“"A brilliant troupe of musicians who get to the heart and soul of Ian's work"” - Producer Larry Werner
— Big Valley Jamboree
For the past 40 years Stewart MacDougall has been a major player in the Alberta roots music scene as a performer, songwriter, sideman and collaborator. There a few artists in our community who have had their songs recorded by artists of the stature k.d. lang, Ian Tyson, and Randy Travis for starters. He has performed onstage and written with Tyson and the late Billy Cowsill, released three solo albums, two as a member of the Great Western Orchestra (Wind In The Wire & Buffalo Ground), and contributed to the critically acclaimed recordings, Sorrow Bound: Hank Williams Re-examined and The Gift: A Tribute to Ian Tyson. Stewart, a founding member of k.d. lang’s reclines, also co-wrote the title track to Ian Tyson’s Yellowhead to Yellowstone album.
Another original member of k.d. lang’s reclines, Gord Matthews toured the world with lang and his superb guitar playing is heard on lang’s, A Truly Western Experience, Angel With A Lariat, Absolute Torch and Twang, and Reintarnation albums.
He subsequently spent a decade touring North America with Ian Tyson in his acoustic trio and can be heard on Ian’s Live at Longview and Yellowhead to Yellowstone albums. Gord has recorded one solo album, and he is also a member of Front Porch Roots Revue and an offshoot of that project dedicated to the music of The Band called Up On Cripple Creek.
Thom Moon is one of the most in demand musicians on the Alberta roots music scene. His resume includes stints on the road or in the studio with Amos Garrett, Tim Williams, Front Porch Roots Revue, Steve Pineo, Tim Hus, Tom Phillips and many other great artists. In the studio he is heard on a number of Ian Tyson’s recordings over the last 40 years including Old Corrals and Sagebrush, Cowboyography, And Stood There Amazed, Lost Herd, Live At Longview and Raven Singer and he spent considerable time touring with Tyson in the eighties and nineties.
Another excellent instrumentalist who spent much time coloring Ian Tyson songs in the studio and on the stage.
Myran’s fiddle can be heard on the Tyson albums Cowboyography, I Outgrew The Wagon, And Stood There Amazed and Live At Longview. Myran also played in the house band of the Sun Country television show that Ian Tyson hosted on CTV in the eighties. Other credits include a long run with Dick Damron, session work for the likes of Tim Hus and Brian Sklar, plus one solo album.
Julian has been on the southern Alberta scene for a long time, as a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass and keys), arranger, and session player. His recording success goes back to the days of Top 40 radio when he was a member of The Original Cast which scored massive hits with Mr. Monday and One Tin Soldier. Julian has backed touring artists like Bo Diddley and regional greats like the late Gaye Delorme, and Amos Garrett with whom he still records and performs. Julian’s recording credits include Ian Tyson’s One Jump Ahead of the Devil recording and he also played live dates with Tyson as a pianist.
It’s not opinion when we say John is one of the finest artists on the national folk-roots scene, as this southern Alberta artist recently took home two trophies at the 2023 Canadian Folk Music Awards. One award was for Solo Artist of the Year and the other was for Contemporary Album of the Year, while the album in question is The Long Haul. To quote the All Music website, “Long Haul is a career defining work by an artist who has come into his own.”
As a member The Gift ensemble, it is evident in his performances that John has a firm grip on the stories Ian Tyson wrote. And while John is a successful solo artist, he’s also a great team player and a force to be reckoned with when singing a Tyson tune like Saddle Bronc Girl.
Tracy is a fine artist and singer who just happens to be a cowboy culture kind of woman. From rural Alberta, Tracy has a honky-tonk heart, as her original music has been the soundtrack for many rodeo events, and she’s also headlined at many of our best country music festivals. Her success at country radio includes a couple of number one hits and she’s been nominated for several Country Music Alberta Awards, including the Fan’s Choice award.
Tracy has been singing with The Gift since 2008 and her interpretations of Ian Tyson tunes like Someday Soon, Moon Dancer, and Navajo Rug are consistently met with a roaring approval.
A seriously great vocalist whether he’s singing a harmony part or taking the lead, Ian Oscar is known by his peers as “Mr. Golden Tones.” A veteran of the western Canadian roots music scene, Ian’s voice first made the airwaves back in the late seventies when he was singing with One Horse Blue, a ground-breaking country-rock band based in Edmonton. Ian sang lead on the regional hit Deliver Me and sang harmony on the single Cry Out For The Sun, which charted nationally.
Ian has more recently performed and recorded with the band Blue Yonder. As a member of The Gift ensemble, Ian’s talents are called upon frequently, and when he sings lead on an Ian Tyson song like Cowboy Pride he does so with passion and a masterful delivery.