Tyler Fortier

Last year was a busy one for Eugene-based songwriter Tyler Fortier as he compiled three albums of original music — "And They Rode Like Wildfire Snaking Through the Hills 'Neath the Scarlet Sun" in February, "Fear of the Unknown" in April and "Bang on Time" in October.

This year, he's taking time off from recording to promote these albums more thoroughly. He is set to play an acoustic concert at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland.

Once you get past its long-winded title, "And They Rode Like Wildfire" is a conceptual album built around narratives set in the 1800s. After sitting down to watch Jeff Bridges' "Wild Bill," Fortier began studying the legendary gunfighter and other famous characters of the Old West, including Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley. Within four days, he had nearly a dozen songs about these historical figures and his own fictional ones.

Last spring, Fortier made an attempt at writing a novella about existential crises in a World War III scenario. The novella never materialized. Instead, he channeled his dark, Armageddon accounts into ballads of survival, which he packaged as "Fear of the Unknown." This album features rock-infused Americana with blaring horn sections and orchestral arrangements.

"Bang on Time," Fortier's most popular album to date, is more stripped-down, straightforward and twangy than the others and is more lyrical- than rhythm-driven.The cover at Caldera is $5. Call 541-482-4677.

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