Artist: Tim Hockenberry
Album: Tim Hockenberry
Label: Poignant Records
Release Date: 03/04/2016
Winners of TV singing competitions generally tend to be one hit wonders who make an album or two and end up with a career that’s relatively short lived. Hype and happenstance collide, and as quickly as they get that big break, just as quickly they fall by the wayside. Happily then, Tim Hockenberry proves the exception to the rule. A semi-finalist who scored well on America’s Got Talent, he’s proved his prowess with two earlier albums — one a disc of Dylan tunes no less — proving he has the staying power that will make him a true contender.
The first thing that’s readily apparent is his vocal chops, a sandpapery croon that occasionally brings a hint of Joe Cocker to mind while also illuminating the material with a richly burnished sheen. The rugged resilience of “Me and You” and “Faith In You,” the sway and glide of “Ease Your Pain,” the soulful caress of “I‘ve Got Nothin’ (Better To Do)” and “Crazy,” and the loping tempo that propels “Carrying You” all show that he’s adept when it comes to changing the pace and varying the template. Hockenberry always finds the material’s emotional core, but he doesn’t get bogged down in sadness and circumstance. To the contrary, the songs are sweet and serene, easily accessible and equally affecting. “If The Sky Was To Fall,” “This Time By Me” and “Come On Let’s Dance” are examples of beautiful balladry, but the sentiment offers no hint of bitterness or recrimination. Rather, the thoughts are tender, touching, uplifting and inspiring. With that in mind, there’s no better recommendation one could possibly offer.