Tim and Myles Thompson

10th Annual Instrumental Song Winner

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Record Label: Hidden Giant Records

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Home Base: Nashville, TN, USA

Genre: We do an eclectic mix of instrumental and vocal tunes. The closest term we’ve been able to come up with is ‘Americana-Jazz-Folk,’ It’s jazz and very structured but all of our solos are improvised.

Category Entered: Instrumental Song

Work Submitted: “Gypsy Samba” written by Tim Thompson

Label: Hidden Giant Music


Influences: Joe Pass, Pat Martino, Chet Atkins, Jeff Beck, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Stéphane Grappelli, Chick Corea, Randy Howard

Describe your nominated work: “Gypsy Samba” is a Latin piece I (Tim) wrote. The form is simple: an “A” section and a “B” section, both with distinct melodies played in unison on guitar and violin. Then we each take a couple solos, play the head again, and we’re out.

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 10th IMA’s? I was alerted to it when I signed up for Musicians Atlas. I’ve never entered for any awards so I thought I would try it this time and see what happens.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? I played the melody on a Batson acoustic guitar, a solo on an aluminum electric guitar made by Jim Normandy in Oregon, and a solo on a Tacoma Papoose (a short scale acoustic guitar.) Myles did his solos and the melody on an eighty year old French violin.

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? Yes, there were a few lines in our individual solos that we decided to double on the other instrument (guitar or violin) because they sounded hooky. So we made an event out of them.

Did fans help you fund this project? Well, if you consider revenue from our concerts and CD sales as coming from our fans, then I would say yes. This is all we do for a living: Concerts and studio work in Nashville.

Who’s sitting in your audience? All ages. I believe the younger generation is inspired to see someone their own age performing because it validates the idea that they could be doing what they love. The father/son duo, I believe, breaks through generational barriers and speaks of mentoring your kids. We both have the same goal and continue to push ourselves and strive for excellence as a team.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote? No, I’m happy for those who have had success with their music. I have the same hopes for myself.

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? Mmmmm….Can’t think of any.

What is your dream show lineup? Every show we do is important. Don’t really have a dream show.

What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Starbucks Latte

Any close calls or mishaps while on tour? Bumpy plane rides and delays here and there. My mini trailer lost a fender on the interstate. Nothing hair raising that I can think of right now.

Do you have any rituals before you go on stage? Pray

Should music be free? No, unless an artist chooses to give it away. It cost a lot to create it. It’s a business. This is a very hot topic.

How has digital affected your career? Youtube has been the most effective digital medium because you can send a potential venue a link instantly for them to review and decide if you’re a good fit for them. I have some music floating around on the internet getting played for which I don’t get paid and it really doesn’t translate into warm seats at a concert or CD sales.

Are digital singles vs. full albums the future of music? Not sure. Probably singles because this allows the listener to pick what they really want to listen instead of weeding through an entire albums worth of tunes they may not like.

Finish this sentence: The music industry is… what it is. It’s a machine with many different moving parts. As an artist, or agent, or whatever, you need to figure out where you fit in. This is not easy but necessary. I am an artist, and marketing myself is one of the most difficult things to figure out.