Tim Kelly

REVIEW: Tim Kelly “Ride Through the Rain”


Tim Kelly has a new album out, Ride Through the Rain.  Tim Kelly is Ruston Kelly’s father and plays slide guitar in the band, and this is Tim’s first solo album.  The album was produced by Ruston Kelly; engineered by Jarrad K. and Zack Zinck; and mastered by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone.

Musicians on the album are Tim Kelly on acoustic guitars and vocals; Will Sayles on drums and percussion; Eli Beaird on bass; Juan Solorzano on electric guitars; Jarrad K. on keys, Wurlitzer, B3, background vocals and synth; and background vocals courtesy of Ruston Kelly, his sister Abby Kelly (Dashboard Confessional), Lucie Silvas, Hillary Lindsey, Natalie Hemby.

Kelly has the kind of vocals that disarm and open up your locked emotions. Nowhere is that more evident than on the opening song “Better Man,” a song about growing up watching his daddy.  “He said laugh out loud every chance you get….Daddy’s gone but I can see him driving in that old blue Chevrolet Cheyenne.”

“River Street” is a slower tempo number with flinty harmonies.  “Leave This Town” is a stripped down song with acoustic guitar and the hushed sentiment of leaving town for the bigger wide world, and the longing to escape a toxic relationship.

“Dream” is a more upbeat, pretty mid tempo number about dreaming through the messiness of everyday life and escaping the tension that sometimes characterizes the day.  “I want to ride through a boxcar with the doors wide open, listen to the singing of steel on steel”  will catch you up on the headiness of expansive dreaming. Natalie Hemby’s vocals are highlighted in this one.

“Home” is the flip side of the coin from “Dream,” as “Home” celebrates the joyful commitment to place and the one you love, with Lucie Silvas adding vocals on this one.

“Free” is Tim Kelly on acoustic guitar and is a ironic observational song about the highway and the freedom of a roadside motel bed.  He wanted to be free, but why is he haunted?  The dilemmas and imperfections of relationships and life are all laid out on those acoustic strings here.

The arrangements are strong, old style country,  offering contemporary clarity on themes that are timeless.  The songs’ different focal points span a lifetime of experiences and changing perspectives. Find more info here: https://www.tim-kelly.com

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