Roadhouse Album Review: Tim Gartland spins refreshingly honest music on “Truth”

Tim Gartland — “Truth” — Taste Good Music (March 18)

For his fifth solo album, singer/songwriter/harp player Tim Gartland brings up an intriguing musical concept — the truth.

Maybe it comes from his perspective on songwriting, and the blues:

“The blues is essentially a genre in which the singer is having a cathartic experience. If you write about themes that are meaningful to your experience, you will create something new,” Gartland says.

And that’s definitely the vibe coming from all of the 11 original songs on this smartly written and produced album. It’s full of razor-sharp lyrics and crisp music. The creative writing comes from Gartland, whose name is on every track, with a capable assist here and there from some talented partners in song.

Then there’s the style. It starts with Gartland’s world-weary, hint of late-night whiskey baritone that he uses to frame all these finely crafted lyrics. Then there’s the music: “Truth” was produced by Grammy winner and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, a Delbert McClinton veteran, with Kenneth Blevins on drums, Steve Mackey on bass, Robert Frahm on guitar and Ray Desilvis on acoustic slide. Bryan Brock provides percussion and Top Ten finalist on “The Voice”, Wendy Moten offers background vocals. 

And here’s the thing: This band is tight, but the music rolls as loose as it should, rocking with purpose on the opener with Gartland’s strong harp work out front (“Don’t Mess With My Heart,” written with Pat Gartland) or swinging with ease (“Leave Well Enough Alone”). Gartland’s harp, by the way, digs deep into every arrangement. Another favorite is “Cloudy with a Chance of the Blues,” written with McKendree, pushed along by his piano, coupled with Gartland’s harp. “Outta Sight Outta Mind” shares the same pairing, but with a sparkling, jazzy vibe.

Then there’s the title track, “The Thing About the Truth,” written with Karen Leipziger, which neatly sums up the philosophy here of the value of truth, with the following observation that really pulled me in:

“A world that’s lit by gaslight casts a shadow of doubt….”

And there’s a lot more, all equally worthy of filling that hole in your soul with honest, rootsy, bluesy music. It’s an excellent, finely crafted album that effortlessly pulls together intelligent songwriting, smooth vocals and inspired musicality.

You want the truth? You should check out “Truth.” Honest.

Video of “The Thing About The Truth”:


  1. Don’t Mess With My Heart
  2. Leave Well Enough Alone
  3. The Thing About The Truth
  4. Cloudy With a Chance of the Blues
  5. Outta Sight Outta Mind
  6. One Love Away
  7. Love Knocks Once
  8. Probably Nothing
  9. Wish I Could Go Back
  10. Mind Your Own Business
  11. Save Sammy Some

One thought on “Roadhouse Album Review: Tim Gartland spins refreshingly honest music on “Truth”

  1. Tim Gartland March 18, 2022 / 10:28 am

    Thanks so much for the review. I believe you “get me” and what I am trying to do. Music from the heart is heart felt. Tim


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