CD review: Time Sawyer – Headed Home
Time Sawyer, a quartet of young, original, talented fellows are proving themselves to be musical workhorses in every sense of the word. They released their first album, “Time For A Change” in April 2011, closely followed by three more…”The Maroon Album” in November 2011, “Come On In”in May 2012 and most recently, “Headed Home” released in March of 2013.
Pulling on influences from The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Joe Pug, Justin Townes Earle and their ilk, one would assume that these boys are another “bluegrass wanna be” band. Well, that assumption couldn’t be more wrong. With two of their band mates coming from a rock background, there is a rock and roll edge that is notably there, more in some tracks than others, but its there, nonetheless. Put this with some really fine banjo, cleverly interlaced harmonica, the exceptional quality and magnetic pull of Sam Tayloe’s vocals singing their intelligent, stunning lyrics and they have found a combination for pure musical goodness.
Sam Tayloe, founding lead singer of Time Sawyer, is a bit wet behind the ears at the young age of twenty-three. Musically, however, he is wise beyond his years. Lyrically stunning and musically ingenious every original song on this 14-track CD provides plenty of musical fodder for those hungry for something different, yet familiar. Upon listening, not only is one impressed by the talent of these young musicians; Clay Stirewalt, 24, on drums, Houston Norris, 23, on banjo, and Kurt Layell, 25, on guitar and back up vocals, but also with the lead singer’s voice…clear, strong, magnetic, emotive and just darn good. His voice does crack in places, he does not always enunciate each word sung clearly, but these are unique qualities that just add to the charm that helps keep Time Sawyer’s music refreshingly unique, honest, real and oh, so appealing.
One must note that Sam Tayloe has not been a musician for long, picking up his first guitar and penning his first ‘song’ around 4 years ago. Friend and musical compatriot, Kurt also was influential in his musical learning. Then, it took a year or so before Clay and Houston came on board. Being self taught in all musical ways seems to have led this musical wonder to break free of convention in his song writing. Kurt Layell also can take credit for writing a few of the tracks on this CD as well. There is no conformity to what is ‘expected and directed’ in their music. Every song is a story in itself; songs about family, friendship, travel, home, reflection and the trials and tribulations of relationships.
These guys are ‘genre-less’, to be sure. But for them, this works and works well. Time Sawyer is a band not to be pigeon-holed or ignored. If Justin Townes Earl and The Avett Brothers were to have a musical love child, well then, Time Sawyer would be it.
“Headed Home” by Time Sawyer…available now…
To learn more about Time Sawyer, listen to their music and see when they will be playing near you visit their website at www.timesawyer.com.