Great Falls singer-songwriter Rick Tryon calls himself a performer, imagineerist, and “high C’s pirate,” a gentle jibe at his vocal ability. On stage, the guitarist plays covers of songs from some of the musicians he admires – Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and others –as well as his own material. His second effort, an eight-song EP, is written in the Americana vein and spans rock and country-folk pieces.
Local musicians helping him out are Matt Johnson, drums; Pete Swanson, bass; Alex Ruiz, fiddle; and Michael Gilboe and the late Sheree Dansereau, background vocals. Some songs have plenty of instrumentation, others are spare, with just Tryon and his guitar.
Ruiz’s country-fiddle licks open “Up on the Hi-Line,” a toe-tapper with interesting timing; Dansereau sings nice high harmony on it. Tryon’s tribute to veterans, a languid ballad called “The Pieces Missing,” finds a man who, while putting ornaments on the Christmas tree, sees pieces that need repair. It’s a metaphor for a soldier broken by war, trying to heal.
“Take Back the Power” is s slow rock tune with cool drum work. Tryon’s gravelly voice wails out the lyrics; he sings harmony with himself, too. The title tune is a pretty waltz with a bit of a religious bent, hopeful; it’s got sweet fiddle, and Dansereau provides nice piano accompaniment. She sings a tight, swooping harmony with Tryon on this one.
She also trades lead with Tryon on the lovely ballad, “Back in My Dreams”; their voices meshes perfectly, her robust alto with Tryon’s sandpapery baritone. “Thin Blue Line” gives thanks to our uniformed men and women around the country who protect our homes and streets; and “Goin’ to the Sun,” recorded in Nashville with session pickers, hearkens back to Tryon’s carefree Glacier Park trips. It did well for him on the indie charts.
– Mariss McTucker