Tim Weed, his hair a paintbrush of sterling silver, his eyes as if turquoise could fade, and his life a car full of rain sticks, Vietnamese mouth organs, and weathered pre-war Martins beaten to a shroud of toran shade. His life is an endless possibility, and the mobius strip of raw and unadulterated idea is all and present here.
I’m no longer intimidated by the fact that nothing is what it seems. That stands as the first polyphonic revelation of a life in song. There is always some pin pointable form of music that becomes your anchor of what. For Tim Weed, that enormous weight, invisible in deep water, was bluegrass musing, or the miniature sawmill of hill music. To some it is a narrow and limiting field, but that, as an entity for our salvation does not concern us, for those are only the narrow at heart, sadly blind to the hands of genius. Bluegrass is a mobile swinging, hanging around the corner from itself. The fiddle ushers Celtic influence in on horseback, the banjo brings African plunk and savanna tone, then the guitar from Spain rings like a tambourine, while the dobro ushers in the relief of grass-skirted tropic islands. Bill Monroe’s mandolin playing itself is no more than the pounding down-stroke of a pine top juke house piano. On top of this you add vocals that tap a gospel field-holler like forest turpentine, and an angelic choir forced through a nasal dimension, or the third eye, until it simulates a high lonesome wind through a trademark coulter pine.
These realities are nothing new to Weed, raised on the art of surfing as a youth in California. It then became easy for him to mix with the influences of Zen Buddhism, and through the meditation of the nautical arts, the dance of the razor’s edge between land and sea, until it became not much work at all for him to project himself cosmically to a tar paper shack, sunshine and mud, in fragrant Appalachia. He’s lived in a house made of hay-bale technology, he has learned to make lemon-leaf tea broth from the natives of Fuji, he’s worked beside James Cagney in a movie, scored symphonies for the five-string banjo, and he has on occasion sung back-up for Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers and Phil Spector fame. If you have heard of him then you are a lifelong fan. If you have not heard of him, it is because he is a musician’s musician, a breed that plays music that is mined from down in the marrow, notes and phrases as a bodily function, until like a mother hen, one is a bit afraid of what the corporate side of the music business might cost the open channel that has forever been the original blessing
A lot of musicians have over the years muscled “the real thing” aside while going straight through the wall. Tim Weed, forever a gentle soul, continues to work in a Rembrandtian fashion, a cosmic craftsman, until the door, that of course like all doors is built to open, swings free out onto a stand of brass band roses. I’m please to be here to catch the influence, for influence is like starlight, and every new project of his which you might be so lucky to hold, illusively, not being what it seems, is the doorknob.
This is Tim Weed’s latest offering for 2021. It’s titled Light and Dark and it contains his original classical compositions for the banjo recorded in the Czech Republic’s with the 82-piece Prague Metropolitan Orchestra.