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Biography, Interview, And Expose With Tim

Where I’m From, And Where I Currently Live...

I am a Canadian Singer/Songwriter based in the Canadian Prairie city of Calgary, Alberta. I originally hail from the Southern Ontario town of Port Colborne, on the shores of Lake Erie. I spent time living/working in Toronto before a great migration westward in the mid 90’s. All in all I’m as Canadian as the Loonie, the GST, and Saskatchewan Sealskin Bindings, but I did grow up on the US border so I have a heavy American influence. Most of the TV I watched and radio stations I listened to were from the States.

The Genre Of My Music...

My music has been slotted as Roots Rock, although all indications are that there is a whole lot more Rock than Roots. The best description I’ve heard is that it’s “Too Rock For Country and Too Country For Rock’n Roll’. I’d agree with that assessment. I mean what else would you expect from an aging Guitar Rocker? It has also been described as Americana, Alternative Country, and AAA.

Some of the reviews of my debut release “Movin’ On” mention quotes like”…you can hear the Rock, solid as boulders, in his husky delivery…” – and “…if Bruce Springsteen had a jones for Classic Country this would be it…”. I make a conscious effort to put the vocals up front and to create an edge for the songs so they aren’t considered Classic Country. I mean there aren’t many Country songs featuring the Lydian, Mixolydian, or Phrygian modes of the Minor Pentatonic Scale! My 2nd release 'Winding Day' is far more Rock than country. The 3rd and 4th releases ( "Songs From The Green Planet" and "The Rest Of Them Days ) are even more Rock Guitar oriented yet. But I'm happy that the reviews seem to indicate that I'm spanning a few different genres.

Musically How I Got Here...

I was raised in a household that always had music playing. My Mom played the piano by ear and my sisters were both Royal Conservatory piano students. My older brother pretty much supplied the Album Rock ( Zep, Sabbath, Purple, etc. – My hearing loss came honestly! ). The area I was raised in contained both Toronto and Buffalo radio stations so there was a wide variety of music available. I started playing guitar in high school ( a few haricuts ago ) and carried it with me until the current day. I never really completely immersed myself in it like I wanted to, but maybe that’s a good thing. Instead I seemed to focus on the melody aspect of the guitar which enabled me to write songs. Sure I had several brushes with trying to “be” other players, but in the end that never really panned out. If there’s one thing I learned it’s to concentrate on what comes naturally. For me, that’s songwriting.

Over the years I would put any song I wrote on tape. This became a “song bank” for me. In the past few years I’ve come to appreciate this a great deal. It certainly gives me a solid foundation with which to create a CD. I don’t use everything that I archived, but there’re certainly enough ideas to start the creative engines.

My Setup And Philosophy...

Music is not my day job, but it is my passion. I discreetly balance my family, career, and music lives. I am a new genre of artist and am proud of it. I gave up the ghost long ago trying to become famous. One thing time and maturity does do for you is motivate you to accomplish what you let slip by in all the years before. With the advent of computers, software, and the internet, this is a very real possibility in this age. It’s a load of hard work but that’s easy. I write songs for myself and record songs how I like. I’m not into arguing with Record companies about how I should sound. I'm not concerned about what the “market wants” and “what is selling”. I’m a guy who likes to write songs so I figure I should record them and get them out so people can hear them, play them, and critique them how they want. That’s a whole different direction that “trying to make it in the music business”.

Currently I am a “one-man show”. I handle writing, arranging, engineering, musicianship, artwork, meals, cocktails, and yes even mastering myself. I do this for the love of my music. It’s now or never for me so I don’t need any more obstacles in my way. Because of this my record won't sound like a product Sony Records put out. It only stands to reason that a million-dollar budget for a project will produce more gloss than a Bertulli record from his studio, but I like the tradeoff. I keep learning new techniques, and affordable tools are arriving all the time to help us Home Studio musicians.

What The Music Is Generally About…..

I typically write songs that analyze situations. I’m not a story-teller, a manic depressive, a love-struck fool, nor a bitter imparted soul who thinks anything and everything about the world is against him. I’m a pretty positive guy. I try to write about situations I’ve been in ( or that someone I know has been in ), break it down, and come out the other end that much better for it. To keep-on keeping’-on ya know? A good quote from one of my reviews was ( regarding analytical lyrics ) “….Instead of hearing voices that reflect life’s long, hard roads and lyrics that sing words of wisdom, we often get mindless adolescent gibberish. It leaves the door closed on powerful talent like Canadian roots rocker Tim Bertulli…”.

A general theme to my music is the everyday minutia, how we face the issues, deal with them, and move on. ‘My Own Way’, ‘Somewhere Down The Road ’, ‘Movin' On’, ‘Break It Down’, ‘Not The Weather’, ‘So Long Gone’, ‘Time Flyin' By’, ‘Carry That Load’, ‘Light My Way’, 'Today', 'A Day'...The list goes on. All songs about situations I’ve faced and how I’ve dealt with them. Let’s face it, your mind is the only thing you have to satisfy when you’re faced with any sort of confrontation or mental torment. Your justifications are what get you through your day. If you don’t satisfy this starving animal then you head off the deep-end. We all face it and deal with it. I just try to present it in way that’s not gushy-gushy-teeny-heartthrob or gimme-a-gun-cuz-the-whole-world-hates-me.

Who Are My Influences/Who Do I Sound Like...

From a song catalog perspective it’s fair to say that I don’t sound like any one particular artist. After releasing 6 Independent CD's it's fair to say that I've forged my own sound. Sure there are glimpses and glances of others in my work – I certainly didn’t invent what I’m doing – so it’s fair to say that I’ve had a lot of favorite musicians growing up, and that some of the things that have made them famous appear in my music. From my perspective my music is a melting-pot of a lot of things, but in the end it’s still me.

James Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Dickey Betts, Jude Cole, John Hiatt, Warren Haynes, John Mellancamp, and James McMurtry are but a subset of the artists that I’ve taken to over the years. There certainly may be a little bit of these artists in my music ( as well as many others ) but it's not something that I structure my songs around. An example of a technique I used heavily on "Movin' On" and "Winding Day" is harmonized lead guitars - pretty much invented ( or at least perfected ) by Dickey Betts ( The Allman Brothers ). Check out the meandering lead throughout "Friends" or "Nightlight". But the end result of the song sure doesn't sound like an Allman Brothers song.

Where I’m Headed...

A few years ago I just started recording a bunch of my songs because it seemed like this was the time in my life to do that. What resulted was the foundation for my first CD "Movin' On". I polished them up and released that as a product, but still had many more songs lying around. The response to "Movin' On" has been great ( see the "Press" page ). It still manages to sell a few copies in Europe every now and again.

My 2nd CD "Winding Day" was released on September 1, 2006. This CD gave me a chance to create an album from scratch, with the intent of releasing it. It's much more polished, but it's still the same songwriter. Most of the songs are Rock/Songwriter oriented and seem to fall into the Americana Genre. It was promoted to over 400 Roots stations in the US alone.

My 3rd CD "Songs From The Green Planet" ( released in 2008 ) is a bit of a departure from the 'Alt-Country' tag given to Movin' On. This sounds more like a Rock album with the Baritone Guitar rhythms and Marshall Lead Breaks, but again, it's the same old writer.

Which leads to my 4th ( and current ) release "The Rest Of Them Days". It's a natural extension of 'Green Plant' and finds it's way a bit more into the Rock arena with the powerful Drum beats.

Of course none of this works without you people listening to the music and encouraging me. Thanks!

Tim


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