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Ian Tyson

Live at Longview – 2002 (Vanguard)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson's latest release, recorded live at the Longview Community Hall in Alberta, shows the 68 year old Canadian country legend still at the top of his game.

Tyson mixes new and old tunes comfortably in this 17-song set. He kicks it off with a rousing rendition of "Navajo Rug," and he revisits such recent songs as "Old Corrals and Sagebrush" and "I Outgrew the Wagon."

The most interesting choice is that of "Someday Soon," the tune made popular by Judy Collins and Suzy Boggus sung from a female perspective.

Of the new songs most notable are "Desert Motel," a sad country song of a woman whose lover fails to appear, and "Sorta Together," a tale of lost love co-written with Tom Russell. Though for the most part Tyson sticks with his familiar country-folk stylings he does branch out with a jazzy cover of Rogers and Hart's "Blue Moon" and the reggae flavored "Magpie."

Instrumentally Tyson (rhythm guitar)is backed primarily by Gord Mathews (lead guitar) and Gord Maxwell (bass), and the trio is joined on some cuts by Myran Szott (fiddle), Thom Moon (drums) and Al Muirhead (trumpet). The only disappointing aspect of this set is that the Tyson signature tune "Four Strong Winds" is not included. Otherwise this is an excellent collection that will leave fans of Tyson hoping for further live recordings.