Daniel Glen Timms – Life’s An Illusion – Blue Earth Records (CD or Stereo Vinyl LP) 806239100042, 38:45 ***½:
(Daniel Glen Timms – guitar, piano, organ, keyboards, vocals; Mark Hill – bass; Chad Cromwell – drums; Tommy Butler – pedal steel; and the Texicali Horns: Darrell Leonard – trumpets, trombone; Joe Sublett – saxophone)
Daniel Glen Timms has a listenable, almost familiar sound. Steeped in the countrified, pop rock of the seventies, his tunes are guitar-based, structured pop songs. His first two releases (Highway Home, LA LA Land) introduced a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer. The Louisiana native decided to set up his own studio at his property on the Cumberland River to record his current release. He recruited Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler) on drums and Mark Hill (Reba McIntire, Keith Urban) on bass to lay down the new tracks.
Life’s An Illusion gets off to a raucous start with “Thirty Thousand Days”. Propelled by a hard-driving rock beat, electric guitar and the Texicali Horns, this rumination on life’s transient nature is arranged around the country-rock vocals of Timms. His voice has an organic quality, not unlike late 1960s Steve Miller. The concept of everyday existence is tied into a type of astronomical spirituality. The following song, “She’s A Lover Of Herself” in medium tempo take on a barbed sensitivity of romance in folk-rock style. “Do It Right” explores the connection to rhythm and blues. The use of the horns in a Memphis Stax chorus is effective with the halting breaks. Cromwell and Hill form a cohesive unit framing the vocals and jagged electric guitar riffs.
Timms’ guitar work is more revelatory on the acoustic tracks. “My Dogs” is a plaintive guitar instrumental with melodic resonance. A pedal steel (Tommy Butler) adds an earthy touch to “Troubled Son.” Returning to celestial philosophy, “Luminous Sky” is coalesced by lush background vocalese that evokes the layered studio approach of groups like the Moody Blues. However, there is an unmistakable country aesthetic to this project. The up-tempo swing of “Cumberland” relates the virtues of Tennessee in heartfelt twang. “Troubled Son” has a simple narrative of inevitable personal struggle.
Life’s An Illusion (also available as an LP) should provide a greater audience to this emerging artist.
TrackList: Thirty Thousand Days; Lover Of Herself; Troubled Son; Di It Right; Dream All Day; Wild Blue Ocean; Luminous Sky; My Dogs; Cumberland; Life’s An Illusion
— Robbie Gerson