Traditional singer-songwriter approach rooted in the Ignacio region
Country music people The magazine highlighted La Plata County’s Tyller Gummersall in its February issue with a full article covering his decade of independently creating country music.
The feature film, by Duncan Warwick, followed Gummersall’s career, his childhood in the ranching community near Allison, his first forays into the Nashville music scene and his decision to “shoot a Willie (Nelson)” and to get to Texas.
This is not the first time he has appeared in the award-winning international magazine. The first review in 2020 went organically – it was a fun surprise, he said.
“Honestly, I don’t know exactly how they found out about my music,” Gummersall said. “It was a great reward for focusing on music.”
The magazine’s January issue praised him for a song called “Heartbreak College”, saying Gummersall “continues to prove himself as one of the brightest new traditional names.”
Gummersall is known for his traditional country style, which he describes as neo-traditional or American rooted in writing songs with acoustic instrumentation. He said he takes inspiration from the writing and instrumentation of Hank Williams Sr., Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Guy Clark and Robert Earl Keen.
“When you talk about country music, people often think of what’s on popular radio, which isn’t necessarily what I do,” Gummersall said.
He recorded “Beer and Rose” in 2011 with his “Nashville Dream Band”, which consisted of band members Ryan Adams and John Prine. Her third studio album, “Long Ride Home”, was produced by Grammy Award-winning Lloyd Maines.
His sound was influenced by the Ignacio region, where he grew up in a herding community and was exposed to a unique western and bluegrass sound.
“This is what I know, so this is what I write. I’m lucky enough to love country music too, ”he said.
He made his debut at the age of 8, with bands at Spring Creek Hall, east of Ignacio. There would be a family dance in the winter where everyone would get together, dance and go out, he said.
Gary Cook, two-time national champion flatpicking guitarist for the Bar D Wranglers, was his guitar teacher. Cook said he saw Gummersall grow up, quickly learn the guitar, compete in talent contests and take on the music industry.
“From a young man it was obvious to me that he had a great talent and a passion for music,” Cook said. “It was just a fun trip for him, I’m sure. … Working with him in the studio, then seeing him go to Nashville and Texas, his talent continues to grow. His writing lives up to what we hear on the radio.
He also collaborated with Chris Bettin, musician and member of the Durango City Council. Bettin and Gummersall have met weekly for two years to work on their collaboration, The Wrecking Balls. They continued to collaborate even as Gummersall’s career progressed, Bettin said.
“He doesn’t have to do all of that, but he cares about the music and the people who make it,” Bettin said. “He has all the talents in the world – he can do anything – he chose the art form he chose because it reflects his lifestyle. He doesn’t just dress the party, he is the party. It’s really refreshing.
Pandemic and next steps
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gummersall lived in an RV in Texas, with his girlfriend and their two dogs, and performed four to five shows a week. When the tour was gone, many of his earning opportunities were gone as well, Gummersall said.
“There are a lot of negatives throughout all of this. Artists have been hit very hard, ”said Gummersall. “The silver lining was definitely what forced me to be more creative and find creative ways to keep making music.”
He started releasing one song per month in July. He needed a way to keep his creativity going and “let people know I’m still alive.” In addition, the new releases have helped to increase its streaming audience by 300%, according to the Country music people characteristic.
He also continued to do collaborations with musicians in Texas and Nashville – remotely due to the pandemic. He has a new duet with Kinsey Rose, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, which will be released soon.
“It’s good for you to take a second to think and think about what you want to leave here with the world in terms of the recordings, and also how you want to get back to work when it comes to playing, playing. live, ”he said. noted.
This weekend, Gummersall is playing their first gig since last summer at the SOCO Motel in Pagosa Springs.
While his job can get him out of the mountains of La Plata, Gummersall said the mountains never really leave him.
“I get weird when I’m in flat places for too long. … There is a familiarity with this area which is super strong, which I love, ”he said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to know these roads. … Living here is special, and when you travel you certainly don’t take it so much for granted.