Having just been introduced to the music of Tim Horrigan, it’s been a wonderfully ear-opening experience. Here’s what I can tell you about his: originally from upstate New York, this intriguing singer-songwriter played with a Boston band, Dutch Courage, before moving to Los Angeles in 1980. In L.A. he worked as a songwriter, performer and producer and collaborated with Memphis pop legend Van Duren (!) on a stunning album, Her Name Comes Up.
Inspired by Emitt Rhodes, Mr. Horrigan has embraced D.I.Y. recording since his first sound-on-sound efforts in 1972 (!). And about this new album, Seawatch Isle, Mr. Horrigan says, “there’s a theme (or two) running through these songs: friendship, desperation, faith and hope. Possibilities. I recommend listening in sequence as these songs are my journey: riding the waves off Seawatch Isle.” A poignant statement that makes a great deal of sense, once you undertake the musical ride.
“Axel & Rex” starts this album off in a wonderfully theatrical way – harkening back to a very Harry Nilsson-esque style – a brief introduction, but a fun beginning, giving way to the sinister-clever “I’m Going Down”; piano-driven, catchy and uptempo. The title cut, “Seawatch Isle” is a delicate, acoustic guitar and strings-washed moment of elegance – an outstanding arrangement; “Betty O” has a semi-country/kicker feel (with some very tastefully near fiddle playing) and witty lyrics. “Here’s To The Man” instantly conjures up a “radio hit” of the mid-’70’s – that warm, “California” vibe that you hear while driving on an open highway – a fully-realized production and execution; “The Coastal Train” is a light-hearted, galloping piece at the beginning, then turns into a soundscape in the middle, before reverting back to the funky-groove of the first half of the song. “I Will See you Again” is another standout, with a soulful arrangement (think Stax!) and again, has all the earmarks of a “classic radio hit” and “Sea Shanty” closes the set in (again) a humorous fashion, which is only appropriate.
Being that this is my first time of having the pleasure in listening to Tim Horrigan, I’m looking forward to now investigating his back catalog. If it’s anything like Seawatch Isle, it’ll be time very well spent.
Seawatch Isle is currently available