Add Tim Bertulli to the list of unsung Canadian artists. For some reason, we Americans are always open to praising musicians from England but hardly any from nearby Canada. Of course, there are exceptions like Rush and Bryan Adams; however, hitmakers from Canada are few and far between. Let’s hope that Bertulli isn’t similarly ignored.
The genre that Bertulli is tackling — roots rock — has little MTV appeal. Sure, the Wallflowers were able to produce hits by polishing it up and having a lead singer with a GQ cover boy’s looks, but Bertulli’s work is not pop music. The jangly title track would’ve probably found a home on college radio two decades ago; however, it’s doubtful that will happen in these days of psuedo-hipness and underground elitism.
Then again, it’s doubtful that Bertulli cares. These are really personal songs that move at their own pace, regardless of what radio programmers or record labels want. You have to admire the guy’s commitment to his art. Like Neil Young, Bertulli writes songs for himself, and they’re usually about himself, if there’s truth in these lyrics. Unlike other male solo artists, Bertulli handled everything himself on the record. But it’s the guitar playing that shines so brightly, especially the scorching, bluesy licks on “Break It Down.”
Every track has a point, and it’s usually about Bertulli dealing with the realities of life, getting older and movin’ on from the past. It’s a worthwhile, enlightening experience.
Tim Bertulli: www.timbertulli.com