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Tim Brick, 'Homegrown Remedy'


Published July 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated July 27, 2022 at 10:10 a.m.

Tim Brick, Homegrown Remedy - COURTESY
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  • Tim Brick, Homegrown Remedy

(Self-released, CD, digital)

Is there a genre as riddled with tropes as modern country music? Every type of music has its calling cards, but today's country has a way of leaning into its clichés, whether it's tractors and girls, amorphous "down-home" values, or flag-waving patriotism. Maybe it's a proud-to-be-who-I-am sort of thing, or maybe it's just that the genre understands what sells.

While Barre singer-songwriter Tim Brick certainly embraces his share of twangy stereotypes, he's referencing an older, less commercialized brand of country; this is a musician who clearly reveres Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver. Brick doesn't try to emulate modern pop country but rather leans into the classic tones of the medium. His latest record, Homegrown Remedy, is full of songs about lost love and regret, with keening pedal steel guitar and Southern-accented harmonies.

Opener "One Step From Falling" is a radio-ready earworm. It's easy enough to dismiss Brick's songwriting as paint-by-numbers — he certainly isn't interested in reinterpreting the genre. But crafting a catchy single full of hooks is one of the more difficult tasks in music, and Brick has it down to a science.

He and his band turn toward a Tom Petty-leaning, Southern-rock feel on "Cashin In." Again, Brick doesn't traverse much new territory with the tune, the story of a down-on-his-luck man, up against life's rougher edges. "A lifetime of broken dreams makes it hard to believe / In a game he'll never win," Brick sings. "He gets knocked down, he gets up again / But he gets tired of pissing in the wind / There are days he feels like cashin' in."

Though Homegrown Remedy is Brick's first release since 2017's Just Passin' Through, his sound remains dialed in. That's due in part to a crack collection of local players, including Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band) on drums and Eric O' Hara (the Gibson Brothers) on pedal steel guitar. Multi-instrumentalists Colin McCaffrey and Lane Gibson — who produced and mastered Homegrown Remedy, respectively — round out the band. It skillfully covers a wide range of tones, from pop-country-adjacent tracks such as "Last Call" to primordial, trucks-barreling-down-a-dusty-road country such as "Rivers Run Dry."

There are some songs in which Brick overdoes it, as on the title track. "Woke up this morning and turned on the news / It seems the world's gone crazy / I guess that's nothing new," he sings. His series of clichés about the scary outside world driving him into the wilderness makes it hard not to feel like the song was written for a Miller Lite advertisement. But, by and large, Brick avoids such stumbles. Homegrown Remedy documents a musician moving deeper into his strengths.

The album is streaming on all major platforms and can be ordered at tbrickmusic.com. Catch Brick live on Sunday, August 7, at the Stowe Farmers Market.