MP3 Tim Gearan - Back Home
11 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Folk Blues, COUNTRY: Country Blues
Tim spent his childhood years in New York, traveling back an forth from NYC to the suburbs. In Tim''s home growing up, there was always a guitar handy to hack around with, and so he was inspired to pick it up at a young age. Tim started to take his practice more seriously in his teen years by learning to sing and play like his heroes; The Beatles and Stones, of course, and subsequently many of their influences (Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, Bob Dylan) to name just a few. For a long time after that, Tim was a real nose to the grind stone blues student. While learning the ins and outs of traditional blues, he always had one iron in the songwriting fire.
By the time Tim was in his twenty''s he was playing for audiences and creating a style of his own. Since then he has made a living playing music in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Martha''s Vineyard and has been in Boston since the 1980''s. Around 1992, Tim began playing guitar with and writing songs for W.C. Handy nominee Toni Lynn Washington. During that time, Tim toured clubs and festivals in Europe and the U.S.
The release of his debut cd, "Back Home" and more recently, "Trouble Wheels," has allowed Tim to reveal his enormous creative range and delightfully understated song writing, exposing the emergence of a talent to watch. Along with playing his music for crowded rooms around Boston at venues such as Club Passim, Johnny D''s, the Regent Theater and others, Tim has enjoyed about a 10 year residency on Monday nights at TOAD in Porter Sq. Cambridge. Tim''s Monday night gig has been called "one of the premier hangs of the Boston music scene." At the 2004 Boston Music awards, Tim bashfully received a Gibson Guitar "Unsung Hero Award" presented by long time supporter Billy Conway (Treat Her Right, Morphine).
Tim''s wide range of writing styles is a reflection of the music he loves to listen to, with influences ranging from Randy Newman, and J. J. Cale to Ray Charles and The Band. Comparisons have also been made to Doug Sahm, Guy Clarke and Chris Smither.
"It won''t be long before this powerful performer will be recognized not only for his guitar work and elegantly gravelly singing, but also for his extraordinary song writing that transcends labels."
- Mark Wilmot (of Used Sound/ disc review in Metronome)
"His songs display a warmth and human touch in tone, but at the same time, tell convincing stories about people with less than fairy-tale lives. He balances humor and sorrow and sells the goods with a backing band that knows when to let songs simply breathe." - Scott McLellan (Worcester Telegram and Gazette)
Call it American music, rich in the traditions that have surrounded this talented songwriter. With a gifted cast of musicians, Tim has crafted a refreshing but familiar acoustic down-home feel that has been and will continue to connect with audiences for years.
Review of "Trouble Wheels" Guernica Recordings GR0002
If you heard the opening track, "Flicker", on the radio you might mistake it for a Randy Newman gem you''d previously missed. Here''s a subtle picture painted in hues garnered from some of the more precious moments he has experienced in the male/female relationship struggle. Gearan has that same warm, sandy vocal quality too. You instantly warm to its easy-to-take tone. His 2002-issued "BACK HOME" (Guernica Records GR0001) is a great album and should have made more of an impact, especially in Europe. It seems at least he has Scandinavia switched on so the rest of us will hopefully now start to play catch up. On the song-writing front, he''s on a roll. If anything, this latest collection is even better than the last. Much of the material is richly character-based and his subjects are loveable and colourful. Given the right amount of exposure, "Green" with the kind of vibe that made The Son of Hickory Holler''s Tramp a hit for OC Smith, could become a standard. The beautifully atmospheric "Long Cold Winter," finds him balancing the vocal delivery somewhere between the velvety realms of Richard Buckner and more raspy edge of Ritchie Havens when he''s in no-time-for-messin-around mode. It''s no secret that Gearan (like many of his contemporaries) is a fan of Chris Smither and "Ease Me Down," which might have come from Fleetwood Mac, circa ''69, is so solid, it threatens to out-stomp the great man he so admires. Some of the songs have imagery so sharp they transport you to the very heart of the place. The pickings are particularly satisfying by the time we reach "Lonesome Willow Creek," which skillfully evokes just the right picture and is dripping so gloriously with good stuff that it matches Dr John or Little Feat. "Trouble Wheels," with just the right dusting of dobro and mandolin and subtle barrelhouse piano tucked away in the background as if it might have been played in the room next door, is just loaded with good energy and so mature it is in the Brook Benton/Fats Domino league. This is not alt-anything. This is as strong a collection of songs as you might be privileged to hear for many a long while, sung and played by someone with a down-home warmth that is cut-above. Another 24-carat name - Guy Clark - was brought to mind with the infectious "Just Like Diamonds." Gearan sparkles alright; with polished facets brighter than most. He''s reputed to be hotter than hell ''live'' too. If you want to check that out, drop into legendary Massachusetts bar, Toad in Porter Square, Cambridge, where right now, he has a Monday night residency with his band.
Review of Back Home:
This comes from the unknown (to me) artist I was impressed with; off the "A Beanpot of Blues" CD I reviewed in issue 11 of "Blues Matters" magazine. So I dug into what I digged and Tim sent me his current album; with a promise to send me the album he''s working on at present. "Back Home" is full of surprise, firstly Tim''s track off the Boston Blues Festival CD I mentioned above was a Texas styled electric blues. "Back Home" is stripped down acoustic singer/songwriter fare, of Americana. As with this type of music it''s has very personal & artistic inherent quality. The production has a warm fat feel that relieves the listener from those stark & harsh back to basics albums, which are hard on the ear.
"Billy & Ruby" sets off with mandolin giving out a touch of "O Sole Mio", and quickly becomes as Elvis Costello, as anything Elvis himself has come up with. "The Sound of Your Voice" sits in a midway point between John Hammond & Steve Miller, and has an infectious propulsive chugging shuffle. "Shade of Blue" has Tim in hill country, hogs, whiskey stills and square dancing swell over your consciousness. Tim''s voice is full of character, timbre and distinctiveness that one''s attention never wanders. This album evokes so many memory jerkers for me, such as the storytelling "Wind of Fate" with its Eagles/Hitchhiker''s Guide to the Galaxy "Journey of the Sorcerer" banjo. A Tex/mex tune adds variety, and is admirably presented. "Broken" also has a strong Costello structure, while the closer could have well come from either Paul Geremia or Randy Newman. For me Tim Gearan is a remarkable find not just for his song writing & versatility, but for the high quality of his music.
- Billy Hutchinson.