"The last time I witnessed someone with [his] kind of presence and voice, that leaped out beyond the speakers and pulled me in, was when I worked with Garth Brooks. [Tyler] has it man." Don Was to Tyler Stenson
Born in Lander, WY but raised in Oregon, Tyler Stenson is a bold, lyric-first singer/songwriter in Portland that draws profound influence from his roots in the humble West. Raised a vocalist by his musical mother and a perfectionist by his father the architect, Stenson's unique brand of "Elegant Folk" music is the fitting result of his upbringing -- wildly creative but ever wrangled by his meticulous attention to detail and the desire to design things differently.
"As long as there has been a song, I've felt it in my bones. It was a gift from my dear mother and her father who passed on -- yes, a long line of the Music Makers and of Soldiers for the Muse." Tyler Stenson -- Fight 'til Dying Day
As front man and songwriter for his former bands Lander and Rhetoric Tuesday, Stenson played the Northwest college circuit throughout the early 2000s with great success. However, often unfulfilled by the beer soaked bars and bent upon highlighting his poignant lyrics that were too often shadowed by nightlife noise, he soon put band-oriented rock-n-roll to rest and tackled the burgeoning Portland scene in 2007 as a solo artist -- it was the best decision he would ever make.
Now, having been twice named the "Songwriter of the Year" by the Portland Songwriters Association (2007 and 2008) and "Best Male Artist" at the 2011 Portland Music Awards, Stenson's authentic sound is claiming stake on the national stage. Already considered one of the premiere singer/songwriters in the Northwest, Stenson was recently named a Top 10 Finalist in Guitar Center's 'Search for the Next Great American Songwriter’ contest with Don Was (out of 10,000) and, out of nearly 4,000 bands, he was hand-selected by Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ryan Spaulding (RSLblog) to perform at The Outlaw Roadshow showcase at SxSW 2013 in Austin, TX.
"With the delivery of lyrics that leap from the page, Stenson's an artist who's instantly arresting. Everything I heard was worth repeat listening." Ryan Spaulding -- RSLBlog.com
With his national name growing, Stenson was named Reverb Nation’s Breaking Artist in 2013 and has been invited to open for LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak, John Popper, Matisyahu, Marc Cohn, Fuel, Guster (and many others). He has also landed original songs on two separate national Chevrolet commercials, as well as, a handful of others placed in Internationally televised shows.
While Portland has no doubt given Stenson his artistic edge, he spent nearly two years as a singer/songwriter in Nashville, learning from the best -- all the while touring and building his loyal following that he aptly dubs “The Elegant Folk.”
With a well of experience behind him, Stenson continues to press forward with a broadened sense of self and an unshakable belief in his own abilities to plot his own path. A fearless recording artist, he has self-released 11 albums, including his acclaimed release of Some Days I’m a Lion, in front of a sold-out crowd at the legendary Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR.
In an age where thoughtful lyric has taken a backseat to hyper production, Stenson has learned one thing through his decade of experiences and performances at notable venues such as the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles: Lyric is King -- Stenson's music is just that -- words paired with notes that sum up the human existence and endlessly inspire the train of followers that find a piece of themselves in the sincerity of his words.
"Don't whisper softly the things that you want loudly to be." Tyler Stenson -- Whistle Stop