Live Review: Tim Pourbaix – The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn

I first met Tim Pourbaix at an open mic night in Bushwick, Brooklyn. His command of dynamics and unique vocals are two key elements of his songwriting and stage presence that immediately hooked me. A couple of months ago at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I was lucky enough to see more of his performing magic and even hear a sneak peek of some of the new material that will be released on his new album in the near future. Make sure to stay tuned for more news on that…

Tim opened his set with a new tune called ‘Time Socket’. The song sounded familiar at first because of the typical Pourbaix strumming pattern and rhythm. This songwriting veteran is definitely a master of playing in time and this upbeat, percussive song was the perfect way to start the night. Next, Tim performed the mysterious ‘Police Tape’, track five from his debut album River Well. This song gains a lot of power and excitement from the unpredictable beat changes and volume surprises.

Afterwards, Tim delivered an awesome rendition of a new song called ‘Stumble’. This song beautifully exhibits Tim’s masterful grasp on rhythm and keeping a steady beat. This fingerpicking pattern is surely a signature rhythm in Tim’s repertoire and his fans will hopefully be lucky enough to hear this studio version one day. ‘Aura Picture’ was next and this song is a special one for me because it was the Tim Pourbaix song I ever heard. His deep lyrics “From her cloud so colorful. From my cloud so colorless. I just felt something ethereal, before it slips away,” truly grab the attention of the room and the slow, bonfire-esque vibe of the song makes it a set highlight for me every time.

Next, Tim previewed another new song called ‘Going Out’. This song showcases Tim’s upbeat, fierce strumming. My favorite part of the song is the melody in the chorus, which fills the song with color and emotion. As the set came to a close, Tim played two more songs from his debut album River Well to wind down the audience. First he played ‘Night Lights’, track seven and then ‘Party Dress’, track four. The latter is another highlight for me because of Tim’s higher range vocals. This element mixed with the folk-rock strumming pattern serves up another instant Tim Pourbaix classic.

To close the night, Tim performed a quiet new tune called ‘All I Want For Me’. This is the perfect song to play last because its beautiful slow tempo and soft energy has the power to sing you to sleep. As I mentioned earlier, Tim is cooking up another special project of tunes and we are really excited to hear more. Keep your ears peeled!

Scott J. Herman

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