|Theres a lot of hype around The Legendary Ian Tysons Cowboy album, 11 new originals backed by some elite Toronto Jazzmen. Produced by the legendary Danny Greenspoon, the album sounds hugely overproduced with acoustic and electric guitars often sharing the background with keyboards, pedal steel, and sometimes bluesy trumpet or sax. The songs are clichés crocheted together into a quilt of Big Alberta Sky, Land of Shining Mountains, and the land of the long roads. Tysons considerable guitar is not heard except on the two bonus tracks, and his vocal delivery features a talking style cum kinda scratchy singing that gives me a sad feeling.
The Tyson of old high quality performance peeks out on the traditional folksong One Morning in May where Don Reeds fiddle and Kevin Breits mandolin help strike just the right note. Cindy Churchs vocal helps a lot on the cowboy reggae Range Delivery, and everything works well on Road to Los Cruces.
The bonus tracks are cowboy country tunes sung with the accompaniment of Tysons road companions, Gord (Matthews and Maxwell) and they work, especially the simple sad song about a yellow dog thats gone into memory.
If youre a diehard Tyson fan, like the gang that packed Hughs Room the other night, go ahead and get this album. Me, Ill just sit here in my rocking chair playing Ian and Sylvias Greatest Hits.