The Official Blog of Portland's Songwriter of the Year

As the Crow Flies Cover Song

October 23rd, 2014

In 2009, I embarked on a 6-week tour that spanned the West Coast and then, for personal pleasure, I went to Barcelona and Rome for another couple weeks. It was there, on the beach of the Mediterranean, where I hit the wall called Home Sick. Despite the epic beauty of my surroundings, that moment colored me lost and thus spawned a love song for Home called As the Crow Flies — a song that has been so special to me over the years.

[How special? Well, it's the song I chose to perform at the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter Finals earlier this year (video below), for all the marbles. That special.]

Making it even more special than before, I young woman named AJ Bishop has recently recorded a cover of the song. I’ll admit, I teared up when I first heard it. It’s flattering, yes, but something about that moment induced an outer body experience, where I hovered above myself, the words and my historical attachment to the song, allowing me to appreciate the work in an entirely new light — not scrutinizing my own performance but only listening to the words and the melody, as is, all of the sudden, it was that much more beautiful.

Enjoy her cover version, then my original.

AS THE CROW FLIES [Live] – By Tyler Stenson


NEW VIDEO: Explode

October 14th, 2014

Because I’ve recently revealed a number of new songs (via video), I thought it would be cool to do a throwback of one of my personal favorites. From my 2010 album Bittersweet Parade, check out this new version of Explode … live from REX recording in Portland, OR. Enjoy!

▶ Watch the new video
▶ Share it with your friends
▶ Repeat daily

Tyler Stenson - Explode

Download Explode on iTunes
Here’s what’s at stake.

NEW VIDEO: How Bright

September 29th, 2014

A big thing just happened in this big crazy Guitar Center songwriter contest — we just cleared 30,000 points! As promised, for this impressive feat (in which you’ve been an integral part), I have just posted a brand new video of a brand new song called How Bright!

It’s one of my most upbeat songs yet so watch it on my contest channel and then be sure to tell the world about it (via the share button on my channel). THANK YOU and enjoy!

▶ Watch the new video
▶ Share it with your friends
▶ Repeat often

Tyler Stenson - How Bright [LIVE]

Whether you know it or not, this Guitar Center contest is of enormous magnitude and could open the biggest of doors in my career. That said, the more you watch and share, the more my point total will increase … and the better my odds of achieving the larger feat.

Here’s what’s at stake.

Thank you for supporting me, always ;)

NEW VIDEO: Say No More

September 18th, 2014

I’m excited (and humbled) to announce that we just surpassed 20,000 points in the Guitar Center Songwriter contest (more than I had in ALL of last year’s race)! As promised, in exchange for being such stellar supporters, I’ve posted a new video of my new song Say No More, for your viewing pleasure.

Please, watch it on my contest channel and share it far and wide!

▶ Watch the new video
▶ Share it with your friends
▶ Repeat

Tyler Stenson - Say No More

Guitar Center Contest Explained

September 13th, 2014

I’ve noticed a fair amount of confusion surrounding this Guitar Center contest that I’m currently a part of, therefore, I’ve made a video to best explain how it works. Check out the video below and be sure to keep watching and sharing my channel until November!

▶ Watch my videos (many times per day)
▶ SHARE my channel on FB, Twitter, G+
▶ Follow my channel (optional but helpful)
▶ Repeat on multiple computers, mobile devices, etc

• 4-song EP with Don Was
• Songwriting session with Colbie Caillat
• Performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live
• $25,000 cash
• Tons of gear from Guitar Center
• Many other recording and press opportunities

All that said, it may go without saying, but I really want this. I made the Top 10 last year and, with your help, I hope to be invited back to the finals, for another chance at the top spot. Thanks for helping!

Guitar Center SSW4 Week One

September 8th, 2014

Week one of the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter 4 contest is officially completed and I’m honored to say, BECAUSE OF YOU, I’m in first place! While this is all kinds of exciting and inspiring, there is still 60 days left in the competition … so I need all hands on deck, if I should hope to maintain the lead.

My friends, this means the world to me. Just by watching and sharing my contest channel, you can help me return to the finals and have a chance to record an EP with legendary producer Don Was, write a song with pop-star Colbie Caillat, perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live, win $25,000 cash, prizes galore and oh so much more. A real career maker.

▶ Watch the videos (the more the merrier)
▶ SHARE this link on FB, Twitter, etc.
▶ Repeat on all computers + mobile devices

Tyler Stenson - Guitar Center SingerSongwriter 4

Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter 4

September 5th, 2014

After placing in the Top 10 last year, I’ve decided to try my luck at Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter 4 with Don Was and Colbie Caillat, as one last hurrah. If you recall, the scoring is all about the number of video views and social shares received so I need all hands on deck to help me climb the ranks and return to the finals.

With so much on the line, this means the world to me. Luckily, helping is easy:


Watch the videos
they penalize “auto refreshing” so best practice says a few times per hour
Click the “share” button on my channel
Share on FB, Twitter, G+ as often as you’re willing – every bit helps
Spread the word in person
Beyond the internet, tell a friend, family member, co-worker, stranger, etc

Tyler Stenson Guitar Center Songwriter 4

In all, 10,000+ people entered last year so it’s a dog fight — not for the weak at heart. Sturdy up. On top of that competitive (but level) playing field, expecting to get invited back is a further disadvantage for me so it’s going to take an extra bold statement in the voting column (and a stroke of luck) so every bit helps!

Thank you all for supporting this cause that I can’t seem to quit.

That I’ll Know You (LIVE)

September 2nd, 2014

In a small moment of victory, I finally got around to tracking down video from one of the more special moments at my Some Days I’m a Lion album release in 2012. Perhaps one of my favorite songs on the entire album, enjoy this live performance of That I’ll Know You, live from the Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR.


Oh, and while you’re there, please watch the other videos on the channel (a couple times per hour!) and share the channel as often as you’re willing. It could help me in a big, big way :)

Tyler Stenson - That I'll Know You

One Week Guitar Center Rally

September 1st, 2014

I’m excited (and sorry) to announce that the Guitar Center Songwriter Search is back for another year. Rest assured, I do not have the same kind of energy as last year and vow not to put you through that again. HOWEVER, I have a plan.

My theory is that last year’s #1 guy never slipped from his top spot because everyone clicked on his page wondering, “who’s this dude in first?” Sooo, my plan is to dart out of the gates in the strongest fashion possible; a week-one onslaught that will solidify my position (at the very least, a chance to be considered).

• Watch my contest videos (a couple times per hour / 24-7)
• Share my channel on social media (as often as possible, all week)
*** I learned that sharing is the most important piece of the score !!

Tyler Stenson Guitar Center Songwriter 4

I know, better than anyone, that this contest is simply exhausting, however, having made the Top 10 last year, I believe it’s in my best interest to try one. more. time.

If you have it in you, I’ll take your help … in week-one and beyond.

Thanks for supporting my journey!

David Gray Did Not Disappoint

August 29th, 2014

I picked up the guitar for the first time in 1998 and while the first few years were a fog, I vividly remember learning David Gray’s “Babylon” during my freshman year of college (in my apartment in Auburn, Alabama) — there is even a hack recording somewhere — but that will never see the light of day :)

That said, it’s safe to say that David Gray is one of my oldest and biggest influences, however, it wasn’t until last week, a full 13 years later, that I finally got to see him live in concert at McMenamins’ Edgefield in Troutdale, OR. My, oh my. He. Did. Not. Disappoint.

With one exception (Wave Hello, Say Goodbye), he played all of the songs I had hoped — plus some brand new songs. As you can see, his live sound is brilliantly spot on.

Aside from the music, one of my favorite moments of the night was this whimsical snow flurry that popped up at the exact right moment, in the midst of the most amazing swell of music. Cudos to the lighting guy, it gave me chills!

David Gray - Troutdale Oregon

After 13 years of waiting for this concert, I spared no expense when it came to tickets — I wanted to see the facial expressions of the artist that I had only ever appreciated on recordings. I was gunning for front row but due to popular demand, I instead settled for third row tickets. Still, extremely good seats and plenty close to soak up the full experience.

David Gray - Troutdale Oregon

While the music was nothing short of stellar, I honestly didn’t expect David Gray to be such an entertainer. He was very active and engaging, while still maintaining a most high quality in his vocals. Yes, this was an amazing date night with my beautiful fiance and an event I will always remember as one of the best concerts in my life. Well worth the wait.

Couple at Concert

David Gray Set List - Troutdale, OR