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Southern Songs and Stories: Getting Back to the Basics of a Great Song with Tyler Ramsey

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There is a complexity to Tyler Ramsey’s music, and a corresponding simplicity. It makes for an intriguing yin and yang, with an abundance of lyrical and instrumental components matched with his lucid fingerpicking style guitar playing. These stylistic poles are not opposites in Tyler’s musical world, rather they become complimentary, and over his career he has managed to use both to his advantage. From his early solo work to his decade in the group Band Of Horses and back to being solo, he has navigated a path that shows how such seemingly diametrically opposed modes can be harnessed and used to create something unique. Currently we find Tyler Ramsey leaning more in the direction of simplicity, with his stripped-down covers EP Found A Picture Of You. Or is it really all that straightforward? Even with this streamlined approach to songs by artists like Pretenders and The Innocence Mission, the layers are still there and the intricacy remains.

In this episode, Tyler tells us about the virtues of simplicity in life and in songwriting, about being an unlikely rock and roll hero, how country blues is foundational to his approach, and he plays us some of his latest music, including an as yet untitled new song from a live session on WNCW late last November.

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Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods at in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.