Shallow End of a Deep River
On his latest release, Shallow End of a Deep River, Tim Kirker invites you to take a hard look backward while still keeping a sharp eye focused on the road ahead. It's a multidimensional compilation of songs that evoke battles lost and won, triumphs past and yet to come, and the ever-present struggle to keep moving forward when the water starts getting too deep.
Featuring performances by drummer Michael Cartellone (Damn Yankees, John Fogerty, Adrian Belew and Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Peter Keys (P-Funk, Bootsy Collins, Isaac Hayes and Lynyrd Skynyrd), Shallow End of a Deep River covers all bases.
There’s the confident optimism of "A New Plan," and the gritty blues slide guitar that reinforces a pledge of dedication and commitment in "I'd Walk a Million Miles."
There’s the thrashing drums and rough-edged guitar that caution you to always be on your toes in "Blink of an Eye."
The weeping lap steel that flows through the country-flavored ballad “Everything Changes” is in sharp contrast to the "head-held-high" struggle described in the title song.
The plaintive, introspective storyline of "Don't Give Up on Me" is juxtaposed with the noirish isolation and loneliness described in "She Lives in Mansions Filled With Empty Rooms"—a dark place, "where the dim lights burn"—a warning to all that while it’s easy to walk away, there can be dire consequences to doing so.
But it’s not just about weighty messages. There are elements of humor throughout. When the unnamed adversary in “Playing a Dangerous Game,” caught red-handed, is chastised: “the devil on your shoulder gave you terrible advice.” And in “White Flags Down,” when the winner taunts the conquered—who obviously should have known better—"big ideas can cause you trouble."
Timeless themes and melodies flow through these songs. They grab hold of you and pull you forward—out of the deep water and into the shallow end, where you can finally touch the ground and breathe fresh the fresh, clean air.
Vocals, Electric, Acoustic*, Slide and Lap Steel Guitars, Bass. Piano on "Don’t Give up on Me"
A native of the east side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Tim began playing guitar at the age of 10. He joined his first professional band—where he met drummer Michael Cartellone—when he was 17. Always a prolific writer, he wrote, performed and recorded with several area bands, including Boy Wonder, his first all-original endeavor, which he formed with Michael and bassist Greg Wooten. After much local success and various incarnations and membership changes, he eventually scored a local Top 40 radio hit with the song “House on Fire,” performed by the band Slam Bamboo. After relocating to New York, he continued to write and perform, both as a solo artist and as a member of the band PIN, where he reunited with Cartellone, Wooten and bassist John Papa. They last recorded and performed together in support of Tim’s solo release Like Distant Sounds.
Tim continues to play and study across many genres of music, from rock and rhythm and blues, to jazz and beyond.
*Bob K’s Sho-Bud Club Model, the guitar with the “Dangerous Radius.”
Michael began playing drums at the age of nine and played his first gig when he was 11. He first performed with Tim in a cover band that was formed in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, while they were both still in high school. After much success in the Cleveland area, Michael moved to New York City, where he played with former Roxy Music/UK keyboardist Eddie Jobson and former Styx guitarist Tommy Shaw. Through his association with Shaw, Michael became a member of the multi-platinum-selling band Damn Yankees.
His distinguished career also includes recording and touring with artists such as John Fogerty, Peter Frampton, John Wetton, Freddie Mercury, Cher, Adrian Belew, Accept and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Michael is also an accomplished painter and his work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the country.
Bass on "Blink of an Eye," "Don’t Give up on Me" and "I’d Walk a Million Miles"
John grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where at the age of 11, he started playing guitar. One night at a family party he heard “Message to You” by Sly and the Family Stone—and immediately switched to playing bass. He experienced a level of success with The Pony Boys, a well-known band from Cleveland, but eventually moved to New York where he played on numerous records and TV commercials and scored the music for the nationally televised VIBE Awards. John works in the film and television industry and continues to play the occasional session from his home studio in Providence, Rhode Island.
Piano on "Shallow End of a Deep River"
Peter is widely recognized for his work with George Clinton in various P-Funk line-ups and as the keyboardist for Lynyrd Skynyrd.
He has performed and recorded with many notable musicians and bands, including SeepeopleS, 420 Funk Mob, Jay Lane, Sam Andrew, Peter Tork, Marty Balin, Bill Spooner, Bootsy Collins and Isaac Hayes
Keyboards on "Everything Changes"
Benny is a Harlem born, New York City-based keyboardist.
His talents have contributed to the performances and recordings of Angelica Torn, Cory Glover, Hiram Bullock, Phoebe Snow, and Oscar Hernandez, among many others.
Songs by Tim Kirker
Produced and Engineered by Tim Kirker
Recorded at The Valley, Katonah, NY
Drum tracks recorded and engineered by Cliff Hackford at Park Hill Recording
Invaluable arrangement advice by the aforementioned Mr. Cartellone
Mixed and mastered by Tom L. Kirkhus
Thanks to Jennifer, Olivia, Adam and Ryan, Cliff Hackford and the knowledgeable, outgoing staff at Park Hill Recording, Film922, Abe (King of 44) Tordjman, the East 169th Street black-and-white Zenith, the now slightly cob-webbed memories of 156 West 44th, and Bill Zanzinger, without whom.
Special credit goes to Ryan Kirker for providing the third set of hands on “I’d Walk a Million Miles.”
Dedicated to Bob K, Tom Martin and Joe Cartellone.