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L.A. Beat

The Gift a wonderful tribute to Ian Tyson’s music

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There was a lot of fun stuff happening on Friday, Sept. 23, but I was glad I chose to stay for  “The Gift” at Southminster United Church. The Ian Tyson tribute, lead by keyboardist vocalist Stewart MacDougall and spearheaded by Peter North, featured several of Ian Tyson’s former band mates playing most of of Tyson’s most popular songs.


John Wort Hannam playing Ian Tyson as part of the Gift, Sept. 23 at Southminster United Church. Photo by RichardAmery

MacDougall told stories about  playing and writing with Ian Tyson, and a few stories of his history and sang lead vocals.


 Ian Tyson , of course, is a gifted songwriter who started playing as a folk musician in the ’60 with Sylvia, formed country rock band  Great Speckled Bird in the early ’70s with Sylvia and  got a second  “strong wind” in the ’80s as a purveyor of cowboy poetry, so there was a lot of ground to cover.


 He was an avid chronicler of cowboy life in Alberta so the show reflected all of those phases of his career.

“Alberta’s Child” resonated with the  the audience of approximately 260 people, mostly seniors.


MacDougall noted Tyson turned 89 this week, so the show was really a gift of his music to his long time fans.


Acoustic guitarist Ian Oscar was also a constant throughout the show. He sang a couple more waltz oriented numbers.


 MacDougall welcomed John Wort Hannam to the stage for “Cowboy Pride.“ which he prefaced with a story about opening for Ian Tyson in Saskatoon and getting caught without pants in Tyson’s dressing room, drinking one of his beer and eating his food as he was afraid he’s spill  on them.


 Amos Garrett, who was an original member of the Great Speckled Bird with Tyson, took a seat and picked up his red telecaster to give a masterclass in making people cry by playing a few tastefully placed notes.



 The first set ended with everybody singing  “Summer Wages.”

The Gift — Ian Tyson tribute was Sept. 23 at Southminster United Church. Photo by RichardAmery


 The second set started with a few more waltzs.

 “Elko Blues” was an immediate highlight.


 Tracy Millar returned for another huge highlight “ Navaho Rug.”

John Wort Hannam returned for “ Saddle Bronc Girl” with  a supper catchy riff echoing Tyson’s melody.


Amos Garrett returned to humble a few people with minimal, but perfect licks as MacDougall sang his co-write with Ian Tyson “ Yellowhead to Yellowstone.”


Garrett played “Lost Herd” and talked a little bit about Great Speckled Bird and playing Japan with Tyson.


 He traded leads with Gord Matthews.

 The show ended with everybody on stage singing “Four Strong Winds,” which each player singing a verse.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 December 2022 16:24 )  
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