Ty Curtis
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Ty Curtis

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Blues Rock




"Blues Rock Review Ty Curtis Water under the Bridge"

70s-style rock blended with a hint of southern twang is the music ambiance of Ty Curtis’ Water Under The Bridge. This album weighs heavy with futuristic takes on the genre of blues rock. The emphatic screaming lead guitars carry Curtis’ vocals through every arrangement, with musical grace and elegance. The subtle hints of southern rock twang bring vibrance to every song, which showcases Curtis’ authentic sense of musicianship.

Curtis has a uniquely written album to add to his discography with Water Under The Bridge, and proves that there is a market for limitless creations in writing blues rock music. Curtis’ ability to think outside the box, and blend his influences from other genres of music, perfectly amongst the assortment of true blues rock style, redefines intelligent songwriting. Stepping away from the rigid forms of technicalities, song structure, and instrumentation used by the majority of blues rock artists, Water Under The Bridge allows listeners to have a breath of fresh musical air. To indulge completely into Curtis’s 4th album release, is to immerse into a whole new realm of blues rock music. Creating ahead of the current techniques used by other blues and rock artists, Curtis uses his talent to bring to life a futuristic take on the original stylings of blues rock music.

Incorporating subtle differences is the key to greatness on Water Under The Bridge; not too much, not too far off, and doing it in the right areas, makes his creative spins on blues rock, work in his favor. By adding things in the background like guitar solos and keyboard riffs as heard on the opening track, “Key To My Heart,” it is the subtlety of these technical additions, that most artists spend years trying to perfect. And Curtis has down to a science throughout every track on this album. Take for example, the explosion of emotion-power-packed lyrics of the rock ballad, “Loveless Time.” It is on this ballad track, that Curtis displays natural human emotion encapsulated in an ambiance of simple instrumentation, and tastefully written arrangement. It is through this particular style of musical creation, that the authentic musicianship Curtis has, shines brightest amongst the rest of the tracks on the album.

Displayed at the forefront of each track, is his natural ability to capture undivided attention from listeners with tantalizing instrument lines in each song arrangement. Highly evolved artistry, intellectual lyrics, and polished production are the icing on the cake of the perfected music package that is Water Under The Bridge.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Key To My Heart
– Loveless Time
– True Love
– Your Desire
– Bad Break
– Thief of Hearts

The Big Hit

– Key To My Heart

Review by Jackie Howell - Jackie Howell Blues Rock Review

"Blues Blast Magazine Ty Curtis"

Ty Curtis is based in the Pacific North West and “Water Under The Bridge” is his fourth album. Ty wrote all the songs on the album which was recorded in Texas with Ty on vocals and guitar, producer Jacob Petersen on second guitar, Brian Ferguson on drums, Kiko Hanna and Glenn Fukunaga on bass, Dane Farnsworth on keys and Jeff Bryant on pedal steel and Rhodes piano.

This is definitely blues rock with plenty of reference points into classic American rock styles; there are nine band tracks and two bonus tracks with Ty on acoustic guitar and vocals in singer-songwriter mode.

The album opens in full blues-rock mode and what is immediately evident is the quality of the recording where every note can be heard. “Key To My Heart” rocks along pretty well and “Bad Break” has a catchy riff at its core, the organ and guitars are solid, Ty cutting loose in his solos. Both tracks owe much to the likes of Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. The title track “Water Under The Bridge” drops the pace a little and the classic rock feel is quite attractive. “True Love” is a gentle ballad written for Ty’s girlfriend, a stripped-back production with acoustic guitar, pedal steel and distant keyboards giving a country feel to the tune.

“Your Desire” hurries along on an insistent pop-rock refrain while “Thief Of Hearts” has more of a rocking Stones style thanks to the choppy guitar riff and some fine slide work. “Seen My Chance” is another ballad enhanced by some lovely guitar in the solo and interplay between Ty and Jacob on the outro while “Alright Now” is a catchy rocker with a good hook, the harmonies here sounding very 80’s AOR. A shuffle rhythm and some soaring guitar make “All It Took” the bluesiest track on the album. Ty sings this one particularly well as he sings of “following you down to the cheating side of town”.

The final two tracks are both solo acoustic but give us a chance to hear Ty without the full band and his voice stands up well to that inspection. “Loveless Time” has a touch of country and “Shame On Me” has more of a soulful feel.

This album shows that Ty and his bandmates can rock out as well as play more sensitively. Blues Blast readers who enjoy rock will probably find some enjoyable music here but, for this reviewer, there is very little blues to be found in the mix.

John Mitchell - Blues Blast Magazine

"Water Under The Bridge Ty Curtis"

When Ty Curtis left his home in Salem this past year to make the move to Austin, Texas, it was certainly a hard loss locally to say goodbye to an up-and-rising young musician with his future easily sitting out for all of us to see. Fortunately for us, he does make several trips back home every so often. But it sure was nice to have him around as we watched his talent gel. Water Under The Bridge continues the songwriting and musical path that his last release, the fantastic self-titled Ty Curtis, began to take us into. But it also takes a turn-around to his original bluesy roots. Solid lyrics, sizzling guitar and blues rock patterns that belie his mid-twenties age surely making for a winning formula in the hands of Ty Curtis.

Water Under The Bridge is Curtis’ fifth album and was recorded in Austin, Texas, with the direction of his friend Jacob Petersen as producer. Petersen is a guitarist with the Steve Miller Band and has toured with Curtis Salgado. He also leads his own outfit in Austin called The Harvey Kartel which Ty Curtis is also a member, and the band was on hand to help lay down the tracks for Curtis’ new album. Aside from Petersen adding his guitar touches, Harvey Kartel members present are Brian Ferguson holding down the drums, bassist Keith “Kiko” Hanna and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Bryant. Also along for the recordings are Mingo Fish Trap’s Dan Farnsworth on keys, Glen Fukunaga on bass and harmonica player Gregg McManus.

Water Under The Bridge showcases the young bluesman’s expansion on his personal concept of the blues. Impressive and complex songwriting prevails, whether a fast-paced rocker like the opening numbers “Key To My Heart” and “Bad Break” or a heartfelt, tender ballad like “True Love.” Strong selections from this disc have to include the slow-blues heartbreaker “Seen My Chance” with its smooth guitar, the catchy lyrics and quick pace of “Your Desire,” and both the acoustic tracks closing the album, “Loveless Time” and “Shame O Me.” Actually, the more I listen to Water Under The Bridge, the more I find myself enjoying every song included.

With a voice and guitar tenacity that goes along perfectly, Ty Curtis is proving that he is a modern day bluesman that is going to bring it home every time out. And he certainly did this time.

Gregg Johnson - Cascade Blues Asscoation

"Interview Oregon Blues Musician Ty Curtis"

What do you learn about yourself from the blues and what does the blues mean to you?

That I have more depth to my emotions than I realized. The blues to me means all the ups downs good and bad parts of life. It’s a way for me to combat my feelings and struggles or it can be a way to celebrate and rejoice in happy times.

How do you describe Ty Curtis sound and songbook? What characterize your music philosophy?

I would describe my sound as modern blues rock with high energy, passionate vocals and in depth songwriting. My music philosophy is to always have fun and to try and make a positive impression on any audience or person each time out. You never know who is in the crowd. I characterize my songbook as a young kid who started out writing his emotions at 19 through blues and has matured to a more experienced well rounded musician leaning more on the rock side of blues but not forgetting the soul in the music. My songbook documents my progression as a player, songwriter and singer. I want to think that each album I put out I learn a little more and is always better than the one that proceeded it or at least that’s my goal.

"I would bring back Stevie Ray Vaughan because nobody today is like him or ever will be. He would make so many people happy on an epic scale. I think if we could hear him today you wouldn't believe your ears how good it would be. Totally in a class of its own."

What were the reasons that one of Oregon's youngest musician started the Blues/Rock searches?

I grew up listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Delbert McClinton, all kinds of blues and classic rock as well as reggae and folk. My parents as well as my brother really influenced what I listened to growing up. We had a large cd collection that I would paw through and learn about new artists and get ideas and inspirations from the music that was going on before I was born. The main reason I love blues is because you can't fake it you get what you put into it and It's the type of music that I feel the most in my heart. A big reason for my switch to a more rock blues sound was when I opened for Robin Trower at the Roseland in Portland and also being able to watch George Thorogood from backstage that really changed me also but with that said I really love old blues. I plan on recording more rootsy bluesy songs and acoustic as well.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?

Meeting Jacob Petersen when I opened for Curtis Salgado after that performance he took me under his wing and mentored me about guitars and tone and changed my musical world. He helped me dial in my sound and be comfortable with my gear. He gave me the 101 on tone, guitars, amps you name it which helps you to have confidence to perform. I will forever be grateful to him for empowering me with that knowledge.

Another experience I had was meeting harmonica great Paul Delay. The man was a true pro and so relaxed and a model blues performer. Being exposed to his music and stage presence was very eye opening and inspiring. He told me to never be afraid to mess with the scale and to always play straight ahead and from the heart.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

Playing in the Caribbean for the St. John Blues Fest we were sitting around in the middle of a jungle after playing just shooting the breeze with the other bands that had played and I'm realizing right then that I was extremely blessed and fortunate to have my music take me the farthest place I've ever been in the world. The thought that my music could do that was pretty powerful.

(Ty Curtis & Jerry Jacques, photo by Joe Scavone)

What do you miss most nowadays from the blues of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of blues?

The rawness of it! Blues will continue to evolve and inspire younger generations but I would say my fear would be if songs with an auto tuned voice on a blues song was more popular with the new generation than real blues. Electronic music has already taken over and blues is a select market but it will never die because nobody can deny raw emotion and someone pouring out their soul. Bp will never take you to church but BB King could.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I would bring back Stevie Ray Vaughan because nobody today is like him or ever will be. He would make so many people happy on an epic scale. I think if we could hear him today you wouldn't believe your ears how good it would be. Totally in a class of its own.

Which memory from Doobie Bros, George Thorogood, Paul DeLay, and Curtis Salgado makes you smile?

At Doobie Brothers best memory was playing to their sold out crowd of 7,000. The energy you get is indescribable. When I watched George Thorogood’s show from side stage. He just walked out without a guitar and the crowd went nuts, being around that kind of energy was infectious and rooted me even more in my quest to play music and perform live.

"That I have more depth to my emotions than I realized. The blues to me means all the ups downs good and bad parts of life. It’s a way for me to combat my feelings and struggles or it can be a way to celebrate and rejoice in happy times."

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues with Soul and continue to Jazz and World music?

A solid rhythm and true emotion I believe are the connecting lines in my opinion. Every human on earth has a heartbeat.

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the music circuits?

What made me laugh recently was I heard about this tour joke that was played on a drummer. He went to his drums for soundcheck and the band crew had poured a layer of talcum powder on his snare. It blended right in and of course he was tired from being on the road so he didn't notice it. He hit the snare and the powder blew up into his face. That story gave me laughs for days.

What made me laugh recently was… What really touched me was that (my idol) Chris Cain was in financial need and the blues community came through to raise a substantial amount of money. I was also extremely honored to be apart of Tim Langford’s cancer benefit as well! It was great to see everyone come out and support that show, it really showed a perfect example of how music creates a strong community.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

I would go back to the day I met my fiancé Sara. She's the love of my life and the feeling I got when I saw her for the first time I could live over and over. I know awe lol but really was a moment I won’t ever forget.

Ty Curtis - Home - Michalis Limnios

"Ty Curtis captures Blues Fest"

At few of us at Portland Radio Project had a chance to stop in at the 28th annual Waterfront Blues Fest in Portland on Friday.

For music lovers not willing or able to brave the high temps, here are a few highlights.

Fans turned out in droves to hear the music of blues-rock phenomenon Ty Curtis. Setting up on the First Tech Blues Stage a few minutes early, the talented and affable blues guitarist made time to chat with his fans before blasting off into a high octane show that moved the mercury on the 95-degree day a bit higher.

Curtis, who started playing guitar at 13, has 5 releases under his belt. From Oregon, the hard-working blues guitarist recently relocated to Austin where he recorded his most recent “Water Under the Bridge” release, which PRP included in their Top 10 last year.

His band members are: David Kahl, bass (Paul deLay, Pinetop Perkins); Louis Pain (Paul deLay, King Louie & Friends), organ; and Jerry Jacques (pronounced “Jakeways”), who previously played for Tracy Chapman, on drums and backup vocals.

Check out the electric energy in this snippet here:

My PRP Press Pass allowed access to the stage, from which a sea of happy blues enthusiasts could be surveyed and the sound system was suitably impeccable. Fans clapped, hollered, cheered and danced to the 9-song setlist that was over far-too-soon.

Friday’s setlist was heavily sprinkled with choice tracks from his “Water Under the Bridge” release.


Key to My Heart
All it Took
Seen My Chance
Bad Break
Thief of Hearts
5 Long Years
I Must Confess
Fools Game
Feel What I Feel

In an interview with Ty Curtis on Monday, we learned “Seen My Chance,” “Key to My Heart,” and our personal “Bad Break” favorite are all getting radio airplay.

Currently, Curtis has 25 new songs in the works – including some acoustic tracks.

“I try to keep writing all the time,” he says. - Portland Radio Project

"Blame Me Review"

Ty Curtis is back with a down and gritty new record called Blame Me. Ty’s newest album is packed with soul, blues and ripping guitar riffs. This latest effort also features some of the most heart-felt, emotion tugging vocals to come out in several years.

The album opens with “That’s Good,” an old school rock number that showcases Ty’s soulful vocals and over -the- top guitar playing. “That’s Good” rolls right into the title track, which was also the first single from the record. “Blame Me” is a hard rocking track about relationship woes. Ty’s soulful rock vocals, reminiscent of Paul Rodgers reign supreme and stand out above everything else. “Back Again” shows of Ty’s killer guitar work. He shifts gears on the slower more soulful “I Can Say,” but still has those electric guitar moments interspersed at times occuring like exclamation points at key moments in the song.

Some other moments of note include, “Shake It Up,” which builds gradually in to a louder, blues rock track with the electric guitar having its own voice.”Urge and Temptation” is a roots reggae rocker with great vocal moments as well. Blame Me closes with the old school soul of “Never Get My Love.” This is hands down Ty’s best performance on the entire record. It’s one of the those rare productions with a great dance groove and down right mean guitar work.

The overall production is what you would expect from a blues man. It’s tight and punchy. Longtime drummer, Jerry Jacques, and bassist, Tony Valdez, drive Ty’s performance, like a jockey on the final lap of the Kentucky Derby. Blame Me is an impressive set of burning blues rock tracks with very tasteful southern rock overtones. It is an great addition to any blues rocker’s collection.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– That Good
– Back Again
– I Can Say
– Never Get My Love
– Blame Me

The Big Hit

– Blame Me - Blues Rock Review


Stubborn Mind-2006

Down On My Luck- 2008

Cross That Line- 2010

Ty Curtis- 2012

Water Under The Bridge- 2014

Blame Me- 2016

Ty Curtis has been privileged to open for Chris Cain, Coco Montoya, The Doobie Brothers, Roy Rogers, George Thorogood, Los Lonely Boys, Paul DeLay, Curtis Salgado, Walter Trout, Big Monti and Lloyd Jones. They have performed at Montreal Jazz Festival, St John Blues Festival, Portland's Water Front Blues Festival, Winthrop Blues Festival, Joseph Bronze & Blues, Rogue Valley Blues Festival, Central Oregon Blues Festival, Blues by the Bay, Red, White & Blues Festival, The Oregon State Fair, Redwood Run and many others.

#9 Blame Me Best Blues Rock Albums of 2016 Bluesrockreview

#14 Water Under The Bridge Best Blues Rock Albums of 2014 Blues Rock Review

2009 2nd Place in International Blues Challenge Memphis TN

2008 Cascade Blues Association Best New Blues Act

2009 Cascade Blues Association Best Regional Blues Act

2010 Cascade Blues Association Best Contemporary Blues Act

2010 Cascade Blues Association Best NW Recording for Cross That Line

2010 & 2011 Cascade Blues Association Curtis Salgado Male Vocalist Award

2011 Cascade Blues Association Best Regional Blues Act

2015 Cascade Blues Association Best Regional Act



Ty Curtis has a Blues mojo that is alive and kicking, a natural musical treat for all that stand before his stage. His offerings have a throwback Rock and Roll flair with an undeniable southern-fried ambiance. Blended, it all adds up to the authenticity of his Blues Rock Style. His explosion of emotion-power-packed performances captures the undivided attention of audiences with tantalizing guitar fret work and highly intellectual lyrics. Add to the mix his exceptional vocals, and in Ty Curtis, you've found a classy performer that has ignited an exciting Blues career and a major Blues star in the making. 

Ty Curtis has been winning awards for his vocals and musicianship for the last 10 years. In 2009 his raw soulful version of 5 Long Years by Eddie Boyd captivated the audience and earned the band 2nd place in The International Blues Challenge and lead to performances at The Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada and the St John Blues Festival USVI.

With 5 albums under his belt Curtis decided to co produce his 6th album ‘Blame Me’ with the help of Austin producer and bassist Nick Jay (Ed Kowalzick, Alpha Rev & SXSW engineer). Packed with soul,blues and ripping guitar riffs, Ty’s latest effort features some of the most heart-felt emotion tugging vocals to come out in several years reminiscent of Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers.’Back Again’ shows of Ty’s killer guitar work and he shifts gears on a  slower more soulful ‘I Can Say,’ but still has those electric guitar moments interspersed at times occurring like exclamation points at key moments in the song.

The album received some of the best reviews of his career and was selected as #9 Top Blues Rock Albums of 2016 by Bluesrockreview.com placing with such names as Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck and Devon Allman. 

Ty’s musicianship and voice at his live shows are electrifying, draw from the rich blues tradition and leave audiences stunned. “Finding an artist that is an originator like Ty has always been a rare thing” - David Z (Prince, Johnny Lang) and he is proving to be an artist that will be around for generations to come. 

Band Members