The most exciting local release this year to date is Tim Hulsman’s debut Dead Man’s Garden. Throughout the twelve tracks, the folky acoustic lap steel and rootsy sound that we have all grown to love over the past couple of years is present. The first time that I ever saw Tim Hulsman play was at Beav’s Bar a couple of years ago.
The first song, ‘Goodnight Irene’, is a classic Lead Belly blues number. Incredibly polished and complete with some live field recordings in the background, it is the opening track to this beautiful local folk release. Complete with backing from Grant Cummerford, who works with Jeff Lang as well as a myriad of other musicians, the complete band sound that runs throughout the majority of these tracks is a nice organic change to Hulsman’s previous solo stage show.
The real positive to this album is the addition of Nina Grant on piano and vocals on the tracks ‘Sweet Surrender’ and ‘Yours Finally’. Complemented by sweeping and beautiful violin melodies on each track, these are just two highlights on Dead Man’s Garden. The title track tells the story of one of Hulsman’s previous occupations as a groundskeeper at a rural property. The minor chord progression combined with the vocals and full-band sound adds a different vibe to what fans on Hulsman’s music have heard in the past.
Produced by Tristen Bird at his Freshwater Creek property in Geelong, this local release should be in your record collection. It’s been a few years in the making, yet you can definitely hear the fruits of Hulsman’s labour on Dead Man’s Garden. He’s launching the disc at Beav’s Bar on Friday the 4th of July so put it in your diaries now.
A great debut effort from one of Geelong’s acclaimed blues players.
Out now via independent release
Written by Tex Miller