Tyler Ramsey is as surprised as anyone that it’s been almost eight years since his last solo album. But there are some pretty good reasons for that gap, most notably that for six of those years, Ramsey served as lead guitarist for the folk-rock sensation Band of Horses.
“I was fully absorbed in touring and doing a couple of records with the band, and time flew by as it does when you’re wrapped up in a project,” Ramsey says. “I didn’t feel like it had been that long; when I hear now the amount of time that’s passed, it’s surprising to me because I’ve been able to be creative. Hopefully there won’t be a big gap of time again.”
Part of the reason that Ramsey can work a little faster on his own music now is that he left Band of Horses in 2017 after several intense cycles of touring and recording.
There are moments in Ramsey’s songs that are reminiscent of Neil Young in his folk-music phase, and others that bring to mind the chiming country-rock guitars and rich vocal harmonies of bands like The Byrds or the Eagles, and he explores those sounds to the fullest on his just-out album “For the Morning.” The idyllic arrangements were inspired by the bucolic scenery around his home in the mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina, but the album itself has more restless origins.
“It’s a record that represents a lot of change,” Ramsey says. “It’s a big shift. I’d attribute that to constant having moved into being a dad, making decisions about moving forward in my career, that was all going on when I was writing the songs.”
In fact, some of the songs were written when Ramsey was still part of Band of Horses, most notably “A Dream of Home,” a harmony-drenched midtempo rocker about being on the road and thinking of home.
“That song reflects my life and being torn between the path I was on and a simpler, more grounded way,” Ramsey says. “That reflects that yearning for a different path.”
Even though Ramsey is happier as a solo artist on a smaller scale than Band of Horses, he still struggles with the conflict of pursuing his music and spending time with his wife and young daughter.
“When I walk out the door to go on tour, I know that I’m going to do what I’ve been preparing myself to do my whole life,” he says. “I’m torn; but the flip side is that when I come home, I’m 100 percent home. I can hang out with my daughter all the time. I get this solid block of time where it’s us hanging out and doing everything we want to do together.”
The “For the Morning” album is rich with intricate, layered, full-band arrangements, which will make things interesting when Ramsey plays the material solo in a show at Horizon Records on Saturday.
“My goal is to write songs that people can get engaged with, with just a guitar and a voice,” he says. “My hope is that I’m writing songs that are engaging enough and people won’t think there’s anything missing.”
The show is part of Horizon’s celebration of Record Store Day, a day that recognizes independent brick-and-mortar record stores around the country.
“It’s important to keep record stores going all over the place,” Ramsey says. “It was where I discovered all of my new music. But the main thing is that I’ve known Gene Berger [the owner of Horizon] forever. He’s always been such a huge supporter of local music and music in general. He’s helped me out so much over the years, so when I talked to him about the possibility of doing it, it was a no-brainer to get in there and play.”
What: Tyler Ramsey
When: Noon Saturday, April 13
Where: Horizon Records, 2-A W. Stone Ave., Greenville
Info: 864-235-7922, http://horizonrecords.net/