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A double shot of sweet folk music to start a marathon day of adds to the Big Med Playlist for The Big One. This is Nashville TN-native Tim Pepper with ‘The Killing Kind’ and ‘Are You Coming Home.’ I like both of these songs for their stripped-bare emotion and the beautiful simplicity in their construction. I’ve been listening to a lot of Tim Pepper lately – and following his journey on his blog. He lays it all out there and some of his reflections on life in Nashville as an aspiring musician are a must-read for anyone who believes all those award shows are somehow reflective of reality. Tim Pepper’s music comes on quietly – even gently – but the lyrics have a certain weight to them worth carrying with you. Enjoy.
Tim Pepper started playing guitar during his first year of college. It was 1996 and he was 19 years old. “Writing songs felt good. I wasn’t much of a talker in those days. I wrote in journals. I was the quiet guy who seemed pretty calm and collected on the outside but my journals gave me away. I was pissed off and lovestruck and God-struck and emotional. I was all angsty and bitter and I grew up Christian so the only place I could curse and be truly honest was in my journals.
“But then songwriting gave me another way to express myself. I could say things in songs that I couldn’t say face to face. I was timid in the flesh but brave when I was writing a song. I got a little high from songwriting and it seemed like I was pretty good at it. It just made sense. It felt like I was discovering a new me; maybe the real me.”
“My parents are missionaries, the churchy kind. So I grew up listening to southern gospel choirs, old hymns of the faith and later on a lot of ‘christian’ rock bands. My dad was a drummer in a rock band in his teens and twenties so he had a few cassettes of the Beatles and Dylan lying around. I loved singing in church when the whole congregation knew the song really well and you could hear the old fashioned men and women breaking out into their parts.
“We didn’t really have a lot of music in the house but I always had my ears open when we were out shopping or at the gym. I listened to everything and melodies would find there way into my brain long before the lyrics did. I’ve discovered several times in my life that I’ve been singing the wrong lyrics to songs for years.
“The first album that I fell in love with was “The Joshua Tree” by U2. I must have listened to it a thousand times in a few weeks. When I hear any of those songs on the radio they still get me. Then I discovered Nirvana and “Nevermind” and that completely changed my life for the next few years. Nothing I heard came close to that. The funny thing is that I was listening to Garth Brooks’ ‘No Fences’ right around the same time and had his whole album memorized at one point.
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Are You Coming Home?
The Killing Kind