The sophomore release from Tim Cheesebrow, titled Home in the Heartland, is a folk/Americana album that explores the concept of home. The record details the experience of raising a family in the Twin Cities and coupled with the talents of prominent area musicians, captures the essence of Minnesota.
“There’s a little something for everyone in there,” Tim said of Home in the Heartland. “Some tracks are slow and graceful, bringing to mind open plains and moonlit lakes. Others touch our immigrant roots with folky melodies. There are contemplative songs that call for a greater sense of community and some toe-tappers that will have you reaching for your dancing shoes. All the songs are tied together with the idea of ‘home,’ whether that’s within one’s self, among family or the global community of which we are all a part. This album will get you thinking about and appreciating wherever it is you have put down roots and called home.”
Written during a self-imposed, solo retreat to a cabin on Leech Lake in Walker, Minn., Home in the Heartland took Tim took four days last September to buckle down, during which he wrote an entire album of material, made initial recordings, and left with a plan to produce and perform those songs within the year.
“Having two young boys at home, 3 years and 18 months, makes time for writing more of an ethereal concept than a reality,” he said. “Time alone was crucial, and the location on one of Minnesota’s greatest lakes allowed me to really connect with my Minnesota roots. It was also a chance for me to develop my songwriting skills.”
However, deciding on a theme was a large part of the lyrical development, and the idea of ‘Home’ speaks to Tim’s emerging maturity as an artist. He looks outward to his circle of family, community and world, and writes music about the little joys, big ideas and moments worth holding onto that make up our messy, beautiful daily lives.
The plan created at the retreat included a crowdfunding effort to finance the project through independent support from people who support his music. In early 2013, Tim launched an Indiegogo campaign, which was successfully funded, and he was able to create what would become Home in the Heartland through the generous gifts of local music lovers and fans.
The album was recorded at Essential Sessions Studios in Falcon Heights, Minn., a studio known for producing work for such artists as Cloud Cult, Lady Gaga and Sheila Ray Charles. A community-focused studio, Essential Sessions Studios is less like an intimidating high-powered studio seen in the movies and more like a group of friends who really know their stuff getting together to make great music. The studio holds classes for local youth, provides internships for local students and works to make their studio available and accessible to all local musicians.
The studio’s intimate community of engineers and artists includes some heavy-hitters that are featured on Home in the Heartland, including percussion guru Marc Anderson, mandolin phenom Peter Ostroushko, accordion wizard Dan Newton, keyboard master Kevin Gastonguay, banjo player and the voice of bluegrass every Saturday morning on Jazz88, Phil Nusbaum, the big, bad Jack Brass Band, super-steel guitarist John Schjolberg, and talented ukulele-slinging songwriter Katy Vernon. Each artist was asked to add their personal flair to the record, which allowed each song to develop its own personality. Every one of these artists did what they do best and transformed each track into something unique and memorable.
Home in the Heartland is an album that tells our story, and it has quite the story of its own. Local artists and music lovers came together to create a body of fun and thoughtful songs to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Look for Tim at venues around Minnesota that host local artists. Concert dates and more information is available at www.cheesebrowmusic.com