The journey of Tim Flannery has been primarily one of balance. Baseball and music. Family and team. Loss and love. After two decades as a player and a coach, two World Series and an All-Star game, Tim left the game and now has time to pursue his musical life. The last 24 years of being on the road with baseball gave him some great material to write about, and while on the road away from his family for 200 nights a year, his music was his constant companion.
Continually returning to the music that he grew up with, every record, starting with “Looking Back” in 1995, reflects his Kentucky, Irish and Native American roots. Fans and critics alike took notice. His 1997 album, “Secret World,” as well as “Pieces of the Past” in 1999, were each nominated for San Diego Music Awards. “Pieces of the Past” also garnered Flannery impressive reviews from the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and The Irish Voice among others.
He began touring more frequently in the off-season and his style and sound developed over the years as he played and recorded with a variety of musicians including Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, Steve Poltz, Jeff Berkley, Dennis Caplinger, Doug Pettibone, Randi Driscoll and Eve Selis. Live shows became a festival of talent that was captured on “Tim Flannery & Friends,” a live recording from his 1999-2000 tours.
His 2001 release, “Highway Song,” produced by Jeff Berkley, highlighted Flannery’s advances as a songwriter. One reviewer said, “Flannery writes personal songs with universal themes, and does so with a skill that is the equal of the universally recognized "best" writers around,” while another noted, “Tim’s songwriting and honest performance shine through on this one.” “Highway Song” took Flannery to new levels, going deeper into his musical and personal influences, and included one of his only songs written specifically about the game of baseball, “The Baseball Song.” Explains Flannery, "It's not a knock on the players, as much as a celebration of the people who taught me and how the game is supposed to be played, and how sacred it is. If you're playing for the right reasons, whether it's baseball or music, it's in your blood and makes you feel good."
He continues to explore the range of possibilities that life, music and songwriting make possible on his release, “Kentucky Towns.” Inspired by the discovery of his father’s Bible, Flannery was thrown back to a time and place that re-connected him to his childhood. The book was filled with many names, dates and a vivid history of his dad’s mountain ministry in Athens, Kentucky during the late 1940s. Flannery drew on the essence of that history to create a contemporary bluegrass record that honors and validates the music he grew up with. “In our house, we were raised on Bill Monroe and the Everly Brothers, so this music is what my family has always loved to play and sing. And as far as the traditional songs, they are truly the ancient tones,” notes Flannery.
Produced by the multi-talented Dennis Caplinger, “Kentucky Towns” features seven original songs and some surprises, including a cover of a Bill Monroe tune and other traditional bluegrass songs. Keeping it in the family, brother Tom joins in to sing harmonies, something these two have done all their lives. It’s a tradition that is carried on with great pride. Backing up the effort are outstanding players including Dennis Caplinger, (Bluegrass magazine says "Caplinger is one of the top five bluegrass players on the planet", Bill Bryson (Desert Rose Band, Laurel Canyon Ramblers), Sharon Whyte (Chris Hillman, Eve Selis Band), Jeff Berkley (Berkley Hart, Joel Rafael Band) and Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Joan Baez).
Again this February 2005 Tim is set to release yet another record called " Ring Around The Sun". I wanted to record some songs exactly the way we play them when we are just "hanging out". We recorded this record in three days, with just a few overdubs and with a real organic feel. Tim was joined by multi- instrumentalist Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), who showed up and played fourteen different guitars, all with their own sound and personality. " Ring Around The Sun" is filled with new songs, and some older songs that Tim sings at some of his shows that never have been recorded on any of Tim's records. A beautiful tribute to Ken Caminiti also can be found on this record in a song called "Shooting Star". Tim's seventh Cd "Ring Around The Sun" will be released February 12th at the East County Performing Art Center.