Craig Chee’s new record, “Life in the Key of Chee” is out now! Go pick up a copy for yourself: http://www.craigchee.com/
When Craig came to me about producing his new record I was excited, but also a little hesitant because I didn’t have experience working with ukelele music. After working on the initial song, Lips, and talking more in depth with Craig, I knew this was going to be a positive relationship and successful project. Craig described his desire to migrate away from the sound of his previous record, which was a full band collaboration, and move towards something more intimate, and that better showcased his current live performances.
I approached these songs knowing that every decision made was meant to illustrate Craig’s ukelele talent and his songwriting capabilities. An important realization I had while working with Craig was to not treat these songs like “ukelele music,” despite the fact that they are ukelele driven. I used a lot of synths and keys to create ambient layers behind the songs, which I feel built textures to help drive the songs and enhance Craig’s writing. I chose the instrumentation like I would any other rock based genre but I knew it had to give the illusion of sparsity and remain open throughout. This lead to the creation of some unique sounds that I think put Craig’s music into a hybrid of genres spanning from island to pop to rock with even glimpses of Americana.
Craig had a lot of great guest performers on this record to contribute and showcase their talents as well, but the two crucial performers for me were, Milo Fultz on bass and Merlin Showalter on drums. They were integral in shaping these songs and helping us lay a solid foundation to build off of. Besides being fantastic players, Milo and Merlin have the capacity to understand the emotive elements within a song and translate that into their performance. To put it simply, they know when and when not to play and those are the best traits you can find in musicians, as far as I’m concerned.
Thank you to Craig and to all the performers who contributed their talent to make this record a meaningful experience for me and hopefully a successful, well-received, and worthwhile venture for Craig Chee.
Holy crap, I’m blogging. That must mean I have some downtime in Boise, ID today. Yes, that must be what it is. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee after a greatly needed slumber in the dark dungeon-esque guest room that is Mitchell Kochis’s downstairs lair that he has graciously named, “The Fortier Wing” of his condo (he has NOT really done this). It’s quite lovely. The only reason I call it a dungeon is because sunlight has trouble finding its way in, which can only mean one thing: EPIC SLEEPY TIME (caps lock for effect). And side bar: Kochis’s looks really weird to me and is even more unnerving to say. Would it be, Kocheese? Kochie? Something is not right with names that end in “s” and the way you have to say and spell them when plural-ness and ownership things pop up. What’s the rule here? Ten bucks says my Fiancee Knowles knows because she is smarter than you and everyone I know. Sorry. I just woke up you guys. Give me a break. I feel like an awful righter write now (get it)? That’s fun with butchering words, by Tyler Fortier….bitches.
It’s so rare that I blog, I think that I talk about how rare it is that I blog in each blog that I blog. Blog blog blog. I cannot fully bring you up to speed. It’s just not going to happen here. But I will recap my last few days and touch on some of the more important things that have happened to me over the last few months. I traveled, played shows, hung out with Mike Surber and Gregory Rawlins, came back home, left again for shows, then came back home again…. and then left again. The end. I bet you wish that were how short this blog is going to be. I don’t think so. I’ll be brief though, I promise.
-Mike Surber’s debut record, The Long Con is out and available for previewing and purchasing (www.mikesurbermusic.com). This is my debut as a Producer. A lot of hard work, long hours, and a lot of talented people made this record come to fruition and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. Matt Greco did an amazing job mixing it. Working with other songwriters as a producer is as gratifying, if not more gratifying than working on my own songs. FACT.
I am now hard at work producing and mixing the very talented, Scott Austin’s debut full-length record. This guy ooze’s soul. I love his sound and feel fortunate to be working with him. In addition to this, I’m producing and mixing demos for Zach White and when I get back to town I will be starting work with Craig Chee as his producer and mixer for his new project. The plate is full and getting fuller. Luckily in this crazy digital day and age I’ve been able to bring my work with me on the road and keep plugging away on things.
-On the road, you say? Oh yes, I’ve been on a little tiny tour since Wednesday July 25th. I’ve had shows in Salem, La Grande, Baker City, Walla Walla, and Stanley, ID. In fact we just got in to Boise from Stanley last night at around midnight. James Orr (www.jamesorrmusic.com), Mitch Kochis, and I went a day early and camped like real manly men would do. What a crazy trip that was. Stanley is gorgeous. Two days filled with campfires, whiskey drinking, sleeping on rough terrain, cooking over open flame, taking a paddleboat on the lake with the intent to commandeer a much larger, more real, and nicer boat. And the show last night was great. Great people make a great show (and being surrounded by mountains and trees and a lake didn’t hurt). And James’s (there’s that damn “s” again) muffler fell off on our way there. It was crazy. We pulled over and he fixed it with a zip tie. MacGyver much? Tonight James and I are performing @ The Reef in Boise and then we go our separate ways and I finish off this lil’ tour in Ontario, OR and Twin Falls, ID. I can’t wait to be home and be where I belong. I miss my family. I need them and even a day is too long to be away. I’m grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way, the cordial venues I’ve performed at, and the road for being as kind as a road can be. Until next time.
Post Script: if you want to see more pictures from the trip go snoop around on facebook like a creeper.
…And while you’re snooping, become a friend. Here.
It’s a beautiful day in Astoria, OR. I just got into town and now I’m killing time at Fort George brewery drinking an IPA called Bad Juju (more like Good Juju if you smell what I’m wafting your way…get it? Get it?). Anywho, I had a great show in Forest Grove last night at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge. Everyone was super nice and attentive and generous. As I sit here, I’m cycling through memories, baseball games, familiar smells, and tours of boats. The conclusion of this is: I don’t think I’ve ever been to Astoria. Maybe when I was five? Life was a blur when I was five. I don’t remember much of it. I must’ve been so drunk, you guys (awkward laughs). What have I been up to? Well, how polite of you. Thanks for asking.
Last we spoke, the single and video, “Dreams Are Like Fire,” was just released. Thank you to those of you who purchased the t-shirts and/or bought the song off of itunes or whatever else it was available on. The newest new single, “Keep Your Heart” is all done and set to go. I’ve just got to get a few things in place first. “Keep Your Heart” is a slight departure from the vein of Americana, for me. It’s definitely more of a modern rock feel. It’s not the direction I aim to go by any means, but it was fun and challenging writing and producing something a little more “pop.” Those of you who know me, know that I hate, hate, hate popular music today. Everything I hear on the radio and/or hear anyone under 20 talk about is just awful to my ears. So when I say “pop,” it’s not that kind of “pop.” I’m having fun with “quotations” right “now.”
Since late November, I have been producing and engineering Mike Surber’s debut album. It’s going to be a goodin’ folks. It’s set for a June release. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with a project and I can’t wait to share this record with you. New tour dates are up at: www.tylerfortier.com, a few of which are apart of the mini “Lone Rangers Tour” in mid-June with Mike Surber and Gregory Rawlins.
Here’s to fun times ahead… and here’s to swimming with bow legged women.
Hello my favorite friends, fans, and mailing list sign upee’s
2011 is almost gone, and with this mind blowing, unreal, and unheard of realization (that’s sarcasm), I must tell you: I am usually one to kick and grab and plead with the God’s of Time (or whomever) for just one more minute. I used to think to myself, “These fools; look at them counting down time, as if it’s a good thing. I want it back!” (Enter—a brief, but really melodramatic and self-involved existential crisis by yours truly and then WHAMMY! You’ve now all just spent a New Year’s Eve with me). Fun, right?
This year is different in my mind. Old(er) age, maybe? Or just being happy in life? I am not sure, but I am giddy (like a school girl, if you will). 2012 is not going to be anything crazy new and it’s definitely not a fresh start or anything cheesy like that. To me: It is more time to get closer to existing and new goals I have set for my career as a songwriter/performer. Even more so, it is a continuation of all the hard work I have put in since the beginning of 2010, when I first embarked on this career choice.
This life (no matter what you do) is a game of hard work and baby steps and I’m going to keep on keeping on with my dreams. I can’t wait to reach the new goals I have set for myself in 2012 and I wish you all the best in reaching your goals, as well.
Now down to the brass tax:
NEW YEARS EVE 2011 @ WOW Hall (Eugene, OR) w/Ty Curtis Band.
This show is going to be soooo epic. Please, please, please come! Saying it’s going to be fun is the biggest understatement EVER (though that statement may be an overstatement…. but I don’t want to get into it).
tickets can be found here: (GET EM’ NOW)!
Doors: open @ 8
Tyler Fortier & co: 9-10PM
Ty Curtis Band: 10:30-12:30
*On a very sad note for the band* Our bassist Joesph Intile, a huge and integral part of the group, is moving to LA the 1st week of January. This will be his last show with us :(. We wish him well, as he is on to bigger and better things!
More Upcoming Performances: (COME OUT AND SEE ME! Traveling is hard and you make it all worth it!)
Tell your friends. Share the love.
DEC 31st: WOW Hall. Eugene, OR
JAN 5th : The Granary. Eugene, OR
JAN 6th: The Nectar Lounge. Seattle, WA
JAN 7th: Balefire Bar. Everett, WA
JAN 8th: Vino Vixens. Portland, OR
JAN 12th: The Thirsty Lion Pub. Portland, OR
JAN 19th : Caldera Taphouse. Ashland, OR
JAN 20th : My Coffee & Wine Experience. Roseburg, OR
JAN 21st: Luckey’s. Eugene, OR
JAN 27th : Cebu Lounge. Hoold River, OR
FEB 3rd: Calapooia Brewing. Albany, OR
FEB 17th : Beaterville Bar. Portland, OR
FEB 23rd : Hotel Oregon. McMinnville, OR
*refer to website for show details*
A Reflection on 2011: (the big things)
-3 full length records released in 2011 (…and they rode like wildfire snaking through the hills ‘neath the scarlet sun, Fear of the Unknown, and Bang On Time)
-Co-winner of “The Next Big Thing in Eugene” competition
-Biggest tour to date (8 states w/performances at SxSW in Austin, Tx)
-Pursing 2 other passions: teaching and producing. I am now instructing private songwriting lessons, as well as, producing and engineering music for other local and non-local artists.
Feel free to write me back and tell me about your accomplishments or important events of 2011. Any goals for 2012?
I couldn’t be doing this without you!
Time The Conquer by Jackson Browne
Time on my side, a stowaway in the slipstream
A time I could glide the shifting currents of my dream
In my dream the sunlight was falling from one side
And every blade of grass was casting its own shadow
And every little bird was singing its own song
Time in my mind, the past of least resistance
The future almost blind, both in need of assistance
In my mind the question: Sunrise or sunset?
In my mind I’m certain: Nothing’s certain yet
With every grain of sand casting its own shadow
And every ray of the sun flashing on the sea
Time may heal all wounds
But time will steal you blind
Time the wheel, time the conqueror
Time to decide what kind of world I believe in
The world open wide,
Or the world about to stop breathing
In my world I’m standing just inside the door
In my world I’m speaking into the ocean’s roar
And every thought of you casts its own little shadow
And everything I wanted, subject to review
Time may heal all wounds
But time will steal you blindHe
Time the wheel, time the conqueror
Time will heal all wounds but time…
I’ve been off of the blogging bandwagon, but I’m trying to get back on. It moves fast and over arduous terrain, and though I fancy myself to have a strong and able body, it’s hard to propel myself in and on to this wagon. This bandwagon. Are you following?
I sit in Sapolil Cellars drinking a locally brewed IPA. I just finished setting up my equipment at Walla Faces, where I will be performing tonight. I have high hopes for the show tonight. The town is jumping right now. Something is happening. There must be some event. It’s going to be a rowdy Friday night, I can just tell (knocking on woodsicles).
I had a great show in La Grande last night at Ten Depot. Thank you to Mike Surber for being so gracious. He performed before me and let’s just say, I’m a fan. That is saying the very least. Please do yourself a favor and go check out his band, Sons of Guns and pray to the music fairies that he records a solo record soon. I’m trying to trick him into somehow involving me in his first ever solo record, whether it be as, producer, engineer, or finger snapper. YOU SHOULD KNOW: The velocity, tenacity, and passion that I put behind my finger snaps is a force to be reckoned with. I’m just saying. http://www.sonsofgunsmusic.com. I digress. Let me attempt to get back on track.
I ran into some car trouble. Expensive and stupid car trouble. Is there any other kind, Tyler? No, I suppose not. Uh-oh. When I reach extreme levels of loneliness, I start conversations with myself. I will try to keep this to a minimum. Thanks for understanding.
After being in Pendleton for a wonderful show at Great Pacific, I said goodbye to my car (no, not goodbye. See ya later). Alison Farnam, an amazingly selfless woman, let me take her much newer and nicer Subaru to La Grande. I then came back to Pendleton today to pick up my new and improved (yet, still old as balls and stubborn Subaru). And now here I am, safe and silent. I will move on to Kennewick, Spokane, and Moses Lake after tonight and then back to the homestead (with a short stop over in Hood River to watch my beautiful, talented, and charismatic fiancée perform with the band, Pigs on the Wing).
I’m not even sure where I last left you. I am certain there is much more to update you with, but I just so hate blogging lately. 2011 is wrapping up and I know it will be over in no time. My new record, Bang On Time, is set to release digitally on October 18th, 2011. Instead of CD’s, I will have download cards with a unique code to redeem online. These will be sold with 11 x 17 autographed posters. I’m trying something new. Some people hate CD’s, I suppose the very same way some people hate download cards and especially despise autographed posters. If I become rich over the next 6 months, my hopes are to print to vinyl. No breath holding allowed. Too dangerous.
Hello all my wonderful mailing list comrades,
According to my calculations (clearing my throat, adjusting my glasses, and squinting at an analytic page provided by www.reverbnation.com), on average out of the 150 + of you, only 30% of my emails over the past year and a ½ have been opened. Yes, opened. As in, clicked on. Maybe read, maybe not.
(Being the sleuth that I am) I am trying to get to the bottom of this predicament. Either all of my emails are going to your spam folder and you’re not receiving them or possibly you don’t want to be on my mailing list anymore (which is completely fine. Just send me an email back notifying me to take you off this list and I gladly will. Well, not gladly, but definitely no hard feelings).
So we are back to basics. Gone is the fancy layout. I’m going to lay it out for ya’ll, plain and simple. And if spam was the problem, hopefully this will fix it. Though now, I have no cool statistics to check to see if anyone is reading my emails, which leaves me, well….maybe even worse off than I was? But I must find a solution….I must.
My goal is to open up a dialogue with you all. I’m going to do my best to send out monthly newsletters (which I hope you start reading) and I hope you are able to find the time to write back to me as well. I would love to share with you my travels, keep you updated on my music, and most importantly, I long to see you back at my shows when I’m traveling through your city. It’s a lonely road out there and I need all the support I can get. By simply coming out to a show, well, you’ve just made my night (to say the least).
and now….(drum roll)….the monthly update you’ve all been waiting for…(drum still rolling)……..(and rolling)….K. I’m done
-I’m proud to announce that I have been dubbed, “The Next Big Thing(s) In Eugene” (along with a great band called, Betty and the Boy). I am the featured cover story in the September 15th, 2011 Eugene Weekly and also landed my mug on the cover (along w/Betty and the Boy). Check out my grill, here: www.tylerfortier.com. For those who don’t know, the Eugene Weekly is an alternative weekly newspaper published in Eugene, OR. The paper is published every Thursday and has a circulation of 39,850 (Wikipedia tells me this).
-My 3rd (and final) record of the year, Bang On Time, is now finished. It will be released digitally sometime in early-mid October. I’m very excited for you all to hear it and will let you know when it is available. A short promotional video for the new record, Bang On Time, will be released soon……very soon.
–Check out this great video by Woodke Productions, chronicling The Next Big Thing In Eugene competition: http://www.vimeo.com/29015529
(as always, go to www.tylerfortier.com for times, ticket prices, and more details)
BEND, OR — SEP 20th @ THE SOUND GARDEN (w/Fierce Bad Rabbit)
EUGENE, OR —SEP 24th @ 5TH STREET CORNUCOPIA
ROSEBURG, OR — SEP 30th @ MY COFFEE AND WINE EXPERIENCE
ASHLAND, OR — OCT 1st @ LIQUID ASSETS
PENDLETON, OR — OCT 5th @ GREAT PACIFIC
LA GRANDE, OR — OCT 6th @ 10 STREET DEPOT
WALLA WALLA, WA — OCT 7th @ WALLA FACES
SPOKANE, WA —-OCT 11th @ ZOLA
SPOKANE, WA —-OCT 13th @ ZOLA
MOSES LAKE, WA —-OCT 14th @ TYMMY O’SHEA’S
EUGENE, OR — OCT 23rd @ COZMIC (w/Joe Rathburn)
Hope to see you around.
“Americana in the Northwest”
read my rambles: The Official Tyler Fortier Blog
like me on facebook: The Official Tyler Fortier Facebook Page
for booking inquiries: email@example.com
I’m getting caffeinated so hard, you guys. Just two more cups though, I swear. That’s all I need and/or want. I sit here in the Pace living room in Pendleton, OR. They (Larry and Allison) are some of the countless folks along my travels who treat me like family: feed me, tuck me in at night, give me booze to drink, bathe me (whoa, whoa, whoa, that came out wrong. I bathe myself but they supply the facilities. Pervs). I had a great show in Pendleton last night @ a great place called, The Great Pacific. Great, great, great. Great, great, great, great.
“Hey, Tyler…write much? How about branching out on some vocab. Just a thought.”
My reply: “That sounds like a great idea.”
Anywho…I’m wrapping up tour things and it feels….ah…hmmm…what’s the word?….great. Don’t get me wrong, life on the road is exhilarating, in a sort of mundane, missing all sorts of stuff, and a biding time kind of a way, but I’ve got work to do, damnit! I have to get this 3rd record done (I’m almost positive I could sell at least 7 of this one). I just need to be in one place. It’s happening and it’s happening soon. I can tell you something with certainty though, and that’s that I truly am excited to head to Walla Walla today. Even though the sun is absent from my life and I can’t help but think about how much better the days would be if I just had a little bit of soft, sweet, warm vitamin D swirling through the pores of my skin, racing up to my eyelids, and massaging my brow, back, thigh, upper dorsimus, and neck bone(s). Oh well. A little rain never hurt no one (“except of course, in the Great flood of 19 ot’ 7,” an old lady with a shaky voice chimes in, waving her finger in the air, just killing the mood with her facts. Her stupid and incredulous facts about rain and the year 1907).
Oh God, what am I even writing about?
Enough about me. What about you? What’s new with you? What have you been doing?
I think this particular blog has run its course.
3 months, 10 states, 2 records released, a few new fans along the way and I almost feel like I’ve achieved something. The feeling of almost feeling like you’ve accomplished something….well, it just doesn’t get much better than that.
With all my love,