Long Before the Wheel

by Tyler Stenson

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5 track EP. All songs are good. Elegant folk with white-knuckled lyrics. Tightly crafted songs from a true American songwriter that shine through minimalist production; full of grace, sweetness, heart, authenticity and all other shades of the human existence.

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released October 2, 2010

Recorded in a house in Nashville, TN.
Produced by Tyler Stenson and Peter Rodocker.
Mastered by Independent Mastering Nashville, TN.

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Tyler Stenson Portland, Oregon

Tyler Stenson is singer/songwriter in Portland whose music is elegant at its core. Twice-named Portland's "Songwriter of the Year" by the Portland Songwriters Association and recently named "Best Male Artist" at the Portland Music Awards, Stenson's music is refreshingly reminiscent of classic singer-songwriter greats such as James Taylor and Cat Stevens. ... more

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Track Name: Leave Oregon
It's the loudest sound;
When the heart knows what it wants and makes it known.
So, I’m leaving this town
Because it’s the season that changes all things into Gold.

But who am I to leave Oregon
When the rearview facing West holds all I love
And before me is October,
Where I might become my own fall,
But might never know my cards until I call?

Deep in the Lion's Den
I've noticed Autumn holds a difference in the East;
Made up of different reds.
That color is bold, but just a lonely shade of dream.

So, who was I to leave Oregon
When the rearview facing West held all I loved
And before me was October,
Where I might become my own fall,
But might never know my cards until I call?

This is my loudest sound
And it's meant for no one
But my loved ones in the West.
I'll aim to make you proud
On a southern stage,
Lit by the lights, doing what I do best.

So, who was I to leave Oregon
When the rearview facing West held all I loved
And before me was October,
Where I might become my own fall,
But might never know my cards until I call?
Track Name: Daffodils
Who was September
To decide it was time
To pull your pen from the page
That drew out your line
Since 1965?
-Long before your time.

May your fields be pure gold
And yellow like the loveliest sun.
May we hear your bones
Singing at the top of their lungs.
May all your fields be songs and daffodils.

Oh, then November
Would not be outdone
And dimmed that bright old smile
From an Ashland Son
That burned since ‘78
-Then all at once faded away.

May your fields be pure gold
And yellow like the loveliest sun.
May we hear your bones
Sounding out the beat of a drum.
May all your fields be songs and daffodils.

I for one, hope you found your Sun Years
And finally laid your eyes on some Spanish Dust.
Your words fill up our Paper Dixie Cups,
In a cheers to you,
One of the few who knew love.

So, may all your fields be pure gold
And yellow like the loveliest sun.
May we hear your bones
Singing at the top of their lungs.
May all your fields be songs and daffodils.

May all your fields be songs and daffodils.
Track Name: That Moon
Just before the summer,
I was playing my guitar
When a boy came from the audience
And motioned toward the stars.
He said it was a full moon
And It’s all the light we’ll need
For walking Poly Canyon ... it’s a site to see.
He said, We’re walking Poly Canyon,
Come along, it’s a site to see.

So, we rose up in a clearing
That was filled with all these shapes
From all the heads of all these architects
That never grew tired of learning
Of Nature and Her systems
And how man can live within 'em
And how the two can live as one
Just like it was long before the wheel and before the gun
-I wonder how they lived before the wheel and before the gun.

That moon was brighter than day
And who knows, maybe even God’s way to say:
Hey, I know by the looks of it
You're human and you’re small
So, may that moon make you feel 10 feet tall.

I looked up at the two mountains
With that moon high up above 'em
And it looked much like a pendant
Dangling from the neck of a woman.
With so much beauty there to offer,
There’s that much more to lose.
I said, This might be a stupid question
But do you suppose we’ve landed on that moon?
Oh, please forgive my stupid question,
But some would argue, that we've never touched that moon.

Scotty handed me a cig
And I burned it to the ground
And in the dirt, I turned those embers
Into something like a ghost town.
Then a man came out of nowhere-
He was the law but fair.
He said, On such a night like this,
You know it pains me,
But I have to ask you to leave.

That moon was brighter than day
And who knows, maybe even God’s way to say:
Hey, I know by the looks of it
You're human and you’re small
So, may that moon make you feel 10 feet tall.

The sign said that the Lions
Would be hunting men like us
And that the Snakes had a taste
For human heels just above the dust
But that moon was all we needed
To be giants on that day
And to walk among the comforts
That no evil thing would dare to come our way.

That moon was brighter than day
And who knows, maybe even God’s way to say:
Hey, I know by the looks of it
You're human and you’re small
So, may My moon make you feel 10 feet tall.

Hey, I know by the looks of it
You're human and you’re small
So, may that moon make you feel 10 feet tall.
Track Name: Clover
As a man of chance, not much for fate,
My superstitions are hard to break.
But, if Lucky see, then Lucky do,
Then Clover I'll be lucky to find you.

I've had a pocket-pair with an Ace up my sleeve
At an all-in table that boasted one King.
But, my luck has been known to wear walking shoes
So, Clover I'll be lucky to find you.

Clover I'll be lucky
To ever find something like you.
Please, Clover make me lucky.

In all the world there's a billion blades
In the grass on the ground that all look the same.
I've combed them over- I’ve sifted through-
And Clover I'll be lucky to find you.

Clover I'll be lucky
To ever find something
So small and so lovely.
Yes, Clover I'll be lucky if I ever find you.
Please, Clover make me lucky.
Track Name: We Grow
I heard you say that you wish I stayed
An older version of me -- long before my change.
But, if we're not growing we are staying the same,
So I will welcome the change and stretch myself day to day.
We're entitled to change because we grow

Like blown up balloons.
Like the flare at the end of a spoon.
Like one note becoming a tune.
Like the city lights in the darkening blue--
The change is gonna happen real slow
But not a day goes by we don't grow.

If a seed can grow into a tree
And if that tree can grow leaves,
I ask, how is that different than me?
Because we both breathe and we come from the dirt
And that's where we will return
When both of our seasons fade.
We're entitled to change because we grow

Like one into two.
Like the eleventh hour turning to noon,
Then May slow fades into June,
Then you're a grownup in your childhood room--
The change is gonna happen real slow
But not a day goes by we don't grow.

If we're not growing, we are staying the same
So, I will welcome the change and stretch myself day to day.
We're entitled to change because we grow

Like a high tide caused by that moon.
Like a flower knowing Spring is coming soon.
Like wings inside a cocoon,
(Or anything else that is destine to bloom)--
Like our faith in the things we know to be true
Or like the courage found in the wine and the booze--
The change is gonna happen real slow
But not a day goes by we don't grow.