With an ocean of independent music being released on the internet, it is no wonder that passionate music consumers and audiophiles are rendered sea sick by the sheer vastness of “recording artists” coming into the common consciousness of the world. However, a new album is being released by independent recording artist, Daniel Glen Timms, that brings a new, fresh, yet familiar sound with superb songs and production. He has been releasing original music since 1998, when his first 12-song demo received accolades in Los Angeles, where he was living at the time, including the highest rated rock demo of the year by Music Connection Magazine.
DGT had moved to Los Angeles in his early 20’s from Louisiana, where he grew up, and where he had been playing in a cover band on the local scene in Shreveport. Upon reaching Los Angeles, he took up where he had left off by playing in cover bands in southern California. The Los Angeles club scene was much different from Louisiana in that it was far more difficult to survive on the lesser money that was paid there for cover bands and that the cost of living was through the roof. After a couple of years of being on the grindstone of playing other people’s music for little money, he realized that the smarter and better way to pursue his real goal of writing and recording his own original music, was to find a job that could help him find a space in which to write and record, as well as, buy some recording gear. This was at a time before affordable digital recording was even invented. Daniel had been recording his ideas on a 4-track cassette recorder up to that point.
Daniel found himself flat broke and his car’s engine had seized up and he was riding city buses trying to find a job, so he could stay in Los Angeles. In Louisiana, he had gone to college, even while playing in a band, and received a degree in geology. At that time there were no jobs in geology, which also partially influenced his decision to move to Los Angeles and pursue his music. After reaching rock bottom with no money in Los Angeles, he went to a local college’s job board and found a posting for a field service engineer in the oilfield. He called the ad and rented a car and drove to Ventura, CA and interviewed. They hired him on the spot and he immediately began training and the next thing he knew he was working long stints on oil well drilling rigs in remote locations all over the United States, including hundreds of miles offshore and in far away locations in Wyoming and the oilfields of California, Louisiana and Colorado. All the while, his dream of expressing himself through music at a high level was the primary impetus of everything he did in life. Living for long periods on the oil rigs, often in a trailer onsite, he would play his guitar for hours and hours, day after day, including teaching himself classical guitar pieces and writing songs.
After this adventure ended and having saved money that he didn’t have to spend while living on oil rigs, he packed his backpack and acoustic guitar and bought a Eurail Train Pass, and went on a 4 month tour throughout Europe in 1989. This was the summer that the Berlin wall came down and was also the Bicentennial Celebration of the French Revolution. The atmosphere was pure electric throughout Europe and Daniel seemed to find himself in the center of everything, every time he stepped off a train. A young American with only a guitar and a backpack walking through Europe’s old, beautiful cities was magnetic. Everywhere he went, he would sit down in a local spot and pull out his guitar and sing his favorite songs from American and British classic rock and singer/songwriter standards. Suddenly, he was surrounded by large crowds cheering him. One experience after the other like this only added fuel to the fire of the young, aspiring recording artist. After four months of these inspiring experiences, he made his way back to Los Angeles with a new purpose. Whatever it takes to get the recording gear he needed to grow as a writer, recording artist, musician and producer, he was going to do, including continuing to work as an environmental geologist.
When he got back, after doing the cover band scene again for about a year, he found it was a dead end for a recording artist, and decided to get another job as an environmental geologist. With his degree in geology and experience in the oilfield, he was able to land a day job in a new burgeoning environmental business in Los Angeles. He was able to find a small cabin on an acre of land in the hills around Mulholland Drive near the top of Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles County, the area occupied by artists since the 60’s and 70’s. Slowly Daniel was able to add to his musical gear and kept becoming more proficient in his modest studio. Hard disc recording was a recent technology that had been developed and was beginning to take the music industry by storm. Daniel was able to save up and buy a hard disc recorder, which completely transformed his 4-track cassette studio into one where he could get clear, high quality recordings with numerous tracks. It was like all of his pent up creativity and songs came pouring out. He wrote and recorded about 30 songs within a few months. He was overdubbing the various parts and programming drums just to get his demos down to try to shop around to the labels. He decided to send in 12 of his demo songs to Music Connection Magazine, the leading industry magazine in Los Angeles, and ended up receiving the previously mentioned accolades.
This was at a time when the music industry was completely dominated by Hip Hop, Punk Pop and Grunge. From the critical praise he received, there was major label interest, but his 60’s and 70’s influenced acoustic rock was not what they were interested in. He was even told by an A&R guy that he needed to completely change his image to grunge or punk, get some tattoos and play one of those styles. Daniel said “no thanks,” and kept on his inner artistic vision quest, no matter how long it took. It was his goal in life. Some called him hard-headed and some called him deluded, but he had a spiritual connection to his music that could be described as divine. He tuned out the noise and kept focusing on writing and growing as an artist. Year after year, he would work long hours during the day and spend his nights and weekends working on his music, pursuing a sound in his head and trying to get that sound recorded. He was an artist who would not be denied.
DGT released an EP and three independent albums, prior to his current fourth album, on his label that he created in 1998, Blue Earth Records. His previous albums received critical acclaim and he was able to garner radio airplay at stations throughout the world. His band also was the host band at the Topanga Days Music Festival in Topanga Canyon, California.
After going to Nashville to mix his second album, he fell in love with it and decided to move to Nashville in January of 2007, and his new record is the second album he has recorded at his studio, just outside of Nashville. His latest album is one that he has been working on for over 5 years. Daniel wrote over 40 songs over a 3-year period, while he was also working hard at improving his audio engineering skills and production abilities.
About 2 years ago, he narrowed down the songs that he wanted to record on this, his fourth album. Having to work so much as an environmental geologist in order to have the time, space and gear to record his album, he has been working toward for over three decades, it became apparent to him that the best, least expensive, and most efficient way to record this ambitious album was to play all the instruments, except for drums. Tommy Harden, a Nashville session drummer and who lives nearby to Daniel, came in for that task, which he performed brilliantly. Daniel also engineered and mixed the album in his studio, which is now being released.
On this album, Graystone Temple, which references the location where he lives in Middle Tennessee, which is dominated by gray limestone hills, Daniel has reached the apex of his long pursuit of excellence as a recording artist, writer and producer. The album soars with musicality, profound lyrics and themes, and a production that recalls the days of great classic rock records. People can't help but to root for an artist with such tenacity, who keeps improving over time like a fine wine. It may take time for it to reach his audience, but this music will stand on its own. DGT is an artist in the truest since of the word and his new album, “Graystone Temple,” testifies to that.
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