Tim Joad is a musician from Oklahoma who recently released an album entitled Honest Man that he has been working on for ten years. The album is an homage to folk artists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger according to his Bandcamp page.
His songs all follow a couple of simple rules. He lightly strums major and minor chords, sings and occasionally plays harmonica. For better or worse every song sounds almost exactly the same. That's not a knock. It’s a fact. The tempo, strumming pattern and general vibe barely changes throughout the album. This is all about the lyrics and that's really about it. There simply isn’t much going on in the musical side of things to make it feel like an integral element.
Most of the songs follow the tropes of the genres to a tee. Joad sings about cultural moments, oppression and other politically motivated issues. One thing I can say is that he has the inflection in his voice down pat. His singing style certainly pays homage to some of the aforementioned artists as well as artists like Bob Dylan.
Joad sings about Rosa Parks, Jim Crow and melds with it more contemporary issues such as Trayvon Martin and Ferguson. Other songs such as “Independence Day: A Requiem” finds him talking about issues that felt more like it came from the ’60s but could also be applied to today as well.
Joad is a storyteller. It’s that plain and simple. The music didn't do much for me and as I was explaining earlier this music is all about the messages and themes. At the very least if you are into old school folk artists and are kind of tired of having Pete Seeger and Woodie Guthrie albums on repeat you may to check out Joad. There is no doubt in my mind you will know after the first song if you will be listening the rest of the album.
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