Guest Collector: Tyler Ramsey
Fri, 18 Jan 2008 16:43:29
You probably don't know it yet, but you already like Tyler Ramsey. The North Carolina born-and-bred singer and guitarist has been cutting his teeth in bands since he could hold a six-string, but more recently, he joined up as a member of the band for indie-breakouts Band of Horses. Tyler as been pulling double duty on their long-haul tour, as opening band and guitar-playing member of BoH.
It's a smart match as both sets of musicians are Southern boys who can craft a heartfelt, piercing tune seemingly in their sleep. It's not surprising, then, that Tyler's latest album is called A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea, full of watery, love-lorn tunes that will surely make you tap your feet and, in the next note, weep. To see what other kind of music he dreams about, we caught up with Tyler and asked him to be our guest critic, and let us know what albums we need to own—in case we ever want to start playing in our sleep.
Mississippi John Hurt - Avalon Blues
I instantly fell in love with Mississippi John Hurt's simplicity: vocals and guitar so perfectly interwoven—and with such ease. You can tell that he, along with a lot of the old country blues players, played music with no other motive but to pass the time and get a little peace of mind.
Bob Dylan - Bootleg Series Vol. 3 - Disc 1
Beautiful early, unreleased Dylan; solo performances that are emotional and breathtaking. Bob Dylan is a legend for a reason. This is an important collection of his early work—made me want to drop out of school and jump trains.
Leo Kottke - 6 and 12 String Guitar My uncle introduced me to Leo Kottke's music when I was a freshman in high school. Staring out the classroom window and wishing I was playing guitar became a new way to pass the school day. Thanks, Uncle.
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
This is my favorite David Bowie record (although the Bowie at the Beeb versions of these songs are amazing, too). It goes really well with living at the beach with your best friend and drinking large quantities of red wine. The guitars are freaking amazing.
Innocence Mission - Befriended
This is such a beautiful record. I don't want Karen Peris to be sad all the time, but she does it so well. I don't know much about these folks, but they play so beautifully together and make such good records that it usually makes me want to weep.
Michael Hedges - Breakfast in the Field
Michael Hedges was one of the guitar players that made me really want to play all the time. His compositions are so moody and gorgeous. If you can find a record that sounds better on a grey and rainy late autumn day, please let me know.
Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life
I fell so far for this record that I had to force myself to stop listening to it for a while. I still get the same feeling from it. Beautiful, really.
John Fahey - The Great Santa Barbara Oil Slick
I get so inspired listening to John Fahey. This is a live concert that was only recently released. I love the patience in this music and the sense of being out on a limb at times. I listen to this record a lot when I am driving to play a show.
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
I have purchased this record probably more times than any other. I guess because it is a great summer driving CD, and it ends up in the car. And, CDs that end up in my car get mangled, and I have to buy non-scratched new ones. Electric guitars become little gods.
Neil Young - Neil Young
Sometimes this is my favorite Neil Young record. I love the production. The guitars sound amazing. The mood is brilliant. Was there something in the air back then? Neil young makes me want to live in Canada or on a ranch, or on a ranch in Canada.