After steadily writing while both on and off the road over the course of last year, Tyler Ramsey headed to Nashville, TN, to record his third album The Valley Wind at Alex The Great studio in early January. Friend and bandmate Bill Reynolds (who’s worked with The Avett Brothers and Lissie) produced and aided on bass, while friend Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) sat in on drums and guitar, also singing background vocals. Over a rare snowy set of six days in the southern city, Ramsey crafted nine, finely spun songs, keeping the focus on performance as they were played, and letting fresh ideas reveal themselves as they would. The sessions were intense; the three musicians separated and insulated from most normal daily goings-on during the recording period. The result: a crystalline yet warm album, filled with Ramsey’s rich, plaintive vocals and expressive, intricate guitar playing.
Ramsey is perhaps most immediately recognizable as the tall, lean guitarist in Band Of Horses, having played with them since 2007, starting before the release of their breakthrough album, Cease To Begin. A well-established and praised guitar player and singer in the burgeoning music scene of Asheville, NC where he calls home, he first learned to play music on piano before moving to the guitar. Ramsey grew up listening to and studying country-blues guitar players like Mance Lipscomb and Mississippi John Hurt, and American finger pickers like John Fahey and Leo Kottke, absorbing their sound and making it all his own.
Ramsey released his self-titled debut in 2004 and followed it in 2008 with A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea (Echo Mountain Records), which was praised by NPR (World Café – “Heartwarming, delicate, and comforting”), Stereogum (‘Artist To Watch’), WNYC’s Soundcheck, and Popmatters, among others. That album – a collection of haunting and atmospheric songs that exude a markedly fluid, easy grace – was re-released by Brown Records/Fat Possum in January 2011.