Tim Krekel is an American original. He’s dedicated himself to creating music that is a real testament to life, love and, mostly, rock & roll. Tim’s gifts to the music world are plentiful. He has a warm, personal vocal tone and has perfected his own distinctive guitar style. He is a master craftsman of songs that "get across with fire and conviction and without a trace of pretension"(CD Review). Tim’s approach is straight-up rock & roll and nothing short of phenomenal. Rolling Stone said, "Krekel unleashes a monster riff".
Tim is based in his hometown, Louisville, KY. He also spends a good deal of time in Nashville, where he is on the creative team at Bluewater Music (www.bluewatermusic.com).
Tim’s songs have been recorded by artists such as Rick Nelson, Lonnie Mack, Jerry Reed, Dr. Feelgood, Shakin’ Stevens, Canned Heat, Kathy Mattea, Jason & the Scorchers, Vern Gosdin, BJ Thomas, Delbert McClinton Aaron Tippin, Deana Carter and Kim Ritchey. Many artists have had great success with Tim’s songs. Crystal Gayle had a number one hit with Turning Away in 1984. Patty Loveless also went to number one with You Can Feel Bad, a song Tim co-wrote with Matraca Berg and that also earned Tim a BMI Country Award in 1997. Cry on the Shoulder of the Road, another Krekel/Berg penned tune was a chart topper for Martina McBride. Kim Richey’s version of Come Around, a song she co-wrote with Tim, was used in the 1999 Kevin Costner film, For Love of the Game.
There have been many people who have been thrilled to play with Tim Krekel. Some of them are well-known, but it’s also important to emphasize that Tim regularly encourages other musicians to join him for a song: His humility onstage makes it easy for those performers to do their best. They might be a little more nervous if they realized that Tim has played with performers like Jimmy Buffett, Billy Swan, Bo Diddley, Delbert McClinton, Skeeter Davis, Steve Forbert, Tracy Nelson, Pam Tillis, Marshall Chapman, Lonnie Mack, and Sam Bush. Tim has appeared with Mark Germino on Late Night with David Letterman. He has also performed on NPR’s Mountain Stage with Matraca Berg. Speaking of public radio, Tim is a favorite of the pioneering Louisville station WFPK. He was named among their Essential Artists A-Z in 2000. Four of Tim’s tunes were voted among the 2001 Greatest Songs All Time by WFPK listeners.
Tim was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1950. He became interested in music early and his first lessons were on the drums. He began taking guitar lessons at age 10 or 11, when it dawned on him that "the guitar player was up front getting all the attention, [like] Rick Nelson". He was singing and playing his guitar for audiences by the time he was 12, gigging in Lebanon, Kentucky, at places like The Golden Horseshoe and Club 68. He began to write his own songs in high school, although he was reluctant to share them with anyone for a few years.
Tim’s first band was an eight-piece basement band called, cleverly, The Octaves. He continued to sharpen his skills and, by the late 60’s, he was in a popular Louisville band called Dusty. It was around this time that two of Tim’s peers, Steve Ferguson and Terry Adams, went off and started NRBQ then came back to Louisville with a record contract. For the first time, Tim thought seriously about music as a profession and realized what he had to do. He and Dusty moved to New York, where they played gigs for a few months while Tim got more serious about writing. After about six months, Tim decided he’d be happier pursuing his career closer to home and moved back to Louisville.
Still using the name Dusty, he started another band which developed a strong local following. "We played most every Sunday night at this place called the Storefront Congregation. There was always someone really good sittin’ in with us, like Sam Bush, who would bring his electric violin and tear the place up."
Around that time, Tim made friends in Nashville and was soon playing gigs there. He even did some recording for Jack Clements. It wasn’t long before Tim got a road gig with Billy Swan (who had a huge hit with I Can Help). That band toured the States and Europe for a year. Billy went back to playing with Kris Kristofferson, and Tim resumed gigging around Nashville. One night, Tim performed in a showcase where Chet Atkins and a friend were in the audience. The friend turned out to be Jimmy Buffett’s manager. He and Chet were quick to recommend Tim to Buffett who needed a new guitarist. Tim was hired by Buffett and was his lead guitarist for a couple of years in the late 70’s and again in the 80’s. During his first stint with Buffett, Tim played on the Son of a Son of a Sailor album and appeared with him on Saturday Night Live, as well as in the 1978 film, FM. They also toured with the Eagles who were enjoying immense popularity at that time.
Tim was offered the opportunity to make his own record and decided to leave the band to pursue his own musical vision. His first solo effort, Crazy Me, was released in 1979; however, the Capricorn label folded a mere three months after the albums debut.It was the first album ever produced by Tony Brown and was a critical success.
Tim continued to write, perform and play with other musicians. He recorded his next album, Over The Fence, with The Sluggers, and it was released in 1986. Rolling Stone called the Sluggers "a roots-based guitar band that matters". Tim and the Sluggers toured the country for a few years performing with folks like Carl Perkins, the Blasters and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The Italian record company, Appaloosa Records, released his Out Of The Corner in 1991. It received a four star rating from CD Review, which also touted Tim as "One of American Rock ‘N Roll’s great unknowns." By 1991, Tim had acquired a dedicated following in the U.S. and in Europe
In 1993 Tim found himself a bit frustrated with the music industry and with some concern over what direction his career should take. Again, he moved back to Louisville. Rejuvenated by his return to familiar surroundings, Tim remembered why he began to make music in the first place. He started a new band, The Groovebillys, and pursued music with a renewed vigor. Tim Krekel & the Groovebillys first release, L&N, quickly became the best-selling record in Louisville--outselling national releases. The bands next release, 1999’s Underground, hit number one in local sales its first week. In reviewing the album, The Courier-Journal said "Krekel works the roots-rock territory with an authority gained from 25 years in the business".
In 2002 Happy Town was released across the U.S. on the Envoy/FFE label. Tim along with drummer Mike Alger and bassist Rick Harper recorded the CD over the latter part of 2001. With the assistance of ace engineer David Barrick (Barrick Recording Studio) and co-producer Ben Ewing (Nashville-based Artists Envoy Agency) Happy Town is surely Tim's strongest work yet. "I love the passion and enthusiasm everyone put into making it," says Krekel.