I call singer-songwriter Tim Dillinger a soul man in a blurb I did for his memoir that was just released, Snapshot . It’s a collection of lyrics and poems and stories and pictures, and it’s full of heart.
Tim can flat-out SING, in a voice that ranges from tenor-husky to mountaintop-falsetto. And although he’s white on the outside, he channels the black church in his spirit and vocals. Can I get an Amen, sisters and brothers!
I met Tim through my Laura Nyro book–he’s a bigtime Nyro fan who contacted me, shared his music with me and invited me to guest on his radio show. I was impressed by both his talent and his good vibe. He’s also one gutsy young man, coming out as gay amidst the Nashville soul and gospel music scenes (he’s now moved to New York–smart move, Tim!). Among other things, he runs an entertaining blog which I really need to catch up on.
Here’s something that Tim wrote in his new book, picturing Laura (a huge source of inspiration to him) on a celestial plane:
I imagine Laura Nyro. She flies in a black lace gown, her dark hair, still adorned with hints of gray, dancing around her waist. Her sanctuary is lit with thousands of candles and the back wall is a window that overlooks the greenest forest. She has a cat and a dog—maybe more than one of each. The space boasts murals of goddesses, created as a favor by Frida Kahlo. Her piano is covered with compositions that are in various stages of completion.
The space has been acoustically designed to re-create the echoes of the subway stations she sang doo-wop in during her teenage years. Her harmony group visits daily and together they bask in the glory of the sonic synergy that happens when women converge in song. She titillates them with her memories of collaborating with Labelle, three women held with the utmost regard in this tomorrowland of sorts.
They have concerts as the mood strikes for an audience of the notorious women of the ages. Like her concerts on earth, they are events, but these are of even greater epic proportions. The women are still whispering about the night Nina Simone came and they sang “He Was Too Good To Me” together…or when she, Miles Davis and John Coltrane came together. That evening redefined the word improvisation.
There is a crystal ball in the middle of the room and she sees artists, yet mortal, on planet earth. Her assignment is to send inspiration, song ideas and warmth to the artists of her choosing. At times, she flies back to earth, as there are some who are aware that she is with them. Those are the ones with whom she spends extra time.
Even in her afterlife, she is employed by the muse…or at least, that’s how I like to think of her.
Up top is a video of Tim performing–it’s kind of crude visually, done to a backing track, but I particularly like his singing here. You can hear more of his music on his blog. Enjoy!