An American Forrest is Western music. Country and folk. Ragged-voiced tales and wild, hybrid style, finger-picked and strummed guitar. Poetic incantations that conjure images: a lone rider silhouetted against a sunset, the days fading light, the unspoken bond between horses and people. Songs as detailed as tooled leather about old love, and new frontiers. An American Forrest is the words and music of Forrest Van Tuyl. Lyrics fly upwards from his songs like sparks from a fire. Verses come delivered with the humor of cowboy poets. His riffs have the wood-and-wire wrangling prowess of the folk singers of the second revival. The sensation of his songs hang around like smoke long after the night is gone.
He's been a songwriter for over a decade but fell off the map into the wilds of Eastern Oregon more recently than that. Fatefully, he fell in love with a woman who knew horses, and Cormac Mcarthy novels. His interest piqued, he landed a job with a pack-outfit and got hooked on the lifestyle. He says, "I believe the open wilderness of the Western United States is the most important thing". Now, when he's not writing songs, he's learning from older cowboys to train horses, or leading pack mules laden with gear into the interior. "My theory is that living out there six months out of year is bound to work its way into my songs. Western music is very closely tied to the landscape, and it's a regional sound".
For VanTuyl that sound ranges from solo acoustic confessionals and covers to full band expositions. Stories of a man who left behind the comfort and security of modern life, for a job atop a horse. A man who returned from the wilderness a hardened, smoothed, tempered version of his former self. One who set about writing songs, recording the experience of finding himself on magnetic tape. Along the way he's played with Dave Stamey, Corb Lund, and John Craigie, and been featured at The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV.