Taste Good Music
Ohio born Tim Gartland saw Muddy Waters in concert when he was fourteen and it proved to be a life changing experience. He studied the harmonica, began playing in bands and started writing his own songs. After graduation from college Tim relocated to Chicago where he studied with Jerry Portnoy and played with Carey Bell, Pinetop Perkins, Big Jack Johnson, Bo Diddley and others. Among his influences are Little Walter, Ray Charles and Willie Dixon.
Gartland moved to Boston in 1989 and was a finalist in the 1998 Boston Blues Challenge. He wound up appearing at blues festivals and released his debut solo album “Looking Into The Sun” in 2011. That same year Gartland published an instructional book called “The Talking Harmonica”. Gartland’s second album “Million Stars” was released in 2014. Gartland relocated to Nashville in 2015 and became active in the Nashville Songwriters Association. His third album 2017’s “If You Want A Good Woman” was praised for both his songwriting and harp playing.
Produced by Kevin McKendree at his Rock House Studio in Franklin Tennessee, the ten original songs blend blues, soul, roots rock and country. The band includes Gartland, harmonicas and vocals; Tom West or McKendree, piano and organ; Robert Frahm, lead and rhythm guitar; Tom Britt, slide guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Jack Bruno, drums. The background vocalists are Wendy Moten and Ray Desilvis.
The album opens with “Drinking For Two”, one of two songs initially selected for air play; “I’m a party of one but I’m drinking for two”. “You Best Think Twice” is the other song being broadcasted.
“Don’t Make More Trouble” isn’t a topical song but it is socially relevant none the less. On “Blues For Free” Gartland’s voice sounds a bit like Charlie Musselwhite’s but with some additional swagger. “Can’t Paint A Prettier Picture” is a great song with some cool piano from West. On the title track McKendree plays organ as Gartland sings “all I want to do is be Satisfied”.
“Walk On” would have been a great song for Johnny Cash. The song features some great guitar from Frahm, an extended solo from Gartland. and a backing vocal from Desilvis. A ska type beat accentuates “Why Does the Room Begin to Sway”, “when she looks my way”; featured are West on organ, Frahm’s guitar and a beautiful backing vocal, this time, from Moten.
“Artifacts” features Britt’s slide and McKendree on piano; “all I have left are the artifacts to remember the love we had”. The closer “Don’t Judge Me” reminds me of the Junior Wells classic “Little by Little”.
This crackerjack band provides the grit which, when combined with Gartland’s whiskey drenched vocals, creates something really special. Check out this great new album from Gartland.