“The Other Side” Album Review
Tim Chaisson has been playing music for as long as I can remember. Being somewhat active in the music scene in the Maritimes I had heard of the famous Chaisson family long before I heard young Tim’s music. With the new album “The Other Side” he is doing his family proud. The album is full of strong melodies and catchy choruses that will have everyone singing along.
“The Other Side” is a great follow up to his last album “Broken Hearted Beat”. Chaisson does a good job at picking up where the last album left off but with a breath of fresh air. The growth and maturity in his writing can be seen but it is still undeniably his style and there appears to be no pandering. The multi-instrumentalist fills that album out well with diverse arraignments. The first track “Beat This Heart” featuring Serena Ryder is a radio hit without a doubt. The blending of Ryder and Chaisson’s vocals the songs chorus goes to a great place both hitting the high notes together.
The title tracks “The Other Side” and “Come Clean” are two very poetic songs. Songs about love and mortality laced with Chaisson’s folk style of up beat strumming creates a chilling dynamic. The fiddle solo to “The Other Side” is the perfect climax to the song proving Chaisson voice aside he is an amazing player. “Come Clean’ written with a few friends (one being Colin MacDonald of The Trews) is a great story song with a passionate chorus about love lost.
My favorite songs on the album are “Blast Your Way Out” and “The Healing.” The intro of “Blast Your Way Out” is so low key with a small snare beat keeping time and the mood somber as it heads to the catchy chorus. “Blast Your Way Out” has universal resonance about life’s lessons and this song should be a radio hit for the sake of radio listeners. “The Healing” conveys emotions felt by 99% of the people who have loved and lost. A person waiting for a reprieve from heartbreak and acknowledge the fact that they know they know better.
From front to back “The Other Side” is a great album, Tim Chaisson has taken a giant step forward and has set himself in a place where great things should be happening. In a realm of Canadian music “The Other Side” should be a Juno award nominee if not a winner. Do yourselves a favor and download or pick yourself up a copy.
Q & A with Tim Chaisson:
Tim was so kind to take a few moments out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for Feels Good. As I have known Tim he is as real as any musician is and his answers to my questions leave no room for doubt that he is one of the nicest musicians in the business.
Q: The new album is finally coming out after all of your hard work, what is the most exciting part of this process for you?
A: I think touring it and hearing what people think of it… I love playing live and I’ll be doing lots of that with this record. It’s also nice to have some new songs to play!
Q; what is your favorite song off of the new album and which one is the most fun to play live?
A: Hmm, that’s a tough one and it kinda changes often. I love Serena’s vocal on “Beat This Heart” so I would say that’s a standout track for me.
“Bail You Out” is probably my favorite to sing with the band live… They’re all great singers and wicked players so it’s a rockin’ one!
Q: With the music scene that you are involved with it seems like a 1960-1970’s Toronto vibe where all of the bands are working together to propel each other forward. With the collaborations you have worked on for the last two albums do you find the Canadian singer songwriter community has been more accepting of you then you estimated?
A: It is kind of surprising… I remember the first time we played in Toronto, I didn’t know anyone and it seemed as if all the bands were in competition with one another to get a manager, agent, etc. That stage of touring was a little tougher (not to say I’m much further ahead!) because you were constantly out to impress industry and there’s a lot of pressure to stand out in the pack. Randomly, the musicians I’m close with just kinda happened through all the touring and shows. It’s neat that everyone supports everyone.
Q: Being so connected with Canadian musicians does that make touring the country any easier logistically? Is there always a couch to crash on? Do you get a home cooked meal every now and then?
A: Of course! As odd as this may sound, I much prefer to stay at a friend’s house in a city than at a hotel. Although sometimes it’s nice to have your own space, it always seems like plans never happen or the city isn’t experienced in the way it should be when you’re by yourself at a hotel.
I open my doors to musicians on PEI all the time and they do the same for me. Cuts down on touring costs and it’s more fun.
Q: With your writing collaborations for the new album do you work in a sit around and jam method or do you have structured writing sessions?
A:I did a bit of both… I find writing on the fly never really works unless you’re by yourself. Everyone is so busy that you kinda have to schedule a writing session in order to make it work. Funny enough, the writing I did with Chris Kirby (and one with Patrick Ballantyne) was done on Skype. When you’re off the road and looking for something to do, why not write songs online!
Q: I noticed in one of your tour vlog’s a Will Hoge song, were you introduced to him the same way I was from opening for The Trews? Any chance of collaboration from the two of you?
A: I love Will Hoge and would have to say over the last 2 years he’s had a pretty big influence on my writing and style. When I was on tour with The Trews, they told me about him because they thought I’d like him - I love how he writes really great songs and lets them fall where they should stylistically. Plus, he has a voice every guy wishes they had.
I would love to collaborate with him, and in fact, next time I head to Nashville I’ll be getting his number from John Angus and Colin. Would love to play a show with him!
Q: I know as part of your Indie Go Go promotion you offered house concerts as a package, now that you are so busy touring do you get time to kick back and jam at kitchen parties?
A; All the time! Kitchen parties are something my friends (most of them Chaisson’s) and I do quite regularly. If we have a Friday or Saturday night off, we get together at someone’s house and play tunes, have drinks, dance square sets and sing songs. My favorite thing to do.
Q: Your folk/country style mixed with your pop sensibility is on level with major international acts, do you find today’s Country music scene has expanded to include acts such as yourself not singing about whiskey in woman in the normal Nashville style?
A: Yes and no. I think mainstream country will always have to fit a certain format to get radio play but Canadian country and American country are a bit different too... The country music festivals we’ve played have been so great to us – they’re definitely a crowd of music goers that are not pretentious at all. They love good music and welcome new stuff with open arms.
Q: Any idea when we can expect your new music video to hit TV?
A: Very soon! I’m not sure 100% sure when but in the next few days for sure.
Q: I have seen you play and your vlogs from Australia what is your favorite go to Gibson guitar?
A: Well my main guitar is a Gibson J-45 and I use an Epiphone MasterBilt as my second. When I was in Australia, Gibson loaned me a Hummingbird and they’re probably my favorite.
Q: In 2010 you opened for the Trews on their acoustic tour, your performance in Fredericton at the Playhouse was one of my favorite performances. Any chance of you recording an acoustic show in the next few years?
A: With this new record, it’s a little closer to the acoustic show. I was always a fan of hearing acoustic versions of songs – the more stripped down the better. I actually demoed some acoustic versions of the songs (and some new ones) for the iTunes bonus track (just recorded them all at home with acoustic, fiddle and mandolin). I’d love to do a full record like that someday!
Make Sure you catch Tim Chaisson and his band on tour from Canadian coast to coast this fall. Keep in touch and track of Tim with these sites and links;
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