Sign up for newsletter
 

Music changes for Tyminski, but quality doesn't

City Winery, Boston, January 17, 2018

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Touring under the moniker Tyminski should have served as an alert that something was going to be very different.

And that was the case - in some respects - with the tour of Dan Tyminski, best known as being part of Allison Krauss' Union Station and the voice beyond "Man of Constant Sorrow."

This was not exactly a night devoted to hard core bluegrass, although grass was part of the mix. Instead, Tyminski merged modern sounds (think beats and more prominent drumming; some say alt.-country) with banjo and the like. Maybe bluegrass that purists would have nothing to do with.

But what was clear was that Tyminski was doing what he wanted. In a large way, Tyminski's musical path of experimentation should not have come as a shock. He gained a footing in the EDM world serving as the vocalist for star Avicii's "Hey Brother" hit in 2013.

Tyminski leaned very heavily on "Southern Gothic," playing most of the songs before about 100 people, and the album stood up well live. He also did justice to "Hey Brother" and "Man of Constant Sorrow" at the end of his regular set with the latter clearly more in the bluegrass realm.

While the music may have changed from bluegrass, one thing which didn't was Tyminski's vocal delivery. He remains as solid as ever, giving more of a bluegrass edge to the material. That was the case including when playing cuts from his recent "Southern Gothic" disc. "The Devil is Downtown" and "Hollow Hallelujah" were particular highlights.

Yes, the beats may have been there, but with a little different instrumentation, this could have easily been dyed-in-the-wool bluegrass. It sure helped that banjo player Tony Wray consistently incorporated his instrument - sometimes underneath and often playing a far more prominent role - with great efficiency.

Yes, Dan Tyminski may have changed - for now anyway - but no matter what he may call himself, there's no mistaking the beauty of voice and music.