COASTAL Culture: Tim Connors, a short while ago household from a several decades in California, sales opportunities a transient lifetime. He spends summer time days lifeguarding and evenings accomplishing acoustic variations of his songs, lots of of them motivated by LBI. (Picture by Jack Reynolds)
Prolonged Seaside Island was bumping final Friday evening, as evidenced at daddy O’s rooftop patio, brimming with a satisfied group, all engaged in festivity. It was challenging not to be in a very good temper, remaining served by some of the most upbeat bartenders this aspect of the Mississippi.
A lot of folks collected all around the within bar, which really turned on when Tim Connor, recognized to the phase as The Fourth Son, waltzed in, seemingly straight off the seaside, with a kick drum, acoustic guitar and foot tambourine. He sat atop his drum and instantly took the room on an Americana journey by means of folk, roots, blues and soul – all of it elevated by the percussion and steeped in saltwater, giving off the subtlest notes of reggae. His voice, reminiscent of Dave Matthews or Marcus Mumford, fortifies his down-to-earth vibe.
The initial set on your own was a constant stream of clean usually takes on a variety of tunes, paying tribute to Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Sam Smith, G. Appreciate, Bob Marley, Cage the Elephant, Brittany Howard, Houndmouth and The New Basement Tapes. He also seamlessly sewed in some of his originals, these types of as an unreleased tune referred to as “Midnight Coffee.”
Connor grew up in Tabernacle, just 45 minutes inland from LBI. “We would hire a home in Surf City for two weeks each and every summer season,” he shared, explaining he was far more fulfilled on the Island than anyplace else. “It felt like we have been going across the universe … and it was just this absolutely diverse earth,” he described. “I fell in appreciate with the Island and the culture and the ocean.”
As soon as he acquired his driver’s license, Connor would travel to the coastline at just about every chance, even through the wintertime months, immersing himself into the surf community.
Connor’s mom and dad were being usually enthusiastic about tunes, and so it surrounded him. “I was always included with music,” he recalled. “My mother sang in our church choir, and it was often these types of a profound encounter, seeing her carry out in entrance of hundreds of persons at our solutions. She would just get up there and captivate anyone with her voice.”
In elementary university, Connor fell in like with the drums. “I don’t forget likely to a birthday get together and looking at a drum set,” he stated, remembering his fascination. “I was obsessed.” He begged his mother and father for his individual drum package each Christmas thereafter, and he eventually received a person when he was 14 and in large university jazz band. “There was nothing at all cooler to me,” he emphasised. “Well, I signify, surfing was up there,” he corrected himself with a grin.
He attributes his very good ear to expanding up listening to his mom singing in choir. “There is some thing to hearing irrespective of whether something is flat, sharp or on pitch,” he said. “Listening so a great deal escalating up is dependable for that.”
In addition, staying in live performance band all as a result of superior faculty gave Connor an comprehending of the larger picture of a creation. “We’d have 40 people all accomplishing a thing distinctive, and when you set it all collectively, it will become this unbelievably amazing audible expertise.” He additional, “I didn’t know at the time, but that may be where I received into songwriting and recording.”
As a teenager, Connor drummed in many cover bands. “That was the first time I really experienced free rein,” he discussed. They performed the basic Jersey Shore surf rock and reggae design tunes. “Don’t get me mistaken, it’s undeniably terrific,” he reassured with a chortle. However, since those people times, he has made a flavor for a wide array of music and, as a songwriter, requires inspiration from all about.
In his early 20s, Connor picked up the guitar and pursued writing authentic audio. “As quickly as I realized 3 chords I wrote a tune,” he explained. “It was quite amazing to build something out of thin air, and at some point I arrived back again to it and set it on my 2nd album.” The track, titled “Hurricane” is, like numerous of his tunes, impressed by LBI.
He honed most of his skill through his time working towards and recording with a band referred to as Dogshow Blues, with close friends Gio Cirelli and Nick Copeland. “That was a fantastic five years of just hunkering down and functioning several hours on hours making an attempt to polish tracks and producing, and inevitably making ready to play live shows.” He credits his bandmates, whom he explained as “the complete unsung heroes” for selling his progress as a musician. “Nick acquired me a notebook and established me up, and he just desired to stoke that flame as considerably as he could. He experienced this studio set up in his dwelling, and he was a wonderful singer.” He added, “Gio helped me on the guitar.”
In 2015, Connor determined to place his university degree (in health and fitness and physical training) to operate and pursue a conventional profession. The very first position he could locate get the job done in his area was in San Mateo, Calif., and he went for it. He described the experience as a “double whammy,” earning him good income and remaining in close proximity to a main music hub.
Getting a stranger gave Connor the independence to be vulnerable. “Basically, I had not executed any of my possess things or performed in entrance of people today until finally I bought to California,” he defined. “On one hand it might audio terrifying, but for me it was so relieving that I can go embarrass myself in entrance of people I really don’t know. That was probably the most impressive element of the expertise out there.”
He taught phys-ed to youngsters concerning pre-kindergarten and fifth quality. “Teaching was a large amount of entertaining,” he reminisced. “It was really hard, it was straining, it was fulfilling … It was undoubtedly a vocation!”
Nevertheless, just after three several years, he made the decision to consider a leap of faith and soar wholeheartedly into his new music profession. “I definitely essential to set more of my time and electrical power into music, and I couldn’t do that currently being a trainer,” he elaborated. “It was devastating, and a bit of a bruise to my satisfaction, because I genuinely went into (educating) anticipating that it would be the great job to do both, and help the new music career – which I could never phone the “H” word (interest).” It turned abundantly clear to him that possessing a single foot in audio and the other in teaching was putting half of his effort and hard work into possibly enthusiasm, knowing neither could prosper. “And I knew if I enable go of songs it would be a soul dying. My soul would die.”
In 2017, he jumped head very first into tunes. Thankfully, a tunes instructor who taught at the same school invited Connor to join a band as a drummer and backing vocalist. “They ended up wholly amazing with me piggybacking The Fourth Son and acquiring all those gigs,” he said most gratefully. Through individuals collaborations, he amassed frequent gigs from Significant Sur to Petaluna, and in the East Bay. “And I just played and gigged as a lot as I humanly could.”
Connor discovered regular income in one of the most unlikely venues, as considerably as an East Coaster is worried: farmers marketplaces. “It appears certainly outrageous, but I played farmers marketplaces weekly – unpaid, 4-hour gigs, enjoying for recommendations,” he claimed. “To me, it was this great lesson: If you can captivate people at a farmers sector, you’re surely undertaking a thing correct.”
Weekly marketplaces grew to become a ritual he looked ahead to. “I cherished getting up in the morning, acquiring coffee, batteries for my PA procedure, consider an hour push to a farmers industry …” He explained being strike with all the aromas of the market place upon arrival. “The grill’s heading, crepes cooking, and oh my God, the basil!” That is not to mention work perks. “And I’d get hooked up with some truly magnificent deliver and some of my strategies were being undoubtedly baked products or hummus,” he quipped. In all seriousness, the marketplaces proved lucrative for him, to his astonishment. “There ended up some marketplaces in which I’d stroll absent with $500 funds, in just guidelines!”
“I vividly don’t forget just one working day, taking my guidelines to the financial institution and counting them in the automobile,” he shared. “It brought me to tears due to the fact it is so not about the funds at all for me, but it was the to start with time that I was carrying out something that gave back to me in a soul-satisfying way, and that several men and women placing a dollar in there, each 1 of them represented another person tipping their hat, or encouraging me to maintain heading.”
What’s more, the marketplaces have been a hub for publicity. People from all walks of existence would see Connor and present him distinctive gigs. “Once, a Real estate agent asked me to engage in throughout an open property. So I’m in this $9 million household and I’m actively playing my tiny folks tunes,” he laughed.
Even so, people marketplaces were the very first to go when the pandemic swept the nation, and Connor’s standard gigs went subsequent. Like lots of, Connor was compelled to set his priorities in viewpoint, and he resolved to shift back again to the East Coast and be nearer to his family members. “Being back below was a reminder that I could under no circumstances swap or quit missing my mates and loved ones. Lacking them outweighs the magnificence of Yosemite,” he explained. “Being house in that disaster circumstance was mentally and emotionally tricky. I realized I want guidance and my family members required aid in that way.”
Now, the 32-calendar year-aged spends his days lifeguarding on LBI and his evenings gigging. The vagabond sleeps everywhere you go amongst couches in Philly, the back of his trusty Ford Transit when on the move, or in the motel lodging Lengthy Seaside Township has offered for lifeguards.
When his reside present receives right to the heart of who he is, he expresses his artistry by way of his self-developed recordings, every of which is a finely layered masterpiece. The listener is flooded with summer nostalgia. His tune “Wicker,” which has been streamed above 250,000 moments on Spotify, has a Lumineers-y sense. Connor’s most recent release, “Tanlines,” veers into modern pop and EDM, and does not take alone far too severely. In reality, one particular might go as significantly as to explain it as a lusty, lighthearted love letter to LBI.
Connor will perform this Saturday night at Tuckers Tavern. To listen to his authentic songs and stay up to date with his reveals, visit thefourthson.com.
— Monique M. Demopoulos