When the spotlight hits Tim & The Glory Boys at the Boots and Hearts this year, it was easy to get lost in the sheer exuberance of their performance. To the uninitiated, their high-energy music, infused with what they lovingly call “canoegrass”, is an infectious blend of bluegrass roots and Canadian country. It’s raw, it’s foot-tappingly good, and it’s making a mark. The British Columbia-by-way-of-Manitoba boys recently debuted a full-length self-titled album for Sony Music Entertainment Canada that showcases just that. But beyond the boot-stomping and joyous hoots, lies a deeper story, a spiritual journey that has, in many ways, shaped their music.
The band’s ten-year history is a rich tapestry of spiritual exploration. Long before they transitioned into country’s infectious beats, Tim & The Glory Boys were deeply entrenched in the world of Christian music. “Yeah, Tim and the Glory Boys has been a band for about ten years now,” shares Tim Neufeld. “For six or seven of those, we were with EMI in the US with a band called Starfield. We did a bunch of records with them. Then we transitioned to being Tim & The Glory Boys.”
When asked about their shift from Christian to country, Tim notes, “There are a few artists that have jumped back and forth. There’s not really a roadmap, there’s not, like, a user manual to changing genres. We’ve been working on it steadily since joining with Sony.”
But the band’s roots remain evident in their music, if ever so slightly. Their lyrics still hold vestiges of their past, with songs that speak of love and devotion. “Some of those old songs can have dual meaning. I’ve definitely written my fair share of Jesus is My Girlfriend songs, if you know what I mean,” admits Tim. “It can go both ways, right. But ultimately it’s about love and connection in everything we do.”
Colin Trask, the band’s dobro/percussionist, affirms their commitment to producing content for all ages. “We’re family men. We got kids and we always want to have music that kids can listen to. We’re trying to always hold on to that.”
The band’s embrace of both worlds—of spiritual and secular—hasn’t just broadened their sound but has also deepened the emotional connect they have with their audience. “Those are the songs in country that speak to me the most,” says Tim, speaking of tracks that touch upon themes of love and family. “And it’s cool to hear feedback from fans expressing those same emotions. That’s ultimately why we do this.”
Delving into the tracklist of Tim & The Glory Boys’ latest offering, “Float” emerges as a gem that perfectly encapsulates the band’s spirit. With its light and breezy vibe, the song reminds listeners of simpler times and the joy of letting go. Tim Neufeld notes, “With ‘Float,’ we wanted to transport listeners back to those moments of sheer contentment, like lazily drifting on a river with not a care in the world.” The song’s lyrics, coupled with its catchy melody, paints a picture of both nostalgia and hope. “It’s about embracing the present moment,” says Tim, “and realizing that sometimes, all we need to do is go with the flow and let life take its course.”
Another track, “Take Me Backroad,” resonates deeply with the theme of reminiscence. As the notes hit, listeners are instantly transported to dusty trails, open fields, and the freedom of uncharted terrains. “This track is close to our hearts,” shares Colin Trask, the band’s dobro/percussionist. “It’s a tribute to the roads less traveled and the adventures they’ve given us.” Tim chimes in, adding, “Every time we play ‘Take Me Backroad,’ it’s like taking a trip down memory lane. It’s about the stories, the laughter, the tears, and the endless horizons that beckon.” The song, with its rich, immersive soundscape, is a testament to the band’s deep connection to their roots and their gift for evocative storytelling.
One of the standout tracks of Tim & The Glory Boys’ new album is undoubtedly “Me Without You.” This evocative ballad combines soulful melodies with heartfelt lyrics that tug at the heartstrings of every listener. Speaking about the inspiration behind the song, Tim Neufeld says, “It’s a reflection on the moments when we realize just how profound our connections with loved ones are. The idea of facing the world without them feels unimaginable.” The song, with its poignant message, resonates deeply in today’s world of fleeting relationships and transient emotions.
Colin Trask adds his perspective: “When we were crafting ‘Me Without You,’ we knew it had to be raw and genuine. It’s a song about vulnerability, about baring our souls and acknowledging our dependencies.” With lines like ‘Every shadow fades in your sun, every battle feels already won,’ the song beautifully encapsulates the essence of love, companionship, and the spaces in between. Its success isn’t merely in its chart-topping status but in its ability to echo the sentiments of countless souls navigating the intricacies of human relationships.
The album cover for the self-titled album immediately catches the eye with its striking depiction of buffalos, a recurring motif for the band. This intentional choice carries significant weight, both in its aesthetic appeal and symbolic meaning. During our interview, Tim Neufeld delved into this decision, saying, “Buffalos have always held a special place in our artistic narrative. They represent strength, resilience, and the undying spirit of community. To us, they mirror the message of our music and our collective journey. In many ways, they are our spiritual animal.”
Colin Trask further elaborated on the design choice, noting, “We’ve toyed with the buffalo imagery before, but for this album, it felt right to bring it to the forefront. There’s a raw, wild energy to it – much like our songs.” The artistically rendered buffalos, standing stalwart with power and purpose, serve as a metaphor for the band’s unstoppable momentum and the compelling force of their music. It’s a testament to the thought and care that goes beyond just the tracks on the album, ensuring every detail, right down to the cover, tells a piece of their story.
In essence, while Tim & The Glory Boys might be winning hearts in the country genre right now, their journey is a testament to the universality of music, the fluid boundaries of genre, and the power of belief. Whether it’s to God, to love, or to the pure joy of music—Tim & The Glory Boys continue to sing from, and for, the heart.
For more on Tim & The Glory Boys, visit timandthegloryboys.com.