Seasoned by influences from The Clash through Neil Young, The 81s w/ Luella take rock’n’roll back into the garage, adding in touches of true believers from The Velvet Underground to The White Stripes for the tunes on their recent release, Big Man. The guitar of East Nashville’s Tim Carroll builds the backbone for the tracks as Tim shares vocals with Luella. Whether the delivery is slinky Blues with Luella’s vocals guiding (“My Shoes”), three-chord punk rock (“Polygraph”), rock’n’soul grooves (“Go Now”), or slowly unraveling Southern gothic jams (“Calculus”), the music of The 81s w/ Luella is raw. Big Man captures the cuts live in the wild. There is a danger in with the knowledge that the album can be taken home and loved without ever being tamed.
The heart of Tim Carroll beats with rock’n’roll blood. He is a presence within any song without ever demanding that the music bend to his will. He is a navigator, content on the songs finding their own path as he escorts the music. Tim is the master of the rock’n’roll riff that he has followed through decades of playing from beginnings on home turf in rural Indiana as part of The Gizmos, to New York City as a member of The Blue Chieftains, to the present in his weekly residency at East Nashville’s musical hub, The 5 Spot, and into The 81s w/ Luella. Big Man rolls rhythm like it is chewing tobacco, spitting out the tale of “Red Giant”, rumbles with quiet quivers for “Quake”, and carves out a letter to “Marissa” with sharp chords and beats as The 81s w/ Luella shake out their feelings as they hope for the best and expect the worst for their love lives on “Rattlesnake”.