Tim Tucker Band
The rumors of the death of Sierra Sonics Recording Mansion have been greatly exaggerated. The iconic recording studio on the corner of Plumas and Mt. Rose Streets, formerly known as Granny’s House, and a favored recording haunt for both local bands and national acts (Dr. Dre! Ozzy!) was rumored to have burned down sometime circa 2004. The house did catch fire that year, and studio owner Tim Tucker has spent the last few years putting a lot of money into restoring and resuscitating the building. It’s currently open for booking, and Tucker has just released the first album to be entirely recorded, mixed and mastered at Sierra Sonics since the house fire: No Coincidence by … the Tim Tucker Band.
It might be tempting to dismiss the album as a studio owner’s vanity project … except for two things: Tucker’s charming songwriting and the rich, organic sound of the album, a nice demonstration of what’s possible at Sierra Sonics.
The Tim Tucker Band is essentially an acoustic rock, Americana band with hints of reggae and Latin rhythms. The core of the Tim Tucker Band is Tucker on vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica, along with drummer Boris Tavcar and bassist Danny Clay Williams. Williams is also the director of studio operations and chief engineer at Sierra Sonics. He’s been working in recording studios for 30 years and has worked with a long list of big names. (Marvin Gaye! George Clinton!)
The album features some other talented musicians, including Kevin Stewart on piano, a soulful horn section on “Just a Little Bit,” and a nice acoustic guitar lead by Allen Palmer on the Latin-flavored song “As the Eagle Flies.”
“I’m more of a songwriter than a musician,” says Tucker. “And these musicians are just off-the-hook—and they like my stuff!”
Tucker has been writing songs for a long time. He spent the 1990s playing in a band called the Desert Dudes, and some of the songs on No Coincidence date to that era. He sings with a soft, accessible folk tenor, and his songs have narrative flow. “Flush” is about winning a game of Texas Hold ’em. It pulls off the nice songwriter’s trick of using specialized slang terms to help something literal masquerade as a metaphor:
“Sharks in the wave/it’s a full boat this time/roundin’ the turn/I got three of a kind/the river does rage/it’s an ace of spades/got four of a kind/and I win the pot this time.”
The sound of the album is a striking blend of analog warmth and digital detail—Sierra Sonics’ equipment combines state-of-the-art technology with classic, vintage tools. The album is devoid of the heavy processing, tone correction and special effects tomfoolery that mar so many contemporary albums.
“It’s a good, accurate representation of a singer-songwriter album,” says Williams of No Coincidence. “A good song can not be dated—however, the production on it can be.”