Friday, December 23, 2011

The One and Only - Both performances are SOLD-OUT!

Internationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter and multi award-winner, Ian Tyson, is celebrating five decades of performance in 2011 with a full schedule of concerts planned from coast to coast in both Canada and the United States. He comes to the intimate setting of Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove for two concerts on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14.

From the superstar status of folk-duo, Ian & Sylvia, in the 1960s to the legendary Tyson of today, Ian continues to keep his loyal fans in awe with songs that range from his classics – Four Strong Winds (named Canada’s top song of the 20th century), Someday Soon, and Navajo Rug, to his newest works, which he continues to write with inspired vigor. Now in his mid 70s, Tyson combines a busy touring performance schedule with work on his Alberta ranch, nestled in the foothills of the Rockies south of Calgary. It’s a workload that would exceed that of most people generations his junior.

At the age of 24, Tyson left behind the itinerant logging and rodeo life of British Columbia and hitchhiked to Toronto. Caught up in the folk-music revival, he formed, along with a very young Sylvia Fricker, the legendary duo of Ian and Sylvia. Ian married Sylvia in 1964, and together they recorded over a dozen timeless albums, including their best known and often-covered hits, among them Ian’s Four Strong Winds and Sylvia’s You Were On My Mind.

During the British Invasion, Ian and Sylvia evolved into pioneers of country-rock. Their band, Great Speckled Bird, rivaled the Byrds and other groups which helped create modern country, a decade before the Urban Cowboy phase of contemporary “new traditionalists”.

After hosting a national Canadian television music show from 1970 to 1975, Tyson realized his dream of returning to the Canadian West. The music and marriage of Ian and Sylvia had ended, and disillusioned with the Canadian country music scene, Tyson decided the time had come to return to his first love – training horses in the ranch country of southern Alberta.

After three idyllic years cowboying in the Rockies at Pincher Creek, Tyson recorded the album, Old Corrals & Sagebrush, consisting of cowboy songs, both traditional and new. “Kind of a musical Christmas card for my friends,” he recalls. “We weren’t looking for a hit radio play or anything like that”. Unbeknownst to Tyson and his friends, the cowboy renaissance was about to find expression at the inaugural Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1983. A small coterie of saddle makers, rawhide braiders, cowboy poets and pickers discovered one another in this small cow-town in Northern Nevada. Tyson was invited to perform his “new western music” and the overwhelming response at Stockman’s Casino brought Tyson the realization that he had found his true audience.

Tyson considers himself a very fortunate man. His music career takes him to concerts all over North America, where he is able to ride the deserts and sage hills with his friends from Alberta to Mexico. “I like to surround myself with the most talented musicians,” Tyson says, “so that people not directly from the ranch culture can enjoy an evening with us through the music alone. Everyone, it seems, can relate to a song like Someday Soon and that’s the kind of communication I strive for.”

The striving continues and the songs keep coming from this word painter of the west. His current album, Yellowhead to Yellowstone and other Love Stories, was recorded in 2008 and has been critically acclaimed in both Canada and the United States. This latest CD is the 13th release in Tyson’s steady stream of recordings since 1973. In December 2010, Ian’s memoir for Random House of Canada – “The Long Trail” – became an instant Best Seller.

Ian Tyson is the recipient of The Order of Canada and has been inducted into five industry Halls of Fame. He has garnered three Honorary Doctorates and received numerous citations and awards from every corner of the entertainment industry.

SOLD OUT - Ian Tyson plays at Horizon Stage, 1001 Calahoo Road in Spruce Grove at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14, 2012. Tickets are $35 for Adults, $30 for Students/Seniors and $5 eyeGo tickets for High School students. Tickets are available by phone at 780-962-8995, in person at the City Hall Ticket Centre, 315 Jespersen Avenue, Spruce Grove, or at

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