Interview – Forrest Van Tuyl

Forrest Van Tuyl (aka An American Forrest) spends six months of the year working as a cowboy on the trails of some of the remotest wilderness areas of Oregon and the other six months writing and playing music. A singer-songwriter for over a decade, his latest album ‘O Bronder, Donder Yonder?’ (Hearth Music) reviewed earlier this year by AUK, draws deeply on his outdoor life, and, amongst other genres, is inspired by a mixture of folk, Outlaw country and traditional American music. Above all, it feels like it’s modern American frontier music of the deepest kind – about living in one of the last parts of the North American wilderness in the 21st century. We talked to Forrest Van Tuyl about how he came to be writing, singing and playing music like this. Continue reading “Interview – Forrest Van Tuyl”

An American Forrest “O Bronder, Donder Yonder” (Hearth Music, 2019)

If you ever needed a case study to argue that an album’s backstory is sometimes as striking as the music itself, then ‘O Bronder, Donder Yonder’ wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Forrest Van Tuyl – that’s the singer-songwriter who is An American Forrest – currently spends nearly six months of every year working in the Northeastern Oregon wilderness, much of it on horseback, guiding mule-trains over mountain trails. That off-the-beaten-track (in more senses than one) experience as a modern-day cowboy acts as the musical and lyrical backbone for ‘O Bronder, Donder Yonder’, melded into a sound with strong resonances of 1970s Outlaw Country, straight-up classic country music and – last but not least – the Appalachian bluegrass of Gillian Welch. (As Van Tuyl, perhaps slightly wryly, comments to AUK about Welch, “We tend to steal from a lot of the same places.”) Continue reading “An American Forrest “O Bronder, Donder Yonder” (Hearth Music, 2019)”