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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2006
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With lyrics like 'Let me Mary Magdalene you' and 'I drank wine from the grapes of wrath,' Tim Tucker's music snags your attention.
DAILY Photo by Emily Saunders
With lyrics like "Let me Mary Magdalene you" and "I drank wine from the grapes of wrath," Tim Tucker's music snags your attention.

Uh-Huh! to
Tim Tucker

You can't say no to his musical energy

By Kate Klepper
DAILY Staff Writer

kate.klepper@decaturdaily.com ˇ 340-2449

Last Thursday evening I sipped a fine malbec at a high-top table and inhaled the ambiance of Café 113 and Tim Tucker's soulful voice. He was in his regular spot on his regular night, but something was different. There was energy about the place.

The energy was Tim's as he prepared for the following night — the release of his band's self-titled, debut album, "Tim Tucker and the Uh-Huhs."

As the evening progressed and patrons shouted requests from the far corners of the narrow bar, one thought pressed on my mind: This local musician has received more requests for his original songs than covers. He must be good.

My thought proved true as an acoustic version of Prince's "Little Red Corvette" vibrated off his lips, displaying his versatility.

The next night band mates Jeff Sharp and James Pressnell joined Tucker, along with several special guests, in their rise to stardom as they released their first album with a celebratory concert at The Brick.

Opening their show with the popular song "Are You Ready For Me," a packed house erupted into applause confirming that Decatur is ready for Tim Tucker and the Uh-Huhs.

Tucker, 35, Sharp, 30 and Pressnell, 29, have been surrounded by music their entire lives.

Tucker's dad, John Tucker, was music director of several Baptist churches. Mom, Joy Tucker, sings and plays the piano, and his brother, John Tucker, Jr., is a talented songwriter.

"I've sung my whole life and started playing piano when I was 10," he said. "I guess music is in my genes."

After graduating Austin High School in 1989, Tucker perfected his art by touring with various bands as guitarist, pianist and vocalist. He soon became a regular on stage with The Whitey Herzogs, forming a bond with Sharp, the bassist, and Pressnell, drummer.

Almost a year ago, the trio conceived Tim Tucker and the Uh-Huhs and quickly began writing and recording songs.

"I had tons of songs lying around and as we recorded we kept writing," said Tim. "We finally decided on 13 for the album."

While he doesn't necessarily believe the chosen 13 are the best of their collection, he does believe they were the ones ready to record.

"We felt these 13 were finished," he said. "These flowed well and came together nicely."

Ten songs were recorded at Shabbey Road Studio in Decatur, while the others were recorded in Huntsville at Sound Cell Recording Studios.

Of the songs chosen, he doesn't have a personal favorite but does count "Amen" and "Seven Sunsets Away" as lyrical bests.

Jeff and James are longtime friends. Both attended Decatur High School, moved to California with the band Little Big Man and returned to Decatur together in 1996 to form the Whitey Herzogs.

"Tim, Jamie (James) and I are familiar with each other's music preferences," said Sharp. "We mesh well together and adapt to each other's styles easily."

Even though Sharp's bass isn't featured in "She Spends All Her Time in My Mind," it is his favorite on the album.

Great inspirations

Tucker's personal influences include a musician, a civil rights pioneer and his own religious beliefs.

"Bob Dylan showed the possibility of the power of a song," he said, "and no one has ever had a more powerful influence on me than Martin Luther King Jr. Seeing what he went through is very inspirational."

Inspired by King indeed. Tucker recently began work on four new songs he hopes will include a voiceover of King.

"I've been talking to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery about recording this EP (a short album)," he said. "It's still very early in the process, but if everything is approved and we get to go through with it the Law Center will sell the albums and receive all financial benefits. I hope to be able to give something back to them — to make a contribution."

Tucker insists recording is the easiest part of releasing an album.

"Being in the studio is the most fun," he said. "We could do that everyday and never tire of it. The business side is much more tedious."

While the band is talking to several record labels about possible record deals, no contracts have been signed, but fans have already declared the album a success.

"You're never bored with Tim's music," said Carlton McMasters of Decatur. "It appeals to all ages with renditions of songs by artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Michael Jackson. He has a God-given talent that not many people possess."

Undeniably a wordsmith, Tucker concocts verses like "Let me Mary Magdalene you," and "I drank wine from the grapes of wrath," that will forever be synonymous with Tim Tucker and the Uh-Huhs.

With a sturdy fan base and raw talent they are sure to impress the music industry with their mix of haunting, bluesy and retro styles.

Hear Tim

You can hear Tim Tucker on Thursdays at Café 113, 113 Grant St. S.E., from 9 p.m. until closing, and every other Wednesday at The Brick Deli, 209-A
Second Ave. S.E., from 9 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.

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