The Official Blog of Portland's Songwriter of the Year

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 (all week)
• Share my channel on social media (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

iTunes Affiliate

August 18th, 2014

I’m proud to say I’ve recently become an official iTunes affiliate! What this means is that I’ve been given a unique affiliate link ( and anybody who visits iTunes via this link and makes a purchase of any variety, I get a percentage of the total sale (be it songs, movies, apps, etc).

It’s as if you’re saying, “Tyler sent me!”

Yep, in a way, you can now support my music by purchasing other music — so, no matter what you need to download from iTunes in the future, be sure to bookmark the link below and always navigate your way to iTunes by way of it.


iTunes Affiliate

West Linn Music in the Park

August 14th, 2014

Today’s forecast is 80˚ and sunny and I’m proud to be returning to my home town to play the West Linn Music in the Park concert series — what a perfect day for an outdoor concert! I’ve heard nothing but great things about this event so grab a lawn chair (+wine) and join me at Tanner Creek Park in West Linn, OR at 6:30pm for one of the most unique sets I’ve ever put together (half covers, half originals). See you there!

Tyler Stenson – Music in the Park (West Linn)
Thursday August 14th @ 6:30pm

● Full Band
● All Ages
● Free Admission
● Directions→

★★crowd may (or may not) be to scale★★

Concert in the Park

Featured on ReverbNation Home Page

August 13th, 2014

Good news my friends, I woke this morning to find that I was the featured artist on ReverbNation’s home page! This ultra popular website is home to 3.68 million musicians so, in my humble opinion, being the single feature is smile worthy.

Please, check out the image below (as proof) and be sure to go to my ReverbNation page to listen to some songs, ask me a question and much more.

Featured on ReverbNation Home Page

They’re Dancing to the Music

August 2nd, 2014

As a songwriter, the absolute most rewarding experience is watching my original music make its way into the lives and hearts of others. Across the years, these rewards have revealed themselves in all kinds of ways — a young couple who chose Rome Tomorrow as their song, a bride who walked down the aisle to As the Crow Flies, a married couples’ first dance to The Road, a group of 3rd graders inharmoniously singing We Grow at a school assembly, a young artist who covered This Too Shall Pass as her first single, a barely speaking toddler singing to me the words of Welcome the Change, a teary-eyed homeless man finding brief joy in Better Be Us All, a troubled teen who opted against suicide after hearing Explode and an elderly woman choosing Wyoming as the last song she heard in this life — these are just a few of the crystal gifts I’ve been given.

And now, a new gift.

I’ve seen couples dance to my songs and yes, I’ve seen audiences sway to my sounds, however, never have I seen a dedicated, choreographed dance performance to my music. With that, as a proud first in my career, I present young Emma and her lyrical dance to my song Often & Much. A new notch in the belt. A new smile on my face.

BY THE CD: Order Some Days I’m a Lion, directly from me!

Rare Version of Great Man’s Funeral

August 1st, 2014

As an encore for my latest online concert on Concert Window, I decided to play one of my older songs in a rare, newer style. Typically played in a much faster “train” style rhythm, I’ve recently started playing Great Man’s Funeral (Bittersweet Parade 2010) in a lazier, more melancholy manner.

To me, the original upbeat version aptly highlights the song’s silver-lining but it also masks the essence of the grueling experience. For better or worse, it ignores the pain.

While I always want people to walk away from this song with a lightness in their step, there is a time to dance and a time to mourn. Enjoy this more emotive version of Great Man’s Funeral but please, remember the silver lining. Remember the Great Man.

BUY THE CD: Order Bittersweet Parade, directly from me!

Tyler Stenson on Concert Window

Great Man’s Funeral
by tyler stenson © 2010 — ASCAP

There is one thing certain in this life;
If you breathe, one day you will die.
With any luck they’ll show up in a line
Making sure that your memory is soaked in wine.

It’s a great man’s funeral;
His passing is one bittersweet parade.

I do believe you’re gone before your time
And that my days in your sunshine were kind
And the education gained along the way
Was good as gold and all its accolades.

It’s a great man’s funeral;
His passing is one Bittersweet Parade.
Somewhere on this great timeline
I’m confident they’ll call this a Golden Day.

I’m a better man for bleeding almost dry
And my bag of bones is a medal of that pride.
I can’t believe we lived to tell how we survived
(Beause it seems to me) we starved 40 days and nights.

It’s a great man’s funeral;
His passing is one Bittersweet Parade.
Somewhere on this great timeline
I’m confident they’ll call this a Golden Day.

If there was ever one thing certain in this life,
It is: If you breathe, one day you will die.
But look at them, standing in a line,
Making sure that your memory is soaked in wine.

It’s a great man’s funeral;
His passing is one Bittersweet Parade.
Somewhere on this great timeline
I’m confident they’ll call this a Golden Day.

It’s a great man’s funeral;
His passing is one Bittersweet Parade
And the simple fact I knew him when
Will long and always be my claim to fame.

Online Concert TONIGHT

July 24th, 2014

My next online concert is TONIGHT so I hope you’ve got your tickets (after all, they’re “pay what you want” so no excuses)! This is going to be a great, fully interactive show, as a part of the Great Northwest Fest on so I hope you’ll tune in, make some requests, ask some questions, etc. I’m excited!

Tyler Stenson Online Concert
Tuesday July 29 @ 7:30pm PDT
Live on

• Pay however much you want.
• Watch from anywhere in the world.
• Ask questions, request songs, Q&A, etc.
• Get tickets→

Great Northwest Fest - Tyler Stenson

Friday Early Escape Cruise Announced

July 18th, 2014

I’m excited to announce my annual Friday Early Escape Cruise on The Portland Spirit, a tradition that I’ve now carried out for five years in a row! Departing from the dock at 3pm and cruising up and down the Willamette river for two hours (while being serenaded by yours truly), this is an awesome way to kick off your weekend. Won’t you join me?

Tyler Stenson on The Portland Spirit
Friday Early Escape Cruise
September 19th from 3-5pm
$30 PER PERSON – get tix!

Portland Spirit Friday Early Escape Cruise

New York Times Documentary

July 17th, 2014

The other day I woke to find that my song That Moon had been featured on a snowboarding documentary called A Test Run at 19,000 Feet — even better, the video was featured on the Sports page of The New York Times! Despite the fact that it’s kind of an odd use of the song, considering the NYT is the cream of the crop when it comes to press (and exposure), I’ll take it, happily. Always an honor to hear my songs in use.

Check out the documentary below (my song is at the 1:20 mark) and pass it on. Enjoy!