Tim Brandt- Long Walk Home (LP)
Tim Brandt isn’t one to stray in his music. His sound is deeply personal, his guitar skills mesmerizingly beautiful. His words timeless. Brandt’s newest album Long Walk Home gives the listener a peek into the life of an artist that has ventured into new territories but his compass always directs him back home. It’s a nice, intimate place and the listener is all the better for it. Long Walk Home is a masterful album that music fans of all genres will enjoy.
One of the first things you notice about Brandt is his voice. He’s not Adele and he’s not trying to be Billy Joel. He’s somewhat of a cross between Bob Dylan meets Conor Oberst meets Neil Young. Now, if you want to talk about his guitar playing – ah, yes, his guitar sings like no other. He can go from strumming a song like a sweet, lullaby to the crisp backbeat of a honky tonk guitar. He can also amplify the guitar, rocking out in the track “Philadelphia” with a large band sound.
The first few tracks are shining examples of Brandt’s top notch lyric writing. In the title-track, he sings, “…truth will be exposed, as we take the long road home” and I pondered if he meant he discovered his true self after a stint living somewhere else. His biographical materials state that during the recording of his debut album, My Inner Child, in 2007, Brandt lived in Seattle. He’s now based outside New York City. His thoughts, his demeanor are all positive, yet very emotionally driven. He sings with sincerity like Arlo Guthrie. His words could be anyone’s words.
“Next To Me” is riveting. He sings “I reach for you, oh, I reach for you.” Brandt createsa a whole new layer of emotional energy with the richness of the cymbals. The song stopped me in my tracks. In “Never Too Old” the percussion carries listeners into the honky tonk vibe described above. It’s a quicker tempo track and Brandt continues to solidify his incredible guitar playing skills.
“Philadelphia” lets Brandt turn a bit loose, get a bit wild. Full band and lots of pop-rock sounding tones, “Philadelphia” is the tale of one town’s rauccious behavior that Brandt just can’t get enough of: “Philly fans are nasty, they’ll tell you how they feel, they’ll eat you up and spit you out like it’s their final meal.” He enlists an echoing, factor that gives a multi-voice chorus sound with “I’m going back to Philadelphia” solidifying this song as the 2021 tour stop’s bar sing-along. Cheers and raise your glasses to “Philadelphia”. Brandt captures the pitfalls of independent, singer/songwriter tour dates.
In “Never Turn Away”, Brandt’s words ring true: “there is a distant place far within my mind, childhood memories, this place will never die.” What this also might reveal about Brandt is his yearning for closure, or even desire to return to the boy he was. He’s a man with many memories, most of which sound so light and enjoyable. Brandt’s a true artist and poet.