Tyler Ramsey – The Valley Wind Tyler Ramsey – The Valley Wind

Champagne cheersing to yet another year passing leaves me reminiscing and contemplating everything that’s been and gone. Fittingly I fell upon Tyler Ramsey’s The Valley Wind from 2011, sending me back into the Oneonta hills staring out into the rickety houses and old winding streets I walked so many times before. The album is mesmerizing and full of a life which was lacking in his past albums A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea and Tyler Ramsey. After hearing his fingers rolling across the frets with ease in “Raven Shadow”, he has me hooked and ready for more. And so here I am cuddled up with a hot tea near my whistling, fugly slanted radiator staring at a gecko on the bright yellow billboard outside my window allowing Tyler Ramsey to drown out the train and send me daydreaming of cozy quiet hills and forests I used to roam.

With a strum and soft breathy voice, The Valley Wind sweeps over my ears and into my skin as Tyler Ramsey’s tone warms and takes hold of me with the question, “Am I gunna wait till it’s gone?” Although simply put, it resonates to the bone. The entire song hits me like a wind whipping around a corner staggering your step, slowing forward motion. I listened to it three times before moving on to “1000 Black Birds.” I was lost in memories of battered sidewalks and steep cow paths climbing me up through the trees and onto campus. Like “Raven Shadow,” “1000 Black Birds” is full of intricate finger picking that calms and quiets the mind with layers of Tyler Ramsey’s voice complemented by Seth Kauffman’s harmonies. As the album continues, “The Nightbird” and “Time is a Changing Line” resonate Rufus Wainwright. Tyler and Rufus could be long lost brothers for all we know and I wouldn’t be surprised after listening on. The songs make me want to grab “Cigarettes and Chocolate” and sing “Hallelujah”. Nevertheless, “The Nightbird” is beautifully written as is “Time Is a Changing Line”. Tyler can’t help that his timbre and vibrato are right there next to Rufus, but he has his own unique characteristics which produce a devouringly fixating sound.

“When It’s Done” and “All Night” close the record rather blandly. Like Tofu in a salad, I don’t really taste them but they are there. Maybe after a few more listens, I’ll find they’ve grown on me. But for now I can safely say that three-fourths of the album is worthy of being transferred onto my iPhone for my cozy pleasure. Whenever I want to fall back into the hills, Tyler Ramsey’s The Valley Wind will be there to take me far away from taxi horns and rowdy trains back to place where glowing fires dance and Cinderellas sweep up the remains.

Track List:

1. Raven Shadow
2. The Valley Wind
3. 1000 Black Birds
4. The Nightbird
5. Stay Gone
6. Time is a Changing Line
7. Angel Band
8. When It’s Done
9. All Night

Tyler Ramsey - The Valley Wind, reviewed by Alana Paige on 2012-01-10T06:27:28-08:00 rating 3.3 out of 5

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