Tim Gartland – Truth | Album Review

Tim Gartland – Truth

Taste Good Music


12 songs time – 45:40

Ohio native and now Nashville transplant Tim Gartland is a singer-songwriter and harmonica player to be reckoned with. His nicely gruff rustic voice is well suited to his songs which he wrote or co-wrote. His harmonica sound varies from blues to country-ish to jazz inflected ala the late great Belgian jazz harmonica player Toots Thielemans. Not on a par with Toots, but he manages to invoke some of his feel. The songs here are an amalgamation of genres including blues, R&B and jazz among others. Tim has assembled a small but mighty contingent of players to back him on this his fifth solo album. The result is a well conceived collection of songs.

“Don’t Mess With My Heart” introduces the listener to Tom’s nicely gruff pipes that exhibit the better side of the “cookie cutter” macho deep voiced country singer. Country blends with R&B on this nifty number that features a brief taste of Mr. Gartland’s harmonica skills. Robert Frahm’s guitar shines here as elsewhere throughout the recording. Tim’s harp gets real bluesy on the funky “Leave Well Enough Alone”, a nice compliment to Frahm’s guitar. Wendy Moten’s backing vocals add depth and warmth to this song and during the proceedings. Kevin Mckendree’s electric piano adds to the mix and supports Tim’s tasty harmonica riffs on “The Thing About The Truth”. Like the man says-“Facts are facts”.

Robert Frahm visits Professor Longhair’s piano styling’s on the refreshingly upbeat “Cloudy With A chance Of The Blues”. The nicely laid back “Outta Sight Outa Mind” is vaguely reminiscent of Mose Allison. Mr. Frahm contributes fiery guitar solo. Country music is explored on “One Love Away” and “Love Knocks Once”. Kevin Mckendree adds to the atmosphere with electric piano and organ on the former and acoustic piano and organ on the latter. Needless to say there is nicely done harp on both tunes. “Pause” alludes to stereo equipment as an analogy for taking a break from a relationship…”Just press pause”. The funky side of New Orleans funk is righteously displayed on “Probably Something” largely due to Kevin Mckendree’s Fess style piano.

Ray Desilvis Brings his acoustic slide guitar to intertwine with Kenneth Blevins’ shuffle drumming and Mckendree’s “tinkly” piano on the swampy blues of “Wish I Could Go Back”. What a soothing mellow, swinging groove the guys bring to “Mind Your Own Business”. More fine solos from Kevin Mckendree on piano and Robert Frahm on guitar don’t hurt one little bit. All players get a chance to display their soloing skills on the instrumental “Save Sammy Some” with its’ warm summer day vibe.

Tim Gartland has surrounded himself with a solid group of musicians that compliment the well crafted original songs. The ever present bass player Steve Mackey and percussionist Bryan Brock bolster rhythms quite nicely. Spot on songwriting along with well arranged music, make for one satisfying mix of music. All genre elements add to this hearty musical stew. Be the first on your block to snatch this one up.

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