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Tim Gartland - It was a life changing experience when 14
year old Tim Gartland attended a Muddy Waters and
James Cotton concert near
his hometown of Warren, Ohio. Not only did Tim fall in love with the blues
that night, he vowed his undying devotion to the music.
The ‘triple threat’ (harmonica player, vocalist & songwriter) contemporary blues man, Tim Gartland’s history of musical growth and development has been guided by the blues. He has been deeply influenced by the “greats” – Little Walter for his harp playing, Ray Charles for his interpretation of a song, and Willie Dixon for his song writing.
Born into a large musical family, his three brothers played guitar, Tim chose the harmonica at an early age, so he could bring something different to the nightly jam sessions. During his teen years, he attended every large and small blues concert that passed through the Warren area on the way to the blues mecca of Chicago. After graduating from Kent State University, Tim moved to Chicago to begin his business career. While there, he immersed himself in the Chicago blues scene. He studied with famed harmonica player, Jerry Portnoy (Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton) and played with such greats as Bo Diddley, Carey Bell, Big Jack Johnson and Pinetop Perkins.
As Tim gained a more in-depth knowledge of blues songwriting, he came to
understand that if the blues was going to stay relevant in today’s world,
songs had to tackle the problems of society today and not just rely on
traditional themes involving sex, drugs and alcohol. Tim’s contemporary
blues, in addition to telling traditional stories, also address modern
themes such as Wall Street greed and cell phone technology.
Tim moved to Boston in 1991 and furthered his career in business. Never leaving his passion for music, Tim became a key player in the Boston blues circuit. In 1998 he was a finalist in the Boston Blues Challenge Competition. Shortly after his move to Boston, Tim became a founding member, lead vocalist and harmonica player for the popular group The Porch Rockers, which released three CDs.
After 25 years as a successful businessman, Tim decided to transition his passion for music into a full time career. In the last three years, he has written and published an instructional book for the harmonica entitled, “The Talking Harmonica”, launched a teaching career, and is embarking on a solo recording career with the release of his new CD entitled, Looking Into The Sun, on Taste Good Music in September, 2011.
Tim currently teaches harmonica at the prestigious Winchester Community Music School in Boston. Having been active in the school’s expansive movement into a diversity of musical styles, he became their first harmonica instructor. His goal in teaching is to “create musicians” that happen to play harmonica. Tim’s teaching philosophy is “…to teach a student tools and techniques, allowing them to embark on a musical journey with the instrument, and learn to play music with others.” He also teaches the art of performing.