CD Review: Tim Mahoney “Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail”

Posted: December 21, 2014 in Music
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Back in 2011, many people came to find out about singer-songwriter Tim Mahoney as he appeared on the first season for the television show The Voice only to be eliminated very early on. From that time on that program came the singer’s last album entitled Shine Through which included the single “Hey Adam Levine”.

While that brief appearance was the first time many people came to know of Mahoney and his talent as a singer, many of us have known about him for years before that. Even before appearing on The Voice, Tim Mahoney had created a long history of writing and performing in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. It is Mahoney’s talent as a singer; songwriter and musician that has helped him create a name for himself.

While Tim Mahoney is in the middle of creating his next studio album, he has created a new CD entitled Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail. On the album, Mahoney shows off a very different side of his personality. The release features Mahoney sitting behind a piano playing a concert of strictly instrumental music to an audience of listeners at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.

Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail begins with the track “I Am Here”. The slow tempo of the track displays Mahoney’s earlier statement about enjoying the sound of three notes together as the listener can truly enjoy each and every note played in the song. With that slow tempo, you can easily imagine the track having been written to later include lyrics as the track feels right at the point at which Mahoney could turn the instrumental track into a full-fledged ballad of sorts.

Given that this is an instrumental release that features the solo sound of the piano, you can hear some of the Mahoney’s influences in his playing and writing styles. One track that allows some of those influences to shine through is the song “Rain”. As you listen to the piano and the way Mahoney plays it on the piece, you are almost immediately reminded of something that would have composed by New Age legend Jim Brickman. Mahoney’s playing style on this piece screams “Brickman” as his playing takes on a very soft, almost jazzy feel to it. The music on the track takes the listener to a place where they can imagine themselves sitting in front of a fireplace enjoying the warmth inside.

If “Rain” makes you imagine something like a rainy day, the next track definitely will have you thinking about something a lot colder. The track “Peace of Winter” sounds a lot like the perfect soundtrack for those quiet nights when the snow is silently falling and covering the ground. The slightly repetitive nature of the music gives the track a unique simplicity that brings out an easy, almost “peaceful” feeling in the listener. With that particular visual being conjured up by this piece, “Peace of Winter” should be added to your listening experience as you celebrate whatever holiday traditions you hold close to your heart.

Just like the song “I Am Here,” the song “All These Years” is another track that finds Tim Mahoney creating a tune that has the potential to be more than just instrumental. As Mahoney plays the notes in the composition, you can almost hear words being sung to the music of the track. “All These Years” is quite possibly the track that is the strongest composition on the “Peace of Winter” release.

While “All These Years” is a song that feels like it could feature lyrics the next track on the album had been written with lyrics. The track “Imagine If” is Tim Mahoney’s instrumental interpretation of the John Lennon anthem “Imagine”. The original song had very poignant lyrics about imagining a perfect world while the new version from Mahoney allows the music of the tune to shine. Although many others would have incorporated the musical feel of the lyrics into their arrangement, the simple arrangement Mahoney made the music for the piano the focal point of the song. That simpler arrangement gives the song an interesting approach all its own.

The instrumental release of Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail from Tim Mahoney comes to a close with the track “Snow”. Like several other tracks on the release, “Snow” is yet another track that conjures up definite visions in your head. And just like the title track before it, there is a quiet, peaceful flavor to the song that will have you thinking of cold days and even colder nights.

Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail is a beautiful release of instrumental piano music from a very talented musician named Tim Mahoney. The winter themes running through the release make it perfect for this time of year. So, no matter what holidays you celebrate at this time, this is the album you need to add to your music collection.

For a quick sample of the music found on the Peace of Winter: Live at MacPhail release, check out the title track of “Peace of Winter“.

For more information on Tim Mahoney including his music, check out his website. Also check out Michael J. Media, Mahoney’s PR Firm.  

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