Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wylie Gustafson’s windblown authenticity has fueled a 25-year career

The yodeling, the aw-shucks charisma, the whole cowboy get-up — it would read as shtick on most performers, a gimmick designed to help carve out an entertaining niche. But it’s not. That’s who Wylie Gustafson actually is. Sure, there’s some showmanship to his act with Wylie & The Wild West, some crowd-pleasing tricks of the trade. But that’s also who he really is: a born musician and storyteller as well as an honest-to-God rancher and rodeo cowboy. The Gustafson you see on stage is the same one you might see at a feed store in his home city of Conrad, Mont. “Our music is highly reflective of the Western culture that we live in,” he said. “We do a lot of the slower stuff that kind of reflects the landscape and the people. And then there’s our more danceable stuff.” That mixture is partly by design — because it makes for a dynamic show — and partly organic, Gustafson said. “There’s a rhythm to the West that finds its way into our music,” he said. “Sometimes the days are slow and beautiful. And that comes out in the music. And sometimes they’re fast and frantic. And that comes out.”...more

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