“I was born on a Monday, in the thickening snow, so it’s safe to say that hard work is habit that lives in my bones …”
Tyler Stenson — Monday and a Mountain
Born in Lander, WY but raised in Oregon, Tyler Stenson is a bold, lyric-first Portland singer-songwriter who draws profound influence from his roots in the humble West. Raised a vocalist by his musical mother, a perfectionist by his father the architect and a scrapper by the pair, Stenson’s unique brand of “Elegant Folk” music is the fitting result of his upbringing—wildly creative but wrangled by his meticulous attention to detail and desire to design things differently.
“As long as there has been a song, I’ve felt it in my bones. It was a gift from my dear mother and her father who passed on. Yes, a long line of the Music Makers and of Soldiers for the Muse.”
Tyler Stenson — Fight ’til Dying Day
As frontman and songwriter for his former bands Lander and Rhetoric Tuesday, Stenson played the Northwest college circuit throughout the early 2000s with great success. However, often unfulfilled by the beer-soaked bars and bent upon highlighting his poignant lyrics that were too often shadowed by nightlife noise, he soon put band-oriented rock-n-roll to rest and tackled the burgeoning Portland scene as a solo artist. And it was the best decision he would ever make.
Soon after this seismic shift, Stenson was twice named the “Songwriter of the Year” by the Portland Songwriters Association (2007 and 2008) and “Best Male Artist” at the Portland Music Awards, blazing the trail for his authentic sound to claim its stake on the national stage.
Already considered one of the premiere singer-songwriters in the Northwest, Stenson was eventually named a Top 10 Finalist in Guitar Center’s ‘Search for the Next Great American Songwriter’ contest with Don Was (out of 10,000) and, out of nearly 4,000 bands, he was hand-selected by Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ryan Spaulding (RSLblog) to perform at their The Outlaw Roadshow showcases at SxSW and in NYC.
“With the delivery of lyrics that leap from the page, Stenson’s an artist who’s instantly arresting. Everything I heard was worth repeat listening.”
Ryan Spaulding — RSLBlog.com
With his national name growing, Stenson was named Reverb Nation’s Breaking Artist in 2013 and has been invited to open for George Ezra, LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak, John Popper, Marc Cohn, Matisyahu and many others. He has placed original songs on multiple national Chevrolet commercials, as well as a handful of others placed in Internationally televised shows.
While Portland has no doubt given Stenson his artistic edge, he spent two years as a singer and songwriter in Nashville. Learning from the best and all the while touring the nation, he has built a loyal following that he aptly dubs “The Elegant Folk.”
With a well of experience behind him, Stenson continues to press forward with an undaunted belief in his own abilities to plot his own path. A fearless DIY recording artist, he has self-released several albums, including his acclaimed Some Days I’m a Lion LP, featuring the heart-swelling single This Too Shall Pass that can be found in rotation on SiriusXM’s Coffee House station and recognized as a Finalist in the 2014 International Songwriting Competition.
In an age where thoughtful lyric has taken a backseat to hyperproduction, Stenson has learned one thing through his decade-plus of experiences and performances at notable venues such as the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles: Lyric is King. Stenson’s music is just that: simple words paired with humble notes that all at once sum up the human experience, endlessly inspiring the train of followers that find a piece of themselves in the sincerity of his words.
“Don’t whisper softly the things that you want loudly to be.”
Tyler Stenson — Portland Singer Songwriter — Whistle Stop