- Gummersall will perform at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 27 at the Tico Time River Resort.
- Call 970-903-0681 or visit ticotimecountryfest.com for ticket information.
- Gummersall shares songwriting credits with the likes of Lloyd Maines and Jim Lauderdale.
FARMINGTON — By his own admission, Tyller Gummersall barely knew what he wanted from his country music career when he released his album ‘Long Ride Home’ in 2016.
The record was a significant step forward for the Durango, Colorado native, in that it was produced by the highly esteemed Lloyd Maines, father of Natalie Maines and producer and sidekick to many of the American realm’s best-known acts. . “Long Ride Home” was, in many ways, a turning point in Gummersall’s career, setting him on a trajectory to not only greater commercial success, but helping him connect with several industry insiders. well-positioned music artists who have offered him guidance, counsel and perspective over the past six years.
It all helped Gummersall — who will perform at the Tico Time Country Festival this weekend — achieve a degree of clarity he didn’t necessarily have earlier in his career, he said.
“I didn’t even know what I was thinking then,” he laughed. “But I knew I had always wanted to make a living out of music. I feel like I’ve finally reached that point, and I’m playing enough gigs to do that. But I also realize that I have a lot more to say, songs I want to record.”
Gummersall seems to have a lot to say these days, having released a slew of EPs and full albums over the past few years, with many of the showcase tracks he co-wrote with Maines or the legendary songwriter- performer Jim Lauderdale, whose material has been covered by dozens of country, rock and pop artists, including Elvis Costello, the Chicks, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless.
“He knows how to have a good time while we were writing, that’s for sure,” Gummersall said, recounting how Lauderdale always found a way to break the tension whenever the two hit a dead end in a song they were working on. “…He brings a certain levity to it. He’s also good at finding, ‘How can you say more with less?’ He’s a genius at finding the melody and locating you in the melody.”
Through such experiences, Gummersall’s work has matured considerably since his debut, though he retains his hardcore, honkytonk sensibility, much of it infused with steel guitar and fiddle. Gummersall’s sound — paired with the catchy, clever turns of phrase that mark his lyrics — is just too authentically country for country radio these days, which remains mired in the same unimaginative, overly slick pop rut where it has resided ever since. years.
It was Mark Dottore, the manager of Sturgill Simpson, Kathy Mattea, Marty Stuart and other well-known country artists, who advised Gummersall to leave Nashville several years ago and find a more receptive market for what it was.
“He said, ‘You have to pull a Willie (Nelson) and move to Texas,'” Gummersall said. “In Nashville, I kept bumping into the business thing, where what I wanted to do is not necessarily what they do.”
Taking Dottore’s recommendation to heart, Gummersall moved to Texas, where he soon found himself playing four or five nights a week, feeding that state’s seemingly inexhaustible appetite for more adventurous and thoughtful country music. The move served as a creative source for Gummersall, whose songwriting output grew in step with her performance schedule.
Just as suddenly, it all came to a halt with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Gummersall was forced off the road for a year and a half, but rather than sulk, he retreated to his home studio and began recording some of the material he had written over the past few years.
He also took the time to look at the bigger picture and figure out how he wanted his career to serve his life goals.
“The one nice thing is that by having to slow down and take a second, I realized that when you play that much it gets really intense and it starts to feel normal,” he said. declared. “But it’s important to take time and have fun, to give yourself a break. I like to remind myself of that now that the world is getting busy again.”
That didn’t mean that Gummersall found the homebody life all that enjoyable. The other major realization he experienced was that he couldn’t wait to start playing again.
“I love playing music for live crowds, and if I don’t do that, I go a little crazy,” he said. “It confirmed that this is what I am here to do.”
A subsequent move to Prescott, Arizona in October 2021 allowed Gummersall to return to his Western roots while living in another state with a strong country music infrastructure where he can earn a living. This will be Gummersall’s first show in the Durango area since moving to Arizona, and he said he’s looking forward to seeing some friendly faces.
Gummersall will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, August 27 at Tico Time River Resort, ¼ mile south of the Colorado border on the east side of US Highway 550. Call 970-903-0681 or visit ticotimecountryfest.com for ticket information.
Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.