Tam Lin

Tam Lin

 New York City, New York, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Tam Lin is a Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist whose ambient brand of folk-rock has been compared to the music of Leonard Cohen, Lee Hazelwood, and Nick Drake. 2009 marks the release of his third album, Begin Again, produced by Mario McNulty (David Bowie, Philip Glass).

Biography

He remembers finding someone’s copy of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited on vinyl. He was nine years old, and within a few days he had memorized all the words to “Desolation Row.” It was the moment when he realized that songs aren’t just tunes with words: they’re worlds that can be inhabited fully, worlds filled with strange characters, unexpected emotions, and lessons to be learned. He was nine years old, and it was that year that he learned to play guitar and begin dreaming up song worlds of his own.

A few decades and several hundred songs later, Tam Lin, aka Paul Weinfield, is still at work, crafting, performing, and living his intricate and magical songs. 2009 marks the release of his third album, Begin Again, produced by Mario J. McNulty (David Bowie, Philip Glass) and featuring such illustrious performers as Aaron Comess (The Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne) and Mike Shobe (Wu Li). Begin Again is a rare gem in the world of singer-songwriter music: an album that is as sonically adventurous as it is well written. Using Omnichords, open-tuned guitars, and distorted trumpets, Begin Again combines a Leonard Cohen-esque approach to precise, poignant songwriting with the ambient sound-textures of artists such as Talk Talk, John Martyn, and Daniel Lanois. The result is a total musical experience in which cinematic narratives, elegant melodies, and sonic landscapes all come together to form a single world in which the listener can fully reside.

Tam Lin has long been a favorite of the New York City songwriter’s scene. Time Out New York praised his earlier albums, In the Twilight (2008) and Floating World (2006), for their “gentle, literate tunes … wistful yet vaguely sinister.” “Every now and again a musician is preceded by his reputation,” Dan D’Ippolito of Jezebel Music, a Brooklyn-based promoter of independent music writes. “The intricacies and uniqueness of [Tam Lin’s] compositions stand alone as a rare, successful, genuine-sounding blend of old and new sounds.” Tam Lin has played at some of the northeast coast’s most prestigious venues: New York City’s Mercury Lounge, Philadelphia’s World Café, etc. He is known for playing in a variety of formats, depending on the venue: intimate solo sets in which he can showcase his songwriting, “cabaret-style” shows with guitar loops and trumpets, or in full regalia, with his electric band.

At the center of Tam Lin’s sound, however, is his voice: a lush, gentle baritone that is utterly unlike that of any contemporary singer and at once extremely recognizable. One recent blogger described it as “simple, soulful, and socially-sentient – he could sing the IHOP menu and make it sound like molten glass.” It is this distinct voice that makes Tam Lin’s music accessible to a variety of age groups and genres. His music has at times been classified as folk, rock, ambient, and soul, but it seems that whatever style Tam Lin occupies, the result is always music that is wholly his own. He is the son of a poet and classical composer, and a lot of his expressivity comes from exploring this tension between speaking and singing, much like a Lou Reed or a Lee Hazelwood. And like a Nick Drake or a Leonard Cohen, his music tends to win listeners over with its patience and gentleness.

So for everyone who remembers what it was like to first enter the world of a song, here is a chance to experience that magic all over again. Pick up a copy of Begin Again and be transported.

For more information about Tam Lin, his recordings, and his live shows, please visit the following websites:

Recent Studio Releases: http://www.myspace.com/tamlinmusic
Video Footage of Live Shows: http://www.youtube.com/tamlinmusic
Electronic Press Kit: http://www.sonicbids.com/tamlinmusic
Official Website: http://www.tamlinmusic.com

Lyrics

Begin Again

Written By: Tam Lin

BEGIN AGAIN//Tam Lin Music//I’ve come to see my mother and lay my sadness at her feet. She still keeps your picture in a frame, though you never had a chance to meet. I put my things in the old spare room like I did when I was ten. She doesn’t ask me any questions. All she says is just “Begin again.� Begin again. Begin again. Let the old, familiar world let you in again. When your ragged coat of dreams has worn thin again -- Begin again. My mother she is a sorceress – a witch, I guess, for some. She sees all of my memories and everything I’ve run away from. She sees you crying on the floor, where I left you there back then. But she covers my mouth if I try to explain. All she says is just, “Begin again.� Begin again. Begin again. Let the old, familiar world let you in again. When your ragged coat of dreams has worn thin again. Begin again. And I don’t know why you won’t get better. I don’t know why you can’t stay clean. I don’t know if my love for you heals or hurts, or something in between. I’ve come to see my mother and lay my sadness at her feet. But she says you can’t put down your burdens till the circle is complete. I think I know what she’s trying to say every time I pick up my pen and I want to write to say goodbye for good, but I know I’m writing to begin again. To begin again, begin again and let our old, familiar world let us in again. Even if our coat of dreams has worn thin again. Begin again. Begin again.//Words and music copyright of Tam Lin/Paul Weinfield (BMI 2008)

The Age of Ignorance

Written By: Tam Lin

THE AGE OF IGNORANCE//Tam Lin//Everywhere around the world, people are starting to be free. They’re rising up like butterflies and drifting to the sea. They’re drifting to the sea. They ain’t broken any laws of nature, nor any laws of man. They’re just starting to let go of everything that they’ve been told since the Age of Ignorance began. Everywhere around the world, people are starting to organize. They’re building bridges across the sea and bridges between their lives. They’re building bridges between their lives. They ain’t working on a revolution; they ain’t got a master plan. They’re just doing all the things that they never thought to do
since the Age of Ignorance began. And you can say they’re dreaming but that’s just it: Dreaming’s all they ever had to do to live in a world that’s true. To live in a world that’s true. Everywhere around the world, people are a little less afraid. They’re keeping time on pots and pans and joining in a rag-tag parade. They all make a rag-tag parade. And though it may not come to much, they do it just because they can. They’re starting to let go
of everything that they’ve been told since the Age of Ignorance began. Since the Age of Ignorance began. Since the Age of Ignorance began.//Words and music copyright of Tam Lin/Paul Weinfield (BMI, 2007)

Anna Lee

Written By: Tam Lin

ANNA LEE//Tam Lin//He called me yesterday to tell me he’d been delayed. He said he was staying in Singapore till April. But when he asked me about you, well, that was when I knew: you’re the real reason he’s not coming home. Oh he's another man alone on the other side of the world trying to make sense of your tangled memory ... And oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free but one day you’re going to take a tumble. Oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free but one day you are going to fall. It was nothing you could prevent. Yeah you're always innocent. You’re not obliged to give your heart to everyone who wants it. And when push comes to shove you talk about higher love. You say you won’t settle for anything but the best. You're like a wrestler in the sand, trying to keep the upper hand -- I should know, that’s how you were with me ... But oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free but one day you’re going to take a tumble. Oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free but one day you are going to fall. Your life keeps on spinning faster and faster, as you draw nearer, nearer to disaster, as you run from everyone and everything that you cannot master. And every time that we meet you’re always so discreet. You say there are a few men that you’ve been seeing. Don’t you know that I understand there’s only ever been one man? There’s a man in your mind you’ve been trying to bring to his knees. But I don’t judge you in the end. You know you’ll always be my friend. I just get sad when I try to make you see ... that, oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free but one day you’re going to take a tumble. Oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free, but one day you are going to stumble. Oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free, but one day you’re going to find yourself getting humble. Oh, Anna Lee, you’re so proud and so free, but one day momma you’re going to fall ...//Words and music copyright of Tam Lin/Paul Weinfield (BMI, 2007)

In the Twilight

Written By: Tam Lin

IN THE TWILIGHT//Tam Lin// We sat together in the parlor. The sunset fell into her tea. And if I saw her wedding ring, it didn’t mean a thing. I could have sworn she’d lived a hundred years with me. Don’t judge me, friends, for what I’m going to tell you. It’s easier than you’d think to be confused when the evening shadows blurred and I sat there next to her in the twilight, when your mind plays tricks on you. As in a dream, I followed her up the staircase
to the room where her husband lay in bed. And the two of us we crept up beside him where he slept and we held a pillow down over his head. There was stillness in the dark air all around me. Then I turned and saw she had disappeared from view. So I lay down next to him as my eyes began to swim in the twilight, when your mind plays tricks on you. I wish to God I’d never met her. But somehow I just can’t seem to quit her. Cause I know that if I run
she’ll tell the world what I have done. So for three long years I’ve stuck around and I bought a place on the outside of town where I stay inside all day till the sun goes down ... In the evenings sometimes I go out walking where the road bends up towards her place. And often times I see her walking up to me with the last rays of daylight on her face. And we go that way a mile together in silence as natural as any couple you ever knew. And I think, maybe it turned out well but it gets so hard to tell in the twilight, when your mind plays tricks on you.//Words and music copyright of Tam Lin/Paul Weinfield (BMI 2007)

Discography

"Begin Again" (2009)
"In the Twilight" (2008)
"Floating World" (2006)

Set List

Tam Lin has written several hundred songs and knows several thousand covers. He can play as long as you want him to, with or without a band.