It hasn’t been a year since Tim Gerard released his album Right From The Start, but he is eager to give us more new music. With his creative flow in overdrive, he has been working on new material with Pineapple Cowboy (aka Matthew Austin). Together they had worked on hundreds of songs. At the end of it, he selected five tracks to make up his new EP, Country Gold.
He recorded the EP at the Nashville home studio of his best friend and producer, Alex Labrie. He says the recording process featured heartbreak, Modelo beers, Nashville Dive Bars, Mexican food, and loud guitars, to name a few. But, more importantly, he poured his heart and soul into a microphone. With help from Alex Labrie (guitars/bass), Phoebe White (backing vocals), and Dom Billett (drums), they helped to complete its soundtrack.
The result was a collection of songs about “loss and liberation in love and relationships. Also the adversity that comes with being a musician and full-time singer-songwriter and blues musician”. Even though it’s called Country Gold, it promises to offer much more than that. He is an artist who loves what he does and will create a mood that feels right for him. Expect a range of sounds from Blues-Rock, Americana, Roots-Rock, and some more in the mix.
Each track from ‘Country Gold’ offers something different. But they all feature Tim Gerard’s stunning storytelling talents.
Now to the EP. It opens with the title track, “Country Gold”. He comes out the gates strong with an infectious mash-up of blues, country, and rock n roll. Its slow build-up begins with, “Saved up bad luck / Ain’t no young buck / Left those grey skies / New set of green eyes / I was down / Singer stuck in the lost and found”. When the chorus arrives, his guitar is set free. His vocals reflect the mood as he powers out lines such as, “Blues mind six strings / Lost man travelling / Ain’t no cowboy hat on me”. The final third sees his guitar talents shine even more with a stunning solo moment. Even though it is a song about how hard and sometimes unrewarding to be a musician, it is all shared with a fiery passion that reflects that he still loves making music.
Next comes “International Show”, with a story about saying goodbye to your day-to-day life to pursue your dreams. In this case, to become a rock star. To help get his message across, he recruited Leif de Leeuw to add his talents with some slide guitar. Its mood comes down a few notches with a chilled Americana-rock vibe. As before, the guitars stand out and help provide an upbeat feel. It sets the stage for Gerard to showcase his storytelling qualities. He begins with, “Been a travelling man / Trying to do the best that I can / Hanging out with the Stones / No time for building a home”. As the chorus arrives, he highlights that rock n roll dream with the lines, “There’s big people to meet and new places to go / Been getting, getting on the go / In my International Show”.
“Waterloo” sees another shift in the mood, with a beautiful and tender moment. Gerard is known for the energy within his music, but he knows how to slow things down to create stunning tracks like this. You can feel the heartache as he shares his words about breaking up with someone, as you are on different paths. As much as his lyrical qualities stand out, his delivery makes this song special. His honest and emotional tone makes his words more impactful. It is more about what you feel than what you hear.
“High Horse” begins with Gerard grabbing the listener’s attention with the lines, “Look at you sitting there on your high horse / And I’m not good enough, but I got high hopes”. It is a story of people who think they are better than others. As the verse continues, the atmosphere feels like a storm is coming. When the chorus arrives, it explodes into life thanks to Billett’s drumming. This combined with the other layers of music and their arrangement is a delight to the ears. Soft at times, sometimes moody, but the attitude it projects makes it stand out. It highlights another side of the many talents of Tim Gerard.
Closing out the EP is “Trigger”, a song about “anyone that’s going through a relationship with a gaslighter and manipulative person”. He highlights this with the line, “I’m not the trigger babe / You sure are the gun”. Again, the rock n roll attitude helps to get his words across, even more during the chorus. As a bonus, there is a treat of more exceptional guitar moments for your listening pleasure. As the track comes to a close, so does Country Gold. It leaves you wanting more. But that enforces the quality and high calibre of music created by Tim Gerard. It may be a handful of songs, but it spoils you with the depth and range of sounds. There is something here for everyone, and well worth your listening time.