Tim Carroll / LOOK OUT!

Image of Tim Carroll / LOOK OUT!


Tim Carroll
(Gulcher 616)

Tim Carroll cut his rock'n'roll teeth in the late 1970s, as rhythm guitarist for the Gizmos, Indiana's first punk band. After they disbanded in 1982, he spent several years fronting New York City's neo-honkytonk bar-rockers, the Blue Chieftains. Throughout his subsequent Nashville solo career, Tim has clung at least as tightly to his punk roots as his country ones, and nowhere is that truer than on his ninth album (and second for Gulcher), Look Out!

Handling all guitar (and bass) chores himself, Carroll creates a glowing burr of sound, a red-hot rock'n'roll ember, fueled in no small part by the great trash-can drumming of Rick Schell and Marco Giovino. Tim Atwood fills things out nicely with smoky organ and backroom piano.

It's a sound at once casual and spot-on, the perfect complement to Carroll's ever-evolving songwriting. His breadth and variety has never been more on display: from the tuneful pop punk of "When I Have You" to the fast shuffle of "One More Step" to the in-your-face hard funk of "Talk to God", from the lounge stylings of "Really Do It Right" to the sledgehammer riff of "That's When I Love You" to the deadpan spoken blues of the title track.

If there's a hidden theme to Look Out! it might be Put Up or Shut Up. "The time has come to make the move," Tim sings on the opening track. "A lot to gain, so much to lose." Six songs later, the irresistibly trashy "No More Talkin'" equates stepping on stage with stepping up to the plate. "I wanna sing you a song/I wanna make you cry/I wanna watch you dance . . . No more talkin'."

Another highlight of the album is "That's Rock & Roll," Tim's paean to the lifestyle he's called home for over 30 years now. "I drove a thousand miles for a hundred dollars," he sings--and he knows what he's talking about, having toured the world many times, playing in Japan, France, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Poland, South Korea, and the UK. He's had songs featured in films (Election, Drop Dead Gorgeous) and recorded by the likes of John Prine, BR-549, Robbie Fulks, Bare Jr, Sonny Burgess, the Wrights, and Asleep At The Wheel. He performs regularly on the Grand Ole Opry, as lead guitarist for his wife, Americana sweetheart and Sirius/XM Radio host Elizabeth Cook (who supplies harmonies on Look Out!).

This new album may be Tim Carroll's best yet. It's certainly a worthy introduction to one of the most distinctive voices in American music today.

--Dale Lawrence
(Gizmos, Vulgar Boatmen)

CD released 23 February 2012.

1. Time Has Come
2. Talk To God
3. That's When I Love You
4. One More Step
5. Look Out
6. That's Rock & Roll
7. No More Talkin'
8. When I Have You
9. Not The End
10. All But Forgotten
11. Really Do It Right
12. Then Come The Blues Again