bring in the firewood? And who’s gonna keep up the fire?” he sings on the haunting folk reverie “Firewood.” Is he referencing an actual pile of kindling or the foundation of a marriage? With its weepy steel guitars and acoustic-heavy arrangements, many of the highlights here—like the gospel-tinged “Your Whole Life” and fingerpicked “White Coat” — suitably feel like they were written in middle of a forest, with a hunting dog nearby and a smartphone nowhere in sight. It’s Ramsey’s dream of home, solidified in sound.

Tyler Ramsey plays a hometown album release show at the Masonic Temple

 
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via Mountain Xpress

Before he was a husband and father, Tyler Ramsey used to do a lot of his songwriting at night. While living in downtown Asheville, he’d go to his little basement studio and work through melodies and lyrics as he found his musical voice.

Though he’s still up fairly late while out on tour, Ramsey enjoys being able to return to his current home life, including early wake-up calls courtesy of his young daughter. The shift in schedule has become so thorough that it’s made its way into the title of his new solo album, For the Morning.

“Part of what inspired that song ‘For the Morning’ was the desperate feeling … of change and kind of going with it,” Ramsey says. “When you become a parent, you kind of lose yourself, so that had a lot to do with it. Not really the sleep schedule part as much, but it’s part of it.”

 
 

Now based in Candler, the longtime local resident plays what he calls “a proper local hometown album release show” on Saturday, May 11, at the Asheville Masonic Temple, sharing a dreamy, sonically rich set of songs that he’s elated to give the attention it deserves. That journey began in 2004 with his self-released, self-titled album, which he followed with 2010’s A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea, his first collection to come out on a label. He feels that his sophomore record’s release got off to a strong start with “an energy around it” and reviews and articles in national and international publications. Immediately afterward, however, he joined Band of Horses.

“My touring ability fell off, and my focus shifted a little bit. And then I was fully in the band, and we were writing and getting ready to do Infinite Arms,” Ramsey says. “That was a great phase and a creative time for me. I think that was kind of a shift for that band, too, because it was me and Bill Reynolds contributing a lot of ideas and a lot of energy to that record.”

When he put out his next album, The Valley Wind in 2011, he didn’t have any time to tour it because he was immediately back on the road with Band of Horses. Released on Fat Possum Records, the album received decent attention, but with Ramsey unable to play solo shows or radio stations, the album all but evaporated from the cultural consciousness.

“I’m still kind of disappointed that I allowed that to happen,” he says. “At the time, I kept with the band, and it was starting to taper off as a creative outlet. And by the time I had [For the Morning] starting and I started to feel like I had the energy to create a new record, I realized if I do that again, it’s a waste of my time to put a record out at all, as well as a waste of other people’s time.”

He continues, “If some label or a booking agent is waiting on me to do something and they’re excited about it and I’m unable to give it the time — I didn’t want to do that again. I didn’t want to have this record disappear again. All of it felt like a massive shift in what I wanted to do with my time and who I wanted to spend my time with. It was a big change, but it was time to make it.”

Ramsey’s For the Morning demos were fairly fleshed-out. He also did some planning with Black Mountain-based musician Seth Kauffman (Floating Action), who rode up with him to La La Land studios in Louisville, Ky., in Ramsey’s gear-filled van. But mostly, Ramsey let the duo’s sessions with engineer Kevin Ratterman take a more natural course.

“I always feel like it’s better to kind of spring things on people,” Ramsey says. “I like the energy of someone hearing something and working it out a little bit more closer to the moment. [Seth] did have a couple things that he’d loosely charted out, like bass lines for songs. But I think everything kind of came together when we were actually in the room working on the record.”

While on tour playing these songs, Ramsey has built in various visual cues to strengthen his bond to the material. For example, the “White Coats” line, “You went out across the river to lay down in the sunlight where it filters through the pines,” is a visual image from Ramsey exploring his Candler property.

“It’s a way for me to connect with the song again if I’m performing it. I really, really feel strongly that if you’re performing in front of people, you need to do whatever you can to make yourself feel that the meaning of the song that you’re singing or put yourself back in that moment of why that song was written,” Ramsey says.

“Because that’s performance. That’s what you’re doing in front of an audience. If you’re just up there singing words and playing chords, that’s probably fine with some people, but I really do feel that for the songs that I’m singing, I like to be in the moment of the song so I can create a really cool atmosphere in a live setting and draw people into the song.”

WHO: Tyler Ramsey

WHERE: Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway, tickets at thegreyeagle.com

WHEN: Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m. $20 advance/$25 day of show

Tyler Ramsey Gives Folk For The Gentle Soul

 
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via Diandra Reviews It All

As Tyler Ramsey played his Mercury Lounge set, I kept on thinking of the meek; playing tunes that felt like mild-mannered folk songs. Yet, as I write this, I know someone out there will think I am insulting him. On the contrary, I love and respect a gentle soul, and often wonder when being kind became associated with either weakness or numbness. For Ramsey, a good man does not deny all that is wrong; he just can’t let it stop him to what is right.

Despite being a tall guy with burly beard, Ramsey emanates the tender-hearted. He loves his band, his crowd, and bridging the two through a warm, easy-going ambiance. He will make his quick quips between songs, but the truth is his music is a mental takeover. Playing a few new songs from his newest record, For The Morning, his music played like the scenes from a black and white film on the man of 2019. For Ramsey, people are not only struggling according to love, though most music follows such a notion, they feel unfulfilled in every element in their life: financial, career, self-image, familial, etc.

When you are a kid, your goal is to make dreams come true, when you are wise, your goal is to redefine dreaming. Ramsey’s music feels like maturity because he sings to the many times, as adults, we try to do right by ourselves and the ones we love after another dream does not come true or a plan fails to fruit. Thus, the winding chords of his melodies and his beautifully tragic suites make you happily somber. They make you rest into the fact that feeling calm through life’s instability might be the very definition of inner peace.

Vocally, Ramsey feels like Twain and Willie Nelson turned their voices into soil and, from it, his was grown. He sprouts his notes as if they have been sullied by the dirt and rocks of a life that has been crushed and arisen again like, chunks of ice floating up in a cup of whiskey. Such imagery invokes the emotions and quiet loveliness of Ramsey’s voice, and his ability to show good people suffer like bad people; the difference is that they try to do better.

CHICD: Tyler Ramsey and Matthew Fowler at Schubas – 4/22

 
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via Mid West Action

Tyler Ramsey and the audience at his show were all about the music. He talked and held their attention with ease as he started to play the first song solo. For the next song, Brian Landrum joined him, bringing some pedal steel for “Cheap Summer Dress.” Simple and moving, Ramsey sang so softly his mouth barely moved. This song is a great example of one of the things I love about this album: Ramsey’s masterful use of a quick minor interval to convey unease and evoke a haunting quality to his songs. The performance left me with a light floating, melancholy feeling.

The full band joined him for the next song, jumping in at full force on “The Valley Wind,” a reworked version that was a little faster and had real punch to it–especially with drummer, Kevin Rumley. He did a lovely gentle shuffle when called for, but he rocked out when given the opportunity. Watching him wail and sing along was really a joy. The harmonies brought by Landrum and bass player, David Macinnes, left me with chills, especially at the end of “Your Whole Life.” But, it was an echo from the album, the seamless transition between the instrumental “Darkest Clouds” and “Firewood,” that really made me weak. They followed it with a delicious psych-tinted jam session in the middle of “Worried.”

Ramsey brought different flavors to his music. It made the live performance interesting while staying true to the song, almost like a perfect cover of his own work.

See the Gallery at MidWestAxn.com

5 Questions With Tyler Ramsey

 
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via Do617

Sylvia sat down with Tyler Ramsey before his show tonight at Great Scott!

The songs on the new album For The Morning were written during a time in your life where there was much change. (near the end of lead guitarist/songwriter with Band of Horses, the birth of your daughter and a move to the country). How did this album (and its title) come about?

The song “for the morning “ was written on the piano with my infant daughter in her carrier on my chest. It somehow marked the beginning of the new group of songs that came for this album, and also for me it symbolized the massive shift that was happening in my life. To me, this album and the story around it began there at the piano so I decided to make that song title the title of the album as well.

What can fans expect on this tour? Will any of the songs you penned for BOH make the setlist?

I think fans can expect songs from all of my previous work, including the songs from those albums- the fun part has been reworking old material and reshaping into a live setting with the band I have been lucky enough to play with.

If we turned on your music player right now, what artists/songs would we see on your playlist?

I’ve been on tour a lot and listening to tons of different things- I will say the main things that have been on repeat lately are Strand of Oaks “eraserland”, Cass Mccombs “tip of the sphere”, Mountain Man “magic ship”, and the new Damien Jurado- those are just the new ish releases!

What is your favorite song to perform live?

That changes from day to day, but lately playing the instrumental “darkest clouds” into the song “firewood” from the new album has been great- it’s fun to see the audience react to that.

What else is coming up for you?

A lot of touring this year- my first solo Europe tour, some fun festival dates with my band, and hopefully more duo shows with Carl Broemel. I’ve also been recording some instrumental music at home- going to see what that can turn into when I have time to work on it some more.

Ex-Band of Horses' Tyler Ramsey plays 04.18 at The Basement

If you're a longtime Band of Horses fan, take note of this last minute notification that former lead guitarist and co-songwriter Tyler Ramsey will perform solo at The Basement on April 18th. Ramsey released his latest album For The Morning at the beginning of April; tracks like "Firewood" and "A Dream Of Home" have the same pensive folksiness that helped Band of Horses skyrocket to fame. In fact, "A Dream Of Home" took shape on a day off from a Horses tour, and "Evening Country" is a country version of the Horses' track "Evening Kitchen". But there's plenty of original Ramsey composition on this album: Guitars, piano, drums, and droning synths and strings create a lush soundscape that will draw you into his world. Take a listen to "Firewood" below, and check out Ramsey and his new tracks when he comes to The Basement on April 18th.

- Will Sisskind, The Deli

Tyler Ramsey Evokes Nick Drake on Sublime 'For The Morning'

 
 

via Glide Magazine

Tyler Ramsey literally had nothing to prove when he opted to put his solo career in second gear and join forces with Band of Horses for a tour in 2007. That stint with the group became a decade long association, one that found him splitting his time between his individual pursuits and writing and recording with the group as a whole. It didn’t deter him from pursuing his own muse at the same time — in fact, he was able to further spur his creativity by making prime contributions to the band’s repertoire as well — but by 2017 it became clear that the lanky singer and guitarist’s talents were best served by the forlorn ballads he continued to record on his own.

Now, four albums in, that premise is clearer than ever, courtesy of an album that’s so sensual and sublime, it’s easy to imagine folks touting him as an heir apparent to none other than Nick Drake. Not that the comparison hasn’t been tossed out before, but if anyone most deserve it, Ramsey’s clearly the one. The album title alone evokes a dewey-eyed perspective, a dreamlike state that finds the world reckoning with dreams that were sown in the immediate hours before. Certain songs — “Your Whole Life,” “Darkest Sounds,” “White Coat,” “Firewood,” and “Cheap Summer Dress” being the most apparent — convey a sense of hushed circumspect, a sound that’s low-key, lethargic, but enveloped by a breathless beauty too tangible to deny. It can seem contradictory at times — a song like “A Dream of Home” is both earnest and upbeat, while “Breaking a Heart” recalls Neil Young sounding resilient and yet resigned. Indeed, Ramsey has that ability to entice his listeners into sharing his solitude, and once lured inside those intimate environs, they’re engaged, ensconced and content to deliberate on any tender perspective.

Ultimately, For The Morning is an album of meditative moods, one that demands more than a momentary embrace. It speaks in soft tones, a perfect way to contemplate possibilities and whatever cerebral setting the day may hold in store.

 
 

Magnet Exclusive: Download Tyler Ramsey's 'Breaking A Heart'

 
 

via Magnet Magazine

Tyler Ramsey’s “Country Teen” was arguably the best thing about Band Of Horses’ Why Are You OK. So it makes some sense that he broke from the group a year after the album’s 2016 release to resume his solo career. “Ten years is a long time in any relationship, except for maybe a marriage,” says Ramsey. “Especially with a bunch of dudes who are basically living together and carrying all the stereotypical baggage of being in a rock band.”

With the new For The Morning (Fantasy), the versatile multi-instrumentalist has found common ground between the subdued acoustic nuance of his previous work and the lush Americana grandeur of Band Of Horses’ Grammy-nominated 2010 album, Infinite Arms. Nowhere is that reconciliation more evident than on “Your Whole Life,” “A Dream Of Home” and “Breaking A Heart” (the last track available here as a free download). With its pronounced Laurel Canyon vibe, “Breaking A Heart” sounds like some lost Desperado-era Eagles gem, though with a mist-shrouded Appalachian soul. “The chorus was looping around in my head for a while,” says Ramsey. “I had everything written for the song, but there were a few lines troubling me, so I called my dad and we came up with the last few lyrics 20 minutes before I tracked the vocals.”

Seasoned singer/songwriters Thad Cockrell and Molly Parden provide harmony vocals on the song, and the fluid pedal-steel accompaniment comes courtesy of Music City session ace Russ Pahl. “Russ did it in Nashville and sent the files over,” says Ramsey. “I was literally jumping up and down when I heard it.”

When he’s not on the road, Ramsey lives with his wife and daughter on an idyllic piece of rural real estate 14 miles from his hometown of Asheville, N.C. Much of For The Morning took shape during Ramsey’s regular writing excursions into the woods on his property. He took the demos he made at home to La La Land studios in Louisville, Ky., where he worked with engineer Kevin Ratterman and longtime friend Seth Kauffman (Jim James, Lana Del Rey). Finishing touches came at Fleetwood Shack, the Nashville studio of former Band Of Horses bassist Bill Reynolds, who departed the group the same year as Ramsey.

Not that Ramsey is opposed to looking back. For The Morning includes “Evening Country,” a full-band variation on “Evening Kitchen,” from Infinite Arms. “It was the only thing on Infinite Arms that was super bare bones,” he says. “That was the dimension I was really pushing in that band, trying to give fans something that’s more intimate. It was fun to have that influence.”

Download “Breaking A Heart” at MagnetMagazine.com