Yes, Folk Lovers, There Really is a Tam Lin — and it Offers Gorgeous Music
It’s tough not to love an artist who adopts the name Tam Lin, a song made famous by British electric folk rock pioneers Fairport Convention.
But Paul Weinfield, the man behind Tam Lin, is nobody’s follower. He proves that on “Garden in Flames,” his fourth album that’s full of horns, strings harmonies and more loveliness that puts one in mind of a sonic prism. The nine songs on this album are steeped in melodic folk with more than a dash of new age reminiscent of Andreas Vollenweider. Just like Fairport Convention, Tam Lin seems unafraid to push musical boundaries.
“We are already a big group with six of us at the core,” said Weinfield of making the album. “We are two guitars, bass, drums, piano and cello and we started doing some Middle Eastern and Indian stuff. A good friend added some free-form vocals. It’s always been a revolving sort of collection of friends that are a part of it though the last two years we’ve had a stable core.”
The songs on the album are a bit thematic, said Weinfield, who focused them around losing love but finding it on other levels, following one’s heart and triumphing over challenges. Weinfield is so intent on sharing his musical expressions that he is distributing the album for free.
“I had sort of a revelation to make music for free,” he said. “I am a meditation teacher and we never charge for classes. I have had a lot of experience with the whole generosity of experience and seeing how it works. People give a lot when they are giving from the heart.”
Perhaps that’s why this album is so beautifully crafted. Stand out tracks include the aching “Waiting to Touch the Ground,” a somber yet hopeful tunes underscored by crying strings, and the Middle Eastern flecked “Field of Reeds.”
“Garden in Flames” was produced by Mario J. McNulty (David Bowie, Philip Glass) and features the ten musicians that comprise Tam Lin: frontman Paul Weinfield (vocals, guitars, synths and songwriting); Ryan Mackstaller (guitars); Adam Platt (piano); Ward Williams (cello); Benjamin Wright (bass); Keith Robinson (drums); Mike Shobe (trumpet); Juliana Takacs (harmonium); Bisan Toron (vocals) and Atash Yaghmaian (recitation on track 9).
Tam Lin’s Garden in Flames is available as a legal free download here.