“I couldn’t have imagined I’d wind up in the unlikely and amazing place I’m in right now . . . and after all I’ve worked for and gone through, it turns out ‘now’ is right on time.”
The underdog—and victorious—journey of singer-songwriter Tim Mallick is not simply a unique one, it’s as improbable as it is inspiring. Only a few short months ago he wasn’t even sure the work he’d put into his debut album would see the light of day. Now, the Pittsburgh native isn’t only set to release that album, he’s doing so thanks to the help of a true music legend, and the backing of a one-of-a kind global music company.
Mallick’s debut, Somewhere Along The Way, is a passionate collection of melodic and heartfelt songs written about loss and rediscovery, perseverance and triumph. And not unlike Mallick himself, the album examines the traversing of life’s challenges with the aim of coming out on the other side all the stronger for having done so.
Completing that journey seemed doubtful to Mallick not long ago, between self-funding the production of the album, and having to wrest control of the album from its original production team due to creative differences. “Yes, there were times that I lost hope, I have to admit. Not that the album we were making wasn’t good—I knew it was—rather, that I’d be able to find a way to finish it, and then get people to hear it,” says Mallick.
In an act almost of desperation, Mallick and longtime songwriting partner Conan Shaw turned to an unlikely source for aid: the Internet. “I picked myself up and posted some of my experiences about making the album in Terry Manning’s Pro Recording Workshop forum, online. I didn’t know where else to go. But immediately, it was like the cavalry had arrived.”
Music legend and record producer Terry Manning (Led Zeppelin, Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top, Shakira, Al Green, and countless others) encouraged Mallick to do whatever it would take to finish the album. Similarly, others in the forum including producer Kyle Mann and drummer Jerry Roe became hands-on in helping Mallick do just that. The result was the album Mallick had envisioned from the get-go, with one wonderful exception: Manning offered to master the album himself, and get it across the finish line personally.
“Terry doing that for me and mastering the record is something I’ll never forget,” says an emotional Mallick. “But what he did next, well, it’s changed everything.” Manning sent Mallick an email telling him about artist, record producer, and founder of ECR Music Group, Blake Morgan. Manning’s email said that he felt the album deserved a chance to get heard by a wider audience, and he asked Mallick if he could send it to Morgan with the hopes that Morgan would hear the same uncommon quality in Mallick’s music that he himself, had heard. “I said sure—and I was so grateful Terry felt strongly enough about the record to do that,” says Mallick. “I had no expectations about what we’d hear back, and was incredibly, and truly surprised when we did.”
Morgan did listen to the album, and reacted just as Manning had when he’d done the same. “Terry single-handedly started my own career in somewhat similar fashion. So when Terry asks me to listen to something, I do it,” says a smiling Blake Morgan. “Tim’s special, and his dedication and hard work prove it. You can hear that dedication is in his music,” adds Morgan. “We’re proud to partner with Tim in releasing Somewhere Along The Way. His story is the kind we get up in the morning for around here.”
In the end, the journey to finish and release Somewhere Along The Way is one of victorious dedication, and an unwillingness to settle—artistically, and emotionally—and one that has come to fruition for the artist behind it.
Tim Mallick’s debut album, Somewhere Along The Way, will be released July 14th, 2016 on Saudade Music/ECR Music Group.