Ty Fortier - Waking Again

from by Eugene Daily News

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Tyler Fortier is a hard-working man who has put it all on the line for his passion, packing all of his belongings into a 10 x 10 storage unit and guerrilla-touring to play solo gigs up and down the West Coast. He has taken the plunge into full-time musicianship, and it’s starting to pay off in a big way. For Fortier (pronounced for-teer), it seems no other way will do.
“If I wasn’t doing this, I’d still be doing this,” he says of his decision to chase after professional musicianship.
After graduating from UO in 2010, surviving his post-collegiate quarter-life crisis, then deciding to commit to music full-force, Fortier has been producing and playing at a grueling pace.
In his studio space, you can feel the presence of his travels. Dusty cowboy boots, an old typewriter, well-worn pianos, much-loved tambourines — there is a copy of the obscure and wonderful John Fowles novel, The Magus, sitting in his bookcase next to an antique sconce, beckoning one to ask the obvious: “Where the hell did you find this stuff?”
Fortier appreciates rare and unique things, and he gives off a vintage flavor, although he is far too young to be of vintage status. True to form, his album And They Rode Like Wildfire Snaking Through the Hill ‘Neath the Scarlet Sun was a concept album made to sound as if it came straight out of the Wild West. He pulls it off.
Take Brett Dennen, mix it with just a touch of Ryan Adams, and push the whole thing into a jug-band aesthetic, but with more classically trained musicianship — that’s Fortier. He has a hangdog face, big eyes, a firm handshake, a voice like a blanket, and his guitar-playing sounds like it could be twanging and strumming to the scenes of a period piece directed by David Lynch.
Though Fortier’s honed talent is overwhelmingly apparent, he humbly attributes his success to this work ethic, which is precisely why he has what it takes to make it even further in the music industry. “There are probably a whole lot more talented people out there, but it’s about persistence and doing the work,” he says.
Fortier does his own booking, his own promotion, his own lyrics and his own music. He is at the bottleneck of his career, about to push on through to the goodness — if he catches the right breaks. This is what’s so exciting about following Fortier and his music; you can tell he is onto something big that could explode into something even bigger.
As gas prices rise, making long-distance touring less and less of an option for journeyman troubadours like Fortier, it will be the squeaky wheel that gets its way. Fortier is doing everything he needs to be doing. “It’s baby steps, and sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back,” Fortier says. His awareness of the modern musician’s plights is precisely why his trajectory continues to rise. And though he claims to be making baby steps, it’s more like he’s on the verge of a quantum leap.


You say, “I’d break your heart”
And that’s fine
I knew it from the start
There was nothing left to say

You were always good that way
Saying what you mean
Keeping me away
Away from your heart

Away from your fists at night
Clenching and grabbing tight
all of those dreams
Kicking up the sheets

Stealing all the heat
Leaving it up to me
up to my head
and down to my feet

There’s a feeling I just can’t explain
When the morning time comes rolling in again
There’s a light on your cheek where the night slept so deep
And now we’re waking, we’re waking again

You say, “goodnight my love”
And it’s me
Barely awake
and miles away

And it’s me who you’re thinking of
While I’m on the borderline
Of something fine
Something fine with you

There’s a feeling I just can’t explain
When the morning time comes rolling in again
There’s a light on your cheek where the night slept so deep
And now we’re waking, we’re waking again

But I’m so far away
And I keep leaving like a sun soaked sky
At the end of the day

But you were always good that way
Finding where I’d gone
Bringing me back, right back home
Back where I belong


from The Color Of Music, released June 5, 2012



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Eugene Daily News is Lane County's online news source. We're based in Eugene, Oregon.

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