Chasin' the Boogie Tim Sparks
- 1Carolina Blue Guitar03:26
- 2Chasin' the boogie03:08
- 3I'll fly away05:21
- 5Reckless Persuasion03:51
- 6Mr. Bojangles03:29
- 7What a friend we have in Jesus01:49
- 8Mississippi Blues02:58
- 10Both Sides now03:11
- 11Wayfaring stranger03:50
- 12Blue Bayou04:56
Info for Chasin' the Boogie
Ever since bursting on the scene with his 1993 release »» The Nutcracker Suite, Tim Sparks has captivated guitar fans with some of the finest fingerstyle guitar playing around. An artist who can be difficult to categorize, Sparks’ albums and live performances have featured classical, blues, jazz, folk, klezmer, and other styles, and yet they all have a common thread that makes them immediately identifiable.
Clearly, for Sparks the music itself is more important than the genre it may have originated in, and Chasin’ the Boogie continues this approach. Whether completely re-imagining the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” creating a complex guitar arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” playing the folk standards “Wayfaring Stranger” and “I’ll Fly Away,” or getting gritty on the “Mississippi Blues,” Sparks creates solo steel-string guitar magic like only he can. Put simply, Chasin’ the Boogie is guitar music at its best. Even on songs that you thought you knew, you’ll find yourself hitting the “repeat” button to make sure that what you just heard really happened. Whether you’re already a fan of solo guitar music or not, give Chasin’ the Boogie a spin and allow yourself to be taken along!
„Chasin' the Boogie is guitar music at its best. Even on songs that you thought you knew, you'll find yourself hitting the 'repeat' button to make sure that what you just heard really happened. Tim manages to package his virtuoso playing and engaging arrangement so masterfully that the beauty and musicality is never overshadowed by technique that's employed merely to showcase chops. Whether you are already a fan of solo guitar music or not, give Chasin' the Boogie a spin and allow yourself to be taken away.“ (Teja Gerken, Co-founder and producer, Peghead Nation Guitar Journalist)
Tim Sparks, guitar
Recorded at the Acoustic Music Studio in Osnabrück, Germany on October 13, 2013
Produced by Peter Finger
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Tim Sparks started picking out tunes by ear on an old Stella flat top during a bout of encephalitis that kept him out of school for a year. He taught himself to play the music he heard around him: traditional country blues and the gospel his grandmother played on piano in a small church in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Tim SparksAt age 14, Tim was nominated by a musically astute uncle for a scholarship at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts. There he studied the classics with Segovia protege Jesus Silva while continuing to play all kinds of music, increasingly turning to classic jazz for inspiration. He adapted compositions by Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, and Fats Waller to the guitar, frequently reducing piano arrangements to their essence. Early influences were Doc Watson, Arthur Smith, and most importantly Duck Baker, who opened up a horizon of possibilities for fingerstyle guitar.
After a stint on the road with a Chicago-based rhythm and blues band, Sparks arrived in Minnesota where he soon established himself as a journeyman guitarist and session player. While recording three albums with the seminal vocal jazz ensemble Rio Nido, Sparks also became proficient in jazz styles from Brazilian to Be Bop. It was at this time he arranged Carla Bley's composition "Jesus Maria" for Leo Kottke. ( Rio Nido's first two vinyl recordings have recently been re-issued on CD on the Japanese Vivid Sound Label.
Sparks also found time to revive his interest in classical music, adapting Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite to the guitar, a work that has been cited as a significant contribution to solo guitar literature. For Sparks it was a labor of love that earned him the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas in 1993.
A sojourn abroad inspired his interest in European and Mediterranean styles, particularly the music of the Balkans. Upon his return to Minnesota, Sparks immersed himself in the ethnic music scene, performing on Oud and Saz in Middle Eastern ensembles and playing guitar in Greek, Klezmer, and Sephardic groups. This work culminated in the recording of Sparks' Balkan Dreams Suite, a remarkable collection of odd-meter guitar arrangements. Many of the Balkan Dreams compositions were recorded on Tim's debut solo CD, The Nutcracker Suite, in 1993. This recording was hailed by Guitar Player Magazine as "an exhilarating, odd-meter minefield inspired by Near Eastern music" and "an important recording from a gifted composer, arranger, and performer." Two more releases followed on the Acoustic Music label, Guitar Bazaar (1997) and One String Leads To Another (1999).
Sparks' work came to the attention of John Zorn, the saxophonist, composer, and curator of Tzadik Records in New York and thereby led to a new cycle of compositions inspired by traditional Jewish melodies. Neshamah (1999) is a solo effort. Tanz, which garnered Downbeat Magazine's highest praise, five stars, in 2000 and At the Rebbe's Table (2002) include ensemble work. All three releases have been acclaimed by a broad spectrum of critics and listeners alike. Spring of 2003 saw the release of Masada Guitars, featuring interpretations of John Zorn's music by Tim, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot. In recent years, Sparks' musical focus has come full circle, returning to the country blues and classic jazz that served as a springboard for his worldwide guitar explorations. He toured with Dolly Parton in 2005 and recorded Roots, Rags and Blues for Truefire/Acoustic Guitar Workshop.
Sparks released Sidewalk Blues on the Tonewood label in February 2009 and recorded Little Princess, his fifth CD for Tzadik, in New York City on February 19, 2009.