Singer/songwriter Tim Brandt bottles up life’s simple joys in the folk rock album Long Walk Home. With a voice like Folgers coffee, rugged and flavorful, Brandt gets the job done. His journey as a songwriter is peppered with sweet emotion and a leather-bound knapsack of stories to share; the listener is enthralled by his intricate guitar playing skills.
Long Walk Home has nine total tracks, with the last track a demo version of track five’s “Never Too Old”. According to his bio, Brandt lives “a stone’s throw away from New York City” and is also a professional actor. He released his debut album, My Inner Child (2007), while living in Seattle. Much of the warmth and lushness in both the percussion and folk guitar styling is congruent to evergreen, trees and greenery. Also, many of Long Walk Home’s influence sounds to be in the Laurel Canyon-vibe (Los Angeles) realm. The tracks below are my favorite from the album, with special nod to “Philadelphia”.
The title track is the perfect introduction to Brandt as an artist and it’s also the first track. His voice, taking a cue from Bob Dylan and Hank Williams, is the perfect vehicle for lyrics like “ain’t no looking back…truth will be exposed as we take the long road home, onward, onward, all roads lees us back to home.” As he sings, Brandt brandishes a sweet, mellow guitar. The percussion underneath creates an interesting layer, like it’s a pick-up.
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“There And Back Again” showcases Brandt’s easy-going songwriting skills even more so. He’s truly an American poet, and the simple tones and rhymes are clever. “And evergreen trees, I went there, back again, been 15 years my friend, cross the desert, to the sea, always you and me,” he sings. His voice, like a well-weathered wood door to a historical theater, holder of stories and secrets. The toe-tapping song features his plucky guitar, intimately quick and textured.
“Love Is On Your Side” is pure gold. Much of this song also reminded me of the iconic Gordon Lightfoot’s story-telling and pace. I really heard and felt the bass line much more in this track. Once again the guitar playing is bright and most beautiful. “Let your thoughts come to another time, once upon a time,” Brandt sings the first few lines. I loved the line “don’t worry about what they think inside.” I gave such a confident gesture, a baton passed to the listener to be proud of themselves and their contributions.
In the heartfelt “Little Abigail” Brandt’s lyrics are sweet and sentimental. “She loves to dance and sing like me, she swims like a fish, she pretends she’s a frog…my little girl is such a work of art…so much love, so much love” sings the proud parent. Any guardian or parental figure can attest the pure joy in this song. Grandparents especially might like this and it’s such a great song for kids to sing-along, too. Like all the songs on Long Walk Home, Brandt’s shares his soul and his heart in “Little Abigail”.
by Bethany Page