Asheville’s ?nger-picking protégé aims without focus, losing sight of strengths.
Sporting an honest and knotty nasal pinch akin to Neil Young, Tyler Ramsey offers his ?rst meditative rumination with title track “A Long Dream.” As Ramsey’s lonely wail reverberates through Asheville’s cavernous Echo Mountain Studios, a wide palate of drones and swells respond in a slow-building current complemented by gorgeous ?ngerpicking reminiscent of John Fahey. Just as the composition ?nds footing, it’s stripped to a pulse before the re-entry of beautiful variations on the original guitar theme. Though thoughtful and e?ective, the opening track is not indicative of the overall album. Most lyrical sentiments lean toward repetitious cliché, and Ramsey’s take on Jackson Browne’s oft-covered “These Days” brings nothing to the original. The schizophrenic structure of rocker “Once in Your Life” seems out of place and does little in comparison to the wonderful intricacies of “Birdwings” and “Please Stop Time.” Ramsey’s strengths are highlighted in the clarity of his smaller compositions.