Tim Dillinger - Gospel (Free EP) (2011)

Tim Dillinger

TimDillingerGospel.jpg

Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

When long-time independent R&B and soul artist Tim Dillinger decided to no longer allow his music to bear the burden of providing for him - to offer his considerable art to his fans for free - there was a ripple in the indie music community. Rarely had an artist so boldly declared his independence or unburdened his craft in this way before. After years toiling on the road and scraping a living as a working musician in both New York and LA, Dillinger returned to his Nashville gospel roots and took up an old fashioned 9 to 5 in upstate New York. Some might have thought it would have represented the end of an artist who’s solo projects, The Muse, Love Is On My Mind, and Remixes, were critically acclaimed if not necessarily big sellers. They needn’t have worried. Dillinger returns with the first five of ten live recorded tracks that have been sitting in his “vault” since 2007.

When long-time independent R&B and soul artist Tim Dillinger decided to no longer allow his music to bear the burden of providing for him - to offer his considerable art to his fans for free - there was a ripple in the indie music community. Rarely had an artist so boldly declared his independence or unburdened his craft in this way before. After years toiling on the road and scraping a living as a working musician in both New York and LA, Dillinger returned to his Nashville gospel roots and took up an old fashioned 9 to 5 in upstate New York. Some might have thought it would have represented the end of an artist who’s solo projects, The Muse, Love Is On My Mind, and Remixes, were critically acclaimed if not necessarily big sellers. They needn’t have worried. Dillinger returns with the first five of ten live recorded tracks that have been sitting in his “vault” since 2007.

The project is pure old-school gospel, with a showstopper early on with “Born Again” boasting a killer-duet partner in Patricia Morgan. As on “Born Again” and “We Are His Glory,” Dillinger’s distinctive voice works best when singing in his natural than his favored false, coming closer to the ease of Richard Smallwood’s plainspoken vocal approach. When rising out of his baritone on cuts like the contemporary “Please You More,” Dillinger is more agile with brilliantly accurate riffs and runs but tonally is also more of an acquired taste the higher he climbs. Throughout the EP, Dillinger is masterfully supported by the creamy harmonies of April Rucker, Cheryl/Cherrelle Kennedy, and Selina Robb. Lyrically, he is at the height of his powers and the clearest in his messaging of humble service (“Please You More”) and self-affirmation as on the reprise of “We Are His Glory.” There is a lightness throughout the project that had been absent on his soul proceedings, a freedom that shines through the tracks and affirms his decision to let art be art and its fruits a service to all. If this is what artistically comes from unburdening your music with financial responsibilities, maybe others should give it a shot?

Notable songs: “Born Again,” “We Are His Glory” and “Please You More.”

Vocals: 3.0
Lyrics: 3.5
Music: 3.0 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By L. Michael Gipson

 
Album of the Month - Plunky & Oneness - "Afroclectic"
Choice Cut - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Featured Album - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

Leave a comment!