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Entertainment News

Sunday, 7 September, 2008 2:27 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Tim Hensley

Photo by Glen Rose

Tim Hensley

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

Tim Hensley's debut album, Long Monday on Rural Rhythm/Blue Chair, promises that the future of traditional music is in safe hands. His renditions of 12 songs, three from public domain and one co-written by Hensley, conveys respect for those values, beyond the music itself, that make the foundation of modern Country Music so organic and enduring.

Some of that comes from the company this young artist keeps. With Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney sharing production credits, with Vince Gill and Patty Loveless sweetening the rugged timbre of the backup vocals and with neither drums nor electric guitar in sight, Long Monday seems almost to rise from the pages of some old family photo album, stirring echoes long dormant in the corners of memory.

Hensley cultivated his affinity for this music by listening to his mother's Flatt & Scruggs tapes while riding around with her in a '63 Falcon and later playing with Chesney, Loveless and Ricky Skaggs or relaxing after shows with unplugged jams on the bluegrass and old gospel tunes that he and the other members of the band all knew and loved.

Hensley displays a winning vocal style throughout Long Monday - a high tenor that enhances the melody while also making each performance sound like a conversation. His approach suits the newer material by Rodney Crowell, John Prine and other contemporary writers, but it elevates a brief a cappella version of "Working on a Building" into a haunting and timeless benediction.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

DREAM DUET PARTNER

"Vince Gill or Patty Loveless."

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND

"An old book about the mountains of eastern Kentucky, called Dawn Comes to the Mountains."

SONG YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN

"Kenny Chesney's 'Where You'd Be Today.'"

LUCKY CHARM

"Black jacket."

ACTOR TO PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC ABOUT YOUR LIFE

"John Corbett."

GREATEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE

"Debuting with music from my new album on the Grand Ole Opry."

On the Web: www.timhensley.net

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY