Tim Hassall – Gallatin album review

Dubai songwriter’s latest collection pays a heartfelt tribute to the depth and breadth of American song

For his second full-length effort Dubai-based troubadour Tim Hassall has produced a genre-hopping LP which takes in a wide sweep of vintage Americana, from Ryan Adams-style folk-rock and acoustic balladry to Muscle Shoals soul and dirty Chicago blues. So it’s perhaps unsurprising to hear the record was recorded in the heart of the country music scene: Nashville, Tennessee. Gallatin, he tells us, is the name of the street Hassall drove down each day to the studio.

Saving up months worth of the pay cheques he earns as a jobbing acoustic performer around Dubai’s bar band scene, Hassall was able to dig deep and get some notable names on board for the project, with producer Reiner Erlings (Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida) behind the mixing desk, and Grammy award‐winning engineer Doug Sax (The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles) mastering the raw tracks in Los Angeles.

With such a diverse set, inevitably some numbers suit Hassall’s vocal chords more than others, each song delivered with the same earnest approach. And while it will win no prizes for originality, as a tribute to the great art and diversity of 20th Century American music, it’s an enjoyable set likely to stir the heart and get foot tapping in equal measure. With Hassall pledging that writing work on a follow-up has already begun, one of Dubai’s more longstanding musical talents shows no sign of slowing down soon.

***COMPETITION: We have five copies of Gallatin to give away on CD. Click here for how to win.

To view Time Out’s top UAE albums of 2013, click here.

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