Tim Allen’s extended play (EP) album, Lifetime On The Road, will be released on October 19, 2018. The album, produced by Cole Porter (Porter Union) and engineered by Paul Carabello (The Ataris), provides a very personal glimpse into the life of a “working” musician. The EP features four outstanding original tunes and a cover of Bad Side of Me, by Wayne Mills. This production also features an all-star group of musicians laying down that fine country music sound. Fortunately, for you and me, Mr. Allen was gracious enough to let me get a listen to all the tracks before the release. He has also provided The Country Music Armadillo with a personal and very detailed insight into his musical journey, as well as the inspiration for each track on the album. This album was not intended for release to the general public. The purpose of making this album is much more personal to Tim Allen.
The idea of this album came about, when Allen received a phone call back in April of 2016. His dad called and delivered some devastating news. He had stage four pancreatic cancer and only had months to live. Tim’s dad had never heard his son play a live show. Allen wanted to make this album for his dad so that he could hear his music. But, before Tim could get in the studio, his dad’s health took a turn for the worst. Mr. Carl Zeleznik passed away on December 28th, 2017. This album is for Tim Allen’s father.
The first tune on the album is the title track, Lifetime On The Road. The song is an up-tempo piece that brings the heavy, country and western twang on the pedal steel and lead guitar, courtesy of Tyler Giles (Tyler Giles Music) and Cody Stanford (Better Than Nothin’/Porter Union). “Heard it said that a man has two things in this life / One his word the other his name…” is the first lyrics of the first song ever written by Tim Allen. Those lines also have a special place in the heart of Allen, as a father figure in his life, Mr. Boyd Croft, spoke them. “There was a guy in my life by the name of Boyd Croft, who I consider to be like a second father to me” said Allen.. Lifetime On The Road is a true story that incorporates values, work ethic, family life and putting lots of rubber to asphalt.
After barrelin’ on down the road, the second track, Looking Up At A Dream provides the listener with a personal reflection from the artist. “Sometimes I have to stop and ask / Just how did I get here / looking back it all seemed so fast / though the answer isn’t clear.” The song starts off with a slow acoustic sound through the introduction, and then begins to pick up the pace through the verse and chorus. The listener will be able to feel the shift and the pure passion of the lyrics through the voice of Tim Allen. The song is about the headaches and hurdles that Allen has faced while trying to maintain and chase the dream of playing country music. “Looking back on everything, it’s crazy how fast things have happened, but it was a lot of work, with a lot of headaches and some people that tried to throw hurdles up, intentionally or not. But it always seemed like there was something in the way of being able to see the dream of playing music the way I wanted to”-Allen.
Track number three on this EP is a cover. You might look at this and say, “Why the hell does a five track EP need a cover?” Well, because this song belongs on this album, that’s why. The song Bad Side of Me, by Wayne Mills, is covered for two reasons. The first reason is that Allen “…wanted to include a song on here for my fiancé that would show how much I appreciate her putting up with me.” The second reason for including this cover on the album is “I have such a respect for his music and the way he did things his own way, so I knew this was the one I wanted to record.” Ultimately, this cover is on the album because Tim Allen is doing things his own way. If you have not heard of Wayne Mills, please go check out his story, his music, and his tragic murder.
The next to last tune on this album, Truth Just Don’t Sell, stems from the political firestorm that we have all seen take place across The United States of America. Ironically, the “United” could easily be changed to “Divided” and some of the blame could be placed on the media outlets on both sides of the isle. More so, the song is about the issues that have been seen with media outlets not being forthcoming with the truth. We all know that media outlets have an agenda with ratings, sponsorships, and profits. Tim Allen wrote this song because of his belief that these institutions are partly responsible for propaganda that has divided and that has us all finding it difficult to do our own thinking. “What has this world come to / Why can’t we think for ourselves / Always looking for some truth to run to / I guess the truth just don’t sell.” This song has a heavy message as well as some heavy classic country guitar riffs throughout. “I do not claim to be a political voice or anything like that, it’s just kind of my take on how I see things in regard to the news organizations”-Allen.
The final song on the EP, Who Am I To Say, is a MUST listen for anyone reading or not reading this review. For Allen, this is the tune that makes this album so personal. For us, the listeners, this is the tune that makes this the hottest EP about to be released in the world of real country music. The song features the very talented Drew Harakal (Cody Jinks) on keys, Scotty Sanders on the Dobro, and the backing vocals are provided by three of the most talented ladies in the industry today. Stephcynie Curry, who sang on Cody Jinks’ song Holy Water, April Rucker who sang with Margo Price on the Buffalo Clover album Test Your Love, and Maureen Murphy who provided vocals on The Whippoorwill for Blackberry Smoke, will fill your ears with some of the most amazing harmonies on any song. Ever. You can feel the pure emotion that went into this song through both the music, as well as the lyrics. When I say that this tune is a must hear, I mean it. Go listen to this EP. All of it.
You can find more about Tim Allen, including tour dates and booking information, at the following locations: Go check him out!