There are singers, songwriters, and guitarists, and some do it all, but few as convincingly or with the proficiency of Ty Curtis, whose record of accomplishments stands with and, arguably, exceeds those of artists twice his age. Now, with his eighth album, “Ascendant Blues”, Ty pushes boundaries, framed in the context of a seminal, but evolving art form, and looking to its future. Another album, from the same star-studded session, is in reserve, soon to be issued as a follow-up. These recordings were done in a manner that comes as close to live performances as possible, intended to bring that level of excitement to the listening audience.
The strength of these live performances, with Ty leading the charge, is supported by a group of seasoned musicians – Steve Kerin (keys), David Kahl (bass), and Richard Lawrence (drums) – each of them respected artists, with drawing power, in their own rights, in the Portland-based community. There’s something special in the interplay between them, an energy and flow in their music, with each of them prepared to guide the others through a sonic adventure. Of course, this comes from lots of playing together but here it is strengthened and tempered by their intimate involvement in developing the songs, featured on the new recordings. Responses, during and after, from musicians and nonmusicians, alike, have been consistently positive, whether as a solo artist, acoustic or electric, from solo performer, through various configurations and even into collaborative efforts.
If you’ve seen Ty Curtis before, then be prepared for what others have said; that, as good as he is, there is now an elevated quality about seeing him performing, especially with this band. If you’ve never had the pleasure, prepare yourselves; you’re about to embark on a memorable journey.