Tim McNary’s sound features raw vocal stylings, thoughtful lyrics, and ethereal undertones. He started writing songs during the 2 years he spent volunteering and backpacking in South America after college. During the past 5 years, Tim has performed hundreds of shows around the country sharing the stage with The Civil Wars, Griffin House, and many others. In December ‘16, he completed his first nationwide tour in support of his new album, Above The Trees. Tim has been compared to Ryan Adams, Ben Howard, and Glen Hansard, among others. He has been featured in Paste Magazine, Daytrotter, and The Bluegrass Situation, and was tapped to perform at the 2017 30A Songwriter's Festival.
Singer-songwriter Tim McNary’s story is worthy of its own song – he’s lived a long life of adventure in a few short years. Born on the south side of Chicago, he was raised in a strict evangelical environment without secular music, followed his wanderlust to tiny seaside towns in South America, sang in a southern rock band along the eastern coast of the US, lived in his car in Atlanta, and eventually grew roots in Nashville, Tenn. His most recent EP, Above the Trees, combines songs chronicling those experiences, and was released on April 8th, 2016.
Recorded with producer Paul Warner between a mountain cabin in rural Georgia and East Nashville, Tenn., McNary’s latest album sounds like what might happen if Bon Iver went on a songwriting retreat with Josh Ritter – and spent a few nights in Brazil somewhere along the way.
“This record has a distinct sound because of the unique way it was recorded,” McNary said. “I’ve always wanted to make a record up in the mountains, undisturbed by the rest of the world and free to focus only on the music.”
Songs like “The Heist” and “Be With Me” conjure images of Latin American jungles and folklore, and draw on McNary’s memories from his time abroad.
“I spent most of my time studying Portuguese, reading novels and writing songs. In Salvador, Brazil I would ride my bike five miles to the poor part of town and give free English lessons to the kids who lived there,” McNary said. “I really didn't want to leave that magical city. The combination of kind people, tropical weather, 16th century architecture and Afro-Brazilian culture really captivated me.”
After returning to the US and working in banking for a few years, McNary found himself disillusioned with achieving the American Dream. He eventually joined a southern rock band, before forming his own band and touring southeast playing a mixture of original and cover gigs. During that time, he had the opportunity to open for celebrated folk duo, the Civil Wars. Songs like “Missus” and “The Other Man” detail McNary’s hardships while focusing on his career, but still dreaming of finding a partner.
“At the point when most of my friends were getting married and settling into the business world for the long haul, I was starting the artist’s life from scratch,” McNary said. “I didn’t feel like there was any other choice. I never stopped to consider what an impractical career others might perceive it to be.”
Before moving permanently to Nashville, McNary lived in his van for four months, tying up loose ends, and fulfilling tour commitments. In an unfortunate turn of events, his van and musical equipment were stolen from a friend’s driveway in Atlanta. With no choice but to start over, he found a serving job at a Mexican restaurant in Nashville, rented a room, and began the process of getting back on his feet.
After a year and a half of serving and Uber driving, McNary combined the money he saved with a Kickstarter campaign, joined forces with producer Paul Warner and recorded his third EP, Above the Trees. The album was released in it’s entirety on Friday, April 8th, 2016 For 2016 tour dates, click . For the album backstory, click. Tim has tour plans for most major cities and many medium size towns in North America in 2017 as he continues to support his most recent EP.