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The Long Trail: My Life in the West [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Ian Tyson
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 19 2010
A Canadian icon on his longstanding love of the West and his life in "one of the last true cowboy countries on either side of the border."

"I live on a ranch about six miles east of the town of Longview and the old Cowboy Trail in the foothills of the Rockies. On a perfect day, like today, I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world. Of course, I'm not going to say there aren't those other days when you think, 'What am I doing here?' It's beautiful country and it can be brutally tough as well." —Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson's journey to the West began in the unlikely city of Victoria, BC, where he rode his dad's horses on the weekends and met cowboys in the pages of Will James's books, and eventually followed that cowboy dream to rodeo competition. Laid up after breaking a leg, he learned the guitar, and drifted east, becoming a key songwriter and performer in the folk revival movement. But the West always beckoned, and when his marriage to his partner and collaborator Sylvia broke up and the music scene threatened to grind him down, he retreated to a ranch and work with cutting horses. Soon, he'd bought a ranch in Alberta and found a new voice as the renowned Western Revival singer-songwriter and horseman he is today. This book is Ian's reflection on that journey...

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“Tyson has had a long, fulfilling and interesting life. . . . He has become a tireless advocate for the protection of the western environment.”
 — The Globe and Mail
“As Canadian living legends go, Ian Tyson rides tall in the saddle. [He] . . . spins an engaging tale.”
 — Winnipeg Free Press
“Written with the same plainspoken elegance as [Tyson’s] most famous records. . . . Cool is something that comes effortlessly to Tyson.”
 — National Post

About the Author

IAN TYSON has long been one of North America's most respected singer-songwriters. A pioneer who began his career in the folk boom of the '60s, he was one of the first Canadians to break into the American popular music market. In the years that followed, he hosted his own TV shows and recorded some of the best folk and western albums ever made. Tyson is a recipient of the Order of Canada, and has received multiple Juno and Canadian Country Music awards. He tours constantly across Canada and throughout the United States, and continues to live and work on his ranch in the foothills of Alberta's Rocky Mountains.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting to Know Ian Tyson Nov. 25 2010
The Long Trail: My Life In The West by Ian Tyson, above all else, is an sincere review of Tyson's life. As we have so often experienced through the years in his lyrics in song, we again have the artist telling his story in such a skillful manner. It matters little how long you have been familiar with Tyson's work, his remarkable ability to tell what's on his mind and in his heart is once again exhibited.

We are exposed to the inside of his feelings through his career in his later life but he also provides much detail on his early years too. The inward view Tyson has written into "The Long Trail" helps the reader understand what has motived this artist we have come to respect and admire through the years.

While time has changed his physical performance as a singer, it has done little to diminish the passion for the "west" that still burns in his soul. The reader cannot help but be inspired as they read the story of this western icon's successes and failures.

As we read, we may not hear that rich voice we have all come to love through the years but there will be no doubt, we will be drawn much closer to the man! No other person has done more to bring us the "cowboy spirit of Alberta" in words and song. Ian Tyson's rich contribution to our foothills cowboy culture will be highly valued for many years to come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Tyson Nov. 12 2011
Those of us who were teens and folkies in the 1970's will love this trip down memory lane with Mr. Tyson and his musical history. He pulls no punches and this is written in an easy style, blunt, colourful and terrific. A great read that both my husband and I enjoyed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Long Trail:My Life in the West March 15 2011
By Nora
Excellent. This was a very honest, enjoyable read, not at all the life I would have thought he had. I even learned things abour horses and Alberta that I did't know.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful March 5 2011
By Spike
I liked this book. Could have left out the parts about sexual discovery. That had no place in this otherwise enjoyable read. I thought the book was extremely well written and easy to read.

My wife and I both have read this book and we could not put it down until we finished it. We both have been fans of Mr Tyson for years and attended a concert of his last month. Amazing that this artist has such an ability to hold the attention of his audience. After reading this book we both have a better understanding and appreciation of the amazing talent of Ian Tyson.

Highly recommend this book
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