Peter Oyloe
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Peter Oyloe

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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CD: Words & Music

Home: Decorah, Iowa

Style: Folk

Quote: "This young man is more than a simple folk singer."

By Ken Mowery

Oyloe is a talented singer/songwriter whose art has been forged amid the small-town isolation and pace of rural Iowa. These roots are discernible both in the music and in the contemplative lyrics. They give a poetic quality to Oyloe’s writing that draws the artist and his audience together in a profoundly introspective experience. It's a transcendence made possible by Oyloe’s judicious employment of vivid imagery coupled with ”moment in time” snapshots of real-life emotions. The end result is music that listeners will find broadly relevant and deeply stirring.

The CD is very well done, with traditional folk instrumentation featuring Oyloe on acoustic guitar and vocals, Jody Koenig on bass and electric guitar, Erik Berg playing drums and percussion, Tom Bourcier piano and organ, John Goodin on mandolin and both Jeroen Van Tyn and Amber Dolphin playing violin. Although all of the instrumental performances are strikingly flawless, it is Oyloe’s dynamic vocal range and emotive timbre as he sings his songs that sets this project apart.

Oyloe has so seamlessly bound the melodic contour of his songs with his unique voice and lyrics that listeners may not discern the amazing merit of the vocal track at first. Soaringly high passages in songs like “Long After It’s Gone,” “Dreaming of the Underwater,” “My Bathe With You,” and ‘I Am” make it clear that this young man is more than a simple folk singer. In fact, songs like these make it difficult to classify Oyloe’s music with their eclectic sound and almost ethereal mix of folk, jazz and rock.

Interestingly, in spite of the dreamy ambience of this CD, the song “I Am,” with its hook-like refrain toward the end, is certainly the most memorable song and may even be the best song on the entire project. However, that is a distinction that could well be given to just about any of the tracks, which is to say this is a very good CD. Once added to your collection, it will collect no dust because you will find yourself often returning to enjoy the Oyloe journey again. -

Reviewer: Charlie Langton

When you listen to Words & Music for the first time, if you know nothing of Peter Oyloe, you may think you’ve stumbled late upon a seasoned song-writer and start scouring the records bins for his early albums. But amazingly Words & Music is Oyloe’s first, and it will leave you hungering for more. Oyloe’s songs are undeniably infectious and poetic, but I have to apologize immediately for using those words, for they can be as misleading as they are accurate. The songs are not malignantly infectious, like a Carpenters ditty. They are more insidiously yet salubriously so — entering somehow along your spinal chord and remaining there until a quiet moment, when they resurface again almost neurally to enhance the pleasure of your solitude. You do not hum an Oyloe tune while caught in traffic, tapping your fingers on the steering wheel. His songs become instead a part of the soundtrack of your interior life. The lyrics are full of stunning images, evocative lines. They are poetic — but they are not poetry. I do not think most of them would have a comparable effect printed alone on a page, nor should they. Instead, they are truly lyrics, melded inseparably to the music, each augmenting the other and creating more meaning (and more pleasure) than each could convey alone. This is what song-writing is all about. Which brings us to the music itself: It’s an alternately delicate and funky combination of folk, jazz, and rock elements — but saying that may be misleading, too. For, ultimately, Words & Music is a syncretistic fusion of such disparate influences as Tim Buckley (only us oldies may remember), Natalie Merchant, REM, David Gray, Tracy Chapman, James Taylor, and Nickel Creek. You may hear others. Yet this is not a derivative album in any sense. It is built upon the past, not a copy of it. That makes Words & Music as intelligent in its composition as it is a sheer joy to hear. One word about the band. It’s accomplished and tight, thinking only to serve each song as best it can. These are talented musicians, and (I hope they forgive me for saying so) all of them are substantially older and more experienced than the young man they are backing. They actually sound like they are playing on the album because they believe in the material and recognize the fledgling genius of the young man who composed it. Listening to Words & Music, you will recognize it, too.

- Tapestry Newspaper

Editor's Review:

Acoustic troubadour Peter Oyloe gently spins a storytelling web. His tales of love and loss, augmented by a powerful backing band, invoke the spirit of Paul Simon and James Taylor. File this burgeoning talent under future folk legend. -

Reviewer: Liz Kaye

I first heard Peter's music on a music based website. Out of the thousands of singers on the site, he quickly became my favourite. I am a child of the 60's and 70's, so grew up listening to folk music. Peter easily compares with the greatest from that generation. His voice is comparable to that of Tim other words, amazing. Because of my financial situation, I rarely buy Cd's any more...but for words&music, I made an exception. There is rarely a day that goes by that I do not listen to this magic. Peter's album has brought me to great yearning...and produced smiles. I close my eyes, and just let his music take me to another place. Peter's lyrics are so meaningful, and his enunciation allows his listeners to hear the stories he weaves with his words. He has also gathered some great musicians to play along with him...the violinist is sublime. If you enjoy the best of the best in acoustic/folk music, then this is the CD to buy and listen to, over and over again. I have a feeling Peter is going to be an international star some day...he is that good! This CD was one of the best gifts I've ever given to myself. - website


Currently Recording New Album
-In Love With a Nun Soundtrack
-Unreleased album- Untitled
-Words & Music- Somedays the Sun Records
-KUNI Radio airplay for many of the tracks on the CD on Bob Dorr's weekly program.
-Golden Radio airplay in Belgium for several tracks from the album WORDS & MUSIC.
-Several tracks from WORDS & MUSIC receive airplay on various other internet radio programs.



Peter Oyloe's music, is precisely crafted and fueled by a captivating and rare talent. By his own words, Oyloe is "an old soul, raised on homegrown goats milk and thoughtful solitude, whose love of love and people is constant and strong."

Perhaps it's the well-tended, organic Iowa roots that have enabled Oyloe's talents to far exceed most of his contemporaries. For an industry that has been heavily polluted with the mass marketed-whir of overproduced pop singers or the homogeneous drone of the Indie scene (the title of which loses meaning daily as its forefront members become increasingly featured on MTV and mainstream radio), Oyloe's arrival in the music world is a long awaited breath of fresh air.

Oyloe grew up listening to his father's record albums and came to love such music as The Beatles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Cat Stevens and Michael Martin Murphy's "Geronimo's Cadillac". Buying his first guitar for ten dollars, he was compelled to start playing and writing immediately and begin his search for the perfect melody, one he has yet to satisfy.

Through his music, Oyloe plays tribute to those he admires while managing to keep the sound his own and something hand-tailored for the modern day. His lyrics are clearly-focused, revealing simple truths grounded in the enigma of fierce emotional intimacy: lost loves, personal challenges, misunderstanding, lies and unrealized dreams.

Oyloe's vocal talents fall easily into the ranks of legends such as Jeff Buckley and James Taylor, saturating every song with lush melodies, sometimes soaring and crooning and sometimes delicate and understated. His vocal ranges alone traverse a broad spectrum of emotion, at times dark and contemplative, reflecting the stark honesty and ardor Oyloe brings to his music, and other times driven by an upward grace and sweeping romanticism.

What makes Peter's music even more remarkable is that it is entirely self-produced and comes with the support of several local area musicians.

Peter is a multifaceted performer and spends an equal amount of time as an actor, having won many accolades whilst taking on some of the most challenging roles in the drama.

“You have a marvelous voice; I am going to remember you.”

This was Tony award-winning songwriter Craig Carnelia's reaction to seeing Peter Oyloe in the title role of the new musical Julian Po. It is, in fact, the reaction of most people when they see Oyloe perform. He has affected audiences around the world with an intensity not often exhibited in young performers. His live performances truly do give new insight into this man and many have commented on how the live versions of his songs erupt from his mouth in ways not always seen at first when listening to his recordings.

Peter grew up amongst the greens and the blues of the Northeast Iowan landscape. It is an experience he cites often in his musings on life and certainly within the context of his original compositions which often evoke the natural world in some way. “There is something magic in the land there, you just have to get down and look inside to see what it's made of. My father showed me once how the light is different in Northeast Iowa. Now having been around the world i know just what he means...” Says Oyloe of his time growing up.

His travels have indeed sent him around the world. For a one time Iowa farm boy he most certainly gets around, having visited no less than 15 countries and counting. “I love to see the world!” When asked, on his journeys, where he is from he often says simply, “I fancy myself a citizen of the world. When I travel I would rather be identified by my character than by societal labels, most of which contain some preconceived notion or implied judgment. If I can make those labels just melt away and exist in the moment as my true self I find that the level of interaction is much more honest. My relationships with people are the cornerstone of my life and I think I find when you give people permission to be their true selves as opposed to what they might think you want them to be you open yourself to a world of wonder. I have had some pretty amazing interactions in my time. I really value sharing.”

It is from this place of honesty and self awareness that Oyloe creates his vision of the characters he plays. He takes bold risks which often leave his audiences profoundly affected. Peter Oyloe is not your run of the mill performer.

For his hard work as troubled teen Alan Strang in the soul-stirring drama, Equus, Oyloe earned the prestigious Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor, the Chicago theatre equivalent of the Tony Award. He followed that role with a run as Harry Houdini in the vivacious Joseph Jefferson Award-winning musical, Ragtime, going straight from there into the tragic lead role in the musical, Phantom. He had the honor of performing the role for Phantom composer Maury Yeston, who reciprocated the honor graciously by saying, of Oyloe, “He is g