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Saturday July 26th 2014

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Tears, Sweat, and the Sea

By Sarah McCartan

After months of eager anticipation it is time—Timberhawk’s time. After a month of tracking, a week of mixing, and another week of mastering, Timberhawk has completed their first full-length album to date, “Tears, Sweat and the Sea.”

The four-piece band sat down together and mapped out their ideas, picked up every instrument they owned, then played, collaborated and created—recording in the unconfined freedom and comfort of their own living room.

“Our whole plan was to spend time on it. The thing about doing it in our living room was having no time limit,” said bassist and vocalist Aubrey Nichols. “We had about four or five songs concrete going into it. The rest we just got real creative with.”

Working through their ideas and bringing in the influence of engineer Sean Peterson, Timberhawk spent up to 12 hours a day fleshing out the intricacies of the album. This recording process allowed the group to hone their “rock-n-soul” sound and arrive at a collection of tracks that each seem to maintain its own character. Close your eyes while listening and you may find yourself taken on a journey to the past, to the old South, and even down the banks of the Mississippi.

Soulful down to its very core, “Tears, Sweat and the Sea” claps, hums, shakes, crashes, stirs, echoes and resonates. Throughout the album you will find bluesy rhythms, overdriven guitar, soothing harmonica and even more lightweight synth sounds peppered into the mix. Opening track “Down the River” carries with it a billowing energy that erupts into heartfelt vocals. Each song in the series that follows flows gracefully into the next, all the way to finish.

While Nichols and guitarist and vocalist Jordan Richards split writing the majority of the tracks on the album, “Saltwater,” was co-written by Nichols and guitarist Nathan Dillaha. This closing track was brought to life solely during the period of time spent recording and even gave way to the title of the album.

“The album name was actually the final hang up after it was mastered,” Nichols explained.

The lyrics of “Saltwater” reference a famous quote by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen). “The cure for anything is salt water—tears, sweat, or the sea,” proclaims Dinesen.

“This pretty much is Timberhawk,” said Nichols.

Over the course of the past decade, and in multiple forms, members of Timberhawk have been recognized for putting their stamp on a blend of old classics and newer favorites of some of their greatest influences for their routine gigs, while introducing more of their own songs over time.

These gigs are undoubtedly sighted as memorable, as they include parade weekends, historical weddings and even post-festival after parties. Not only has this lent Timberhawk to be widely recognized by weekend regulars and beach-going tourists, they have become highly esteemed by the local music community as well their peers as talented musicians, rightly earning their place as “Best Local Band” in this year’s Best of the Coast.

Timberhawk’s hard work and dedication have paved the way for the band to shift their energy to build upon what they have created, and move full steam ahead in the next leg of their journey.

“It’s not easy to just say ‘no more cover gigs’ but we are heavily focusing our efforts on touring and festival circuits. We hope to get a stronghold on the Southeast region and go from there,” said Nichols.

Not only do they have an upcoming showcase booked up North, Nichols hints at Timberhawk having other opportunities on the horizon, including potential deals in the making.

Still, first thing’s first—their CD release party. They promise for not only a show, but an engaging spectacle.

“We appreciate everyone for sticking with us for so long—we want to give everyone a gift,” said Nichols. “We’ve never prepared for any show like this one. We sat down and had a meeting on how to make this show special—something to be remembered. And mark my words—it will be.”

“Tears, Sweat and the Sea” is available online Nov. 2 on iTunes, Amazon and most any other online music vehicle you can possibly imagine. Hardcopies of the album will also be sold locally at Revolver Records.

The album’s artwork was designed by Dillaha, who utilized photographs of textures of elements such as wood and metal as the foundation for this art. He then incorporated one of the intricate layers of his design into Timberhawk t-shirts that will also be sold at the show along with the album.

TIMBERHAWK CD RELEASE AT VINYL
WHAT: Timberhawk with Colonel Gentleman and the Intangible Fancies
WHERE: Vinyl Music Hall, 2 S. Palafox
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2
COST: $5 at the door, $5 for a CD
DETAILS: timberhawk.bandcamp.com; facebook.com/timberhawk.time