Monday, May 17, 2010

Review -- TIM HARWELL & FRIENDS -- The Wander Man Revisited

THE WANDER MAN REVISITED
Tim Harwill & Friends
Harwill Music
8-out-of-10

In a world where country music singers tend to have become a homogenized group where one voice simply mimics the last one heard of what passes for country music on the radio these days, it is gratifying to hear a voice you might actually pick out the next time you hear it.
When Tim Harwill starts off his latest CD with Sittin’ In a Hotel Room, you immediately recognize that his voice is unique enough to be memorable. Delores Hershey provides harmony vocals and adds a nice touch to the song.
The song Barely Alive follows, and you know why this guy sings country. He has that old country-style twang going on that frankly would not work on any other genre of music.
That at least tells you Harwill is playing what suits him best. How often do we spin disks and can tell the musician would be better suited singing something different. At times musicians get caught in a trap of following radio fads, or chasing the few live venues that still exist, and in the process they lose creditability in their sound.
Harwill is country, and his voice sounds as if it was born and bred on the Prairies amid wild horses and cows.
The dozen songs here are also penned by Harwill.
Guess what, he understands country lyrics too.
The song Road Traveled Less is an example of his skill with a pen. The song is one of those old-style hurtin’ country tunes filled with imagery and emotion, and darned if it doesn’t fit Harwill’s easy vocal delivery well.
This is a disk which really is what I want in country music. I don’t want someone disguising pop behind a country guitar chord.
There is a realism in Harwill’s music that speaks to the true heart of music.
There is a bit of Waylon in Harwill, and that counts for a lot on a song like the title cut, a song where Tim Hus joins in on the chorus.
Sadly, it may be music that has a difficult time making radio these days, and the airways suffer because of that.
Make sure to check him out at timharwill.com
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Mar. 31, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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