Man At Work: Band of Horses’ Tyler Ramsey
Photo by Chris Wilson
Band of Horses multi-instrumentalist Tyler Ramsey sounds like After the Gold Rush -era Neil Young—that is, when he’s not conjuring the ambiguous sadness of early Ryan Adams. He looks like a supersized version of actor Christian Bale and he writes songs like a transcendental poet.
Ramsey joined BOH after the group’s bassist—and his longtime friend—Bill Reynolds asked him for a ride to his Nashville, Tenn. studio where the group was rehearsing. “I canceled a gig so I could drive him,” Ramsey recalls. “Once we got there, I ended up hanging with everyone. That night, [band leader] Ben [Bridwell] asked me if I wanted to be in that band—right after he asked me if I wanted to open for the band.”
This was just about the same time that the Cincinnati-born Ramsey was readying his second solo album, Long Dream about Swimming across the Sea, for release. In one of those classic, having-your-cake and-eating-it-too moments, the musician was able to integrate both sides of himself—and for most of his early tenure with BOH, Ramsey opened for the band as well as played in it.
When they were off the road, Ramsey rented a small cabin outside of Nashville, holed up for four days and wrote the majority of what would become Valley Wind, his third album. The organizing property—or perhaps the creative catalyst for the record—was a flock of black-colored birds that had taken up residence in Ramsey’s garden.
“I’m not the most skilled [visual] artist in the world and I could never quite capture what was in my head, but I knew I needed to capture them somehow,” Ramsey explains of the birds’ presence. “I definitely felt like it was some kind of weird message to me.”
The song “The Nightbird” transpired and started his songwriting process. It was quickly followed by a haunting instrumental called “Raven Shadow,” and then “1000 Blackbirds”—completing an avian sound cycle that had its roots in “Bird Wings” from Long Dream about Swimming across the Sea.
As if to reinforce the album’s creative foundation, Ramsey had a rather surreal experience not long ago while hiking in the Grand Canyon. “I was walking along the edge of the canyon, off-trail, going as far as I could go before I ran out of water and these ravens were everywhere, going crazy.” It had an effect on me. Sometimes you feel like you’re being led, so all you can do is relax and enjoy the scenery.”
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Free Download "Dear Lord (Give Me The Strength)"
- God Street Wine with Warren Haynes "Sweet Little Angel" (Live 1996)
- The Howlin’ Brothers "Big Time"
- Primus in Toronto
- Twice "The Joker" on Saturday at Bonnaroo (Gov’t Mule and Jack Johnson)
- The National’s Grateful Dead Tribute Album Dead Hot In Motion
- Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
- Visions of Bonnaroo Thursday (ALO, Jack Johnson, Polyphonic Spree, Allen Stone…)
- Interlocken Confirms Daily Lineups, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Punch Brothers, Keller & The Keels and More Added
- Mumford and Sons Cancel Bonnaroo Show, Summer Tour
- Ed Helms: Bonnaroo, Banjos and a Bit of Phish
- Robert Hunter Will Return to the Stage for Eight Shows
- Warren Haynes to Play Jerry Garcia’s Wolf on Symphony Tour
- Tedeschi Trucks Band Share New Song
- Jack Is Back: Jack Johnson Talks Bonnaroo, ALO and New Album
- Patty Griffin in Boston
- Doctor’s Orders: So what should we call the Super Ball IX Newspaper?
- John Kadlecik Posts Statement on Bob Weir’s Collapse
- "I Wanne Be In moe.": The Latest Volunteers
- Bob Weir Escorted Off Stage During Furthur Show
- Vote for Your Favorite "I Wanne Be In moe." Contestant
- Furthur Cancels BottleRock Show as Bob Weir Is Out Of Commision
- Doctor’s Orders: What’s Your Favorite Furthur Song? (Win Copy of Relix Signed by Phil and Bobby)
- On The Verge Poll