TB Whiteside – ‘Tales From The Greenhills Tavern’

A consistently engaging folk album that spans from pub-set jubilation to heart-aching lushness, Tales From The Greenhills Tavern is a success from Australian artist TB Whiteside. This is a striking debut from Whiteside, who notes that the process took about 25 years to navigate within a busy life full of family and career, into a musical output. After years of self-doubt, he took the plunge, invested in a studio, and collaborated with talented musicians to bring his original songs to life.

An after-work anthemic outpouring enamors on the opening “Just Singing A Song,” featuring Eva & Elsa. Lyrical depictions of “working all day,” and getting one’s weekly pay coincides with bright sun-shining and sense of community, whether in the pub or the park. “In your heart there’s still a song,” the vocals let out, furthering the power of optimism and taking a moment to celebrate and “feel the sun before it slips away.” Flourishing acoustics complement the harmonious vocals for a stirring kickoff to Tales From The Greenhills Tavern.

“First World Problems” is an apt follow-up, casting a bluesy griping from the barstool next over — with a humorous depiction of first world problems. “There’s too many goddamn remotes to choose, I’ve got the first world problems blues,” they admit. It’s a legitimate and common complaint, though certainly of the first world nature! And in emphasizing how these issues are precisely that, they compel in continuing the opener’s themes — appreciating what one has, and celebrating the value of purpose, community, and self.

Highlights are numerous throughout, with “Smithy” capturing a family with a father who’s “always out on the road.” Harmonica and twangy guitars infuse beautifully, and complement further examples of Whiteside’s consuming songwriting. “From Nothing Comes Something” is another standout, musing on the perils of superficiality and a back-to-roots warmness alongside a mellow folk-rock styling. “Goodbye” closes the album in stirring form, showcasing an intimate folk production. “I can’t remember if we said goodbye,” the vocals lament, recalling a lost love with heart-aching engrossment. Tales From The Greenhills Tavern is a captivating display in folk-forward songwriting from TB Whiteside.

“Smithy” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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