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In Addition To Yet Another Strong Release With His Latest “Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick”, It Wouldn’t Surprise Me If Tim Cohen Could Also Pull A Rabbit Out of His Hat….

Let’s be clear, being prolific isn’t always resultant in consistent and necessary art. Many artists throw a lot of shit at a wall in the hopes that something sticks. That is what makes Tim Cohen so exceptional, while you might expect some schizophrenic offerings from the leader of The Fresh & Onlys, given the sheer mass of work he releases - not only with that band but also as a solo artist - he is one of the most consistent and reliable songwriters in today’s music scene. His latest album, Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick, is a wonderful collection of subtle genre pastiche.  “Magic Trick” is still rooted in San Francisco’s psychedelic folk-rock tradition and, truth be told, these songs could stand with the best that scene has produced. When listening to this record I’m reminded of another gifted - if often overlooked – songwriter, Skip Spence. Like Spence there is an unlabored and effortless quality to Cohen’s recordings. As if he simply pulls melodies and phrases out of the legendary fog of his hometown. The album was recorded at his home but the quality would suggest a top name studio. He enlisted the help of bassist-keyboardist Alicia Vanden Huevel (Aislers Set), drummer James Kim (Kelley Stoltz), and Noelle Cahill, among others. The song “The Spirit’s Inside” is the closest on the album to Cohen’s more known band The Fresh & Onlys” Morricone-esque guitar driven psyche-pop. “New House in Heaven” has the backbone of a Stax recording and features some really lovely female backing vocals. In fact, the female presence on this album softens the haze and plays wonderfully against Cohen’s expressive baritone. A song like, “Don’t Give Up”, is a 50’s throwback complete with the requisite "ooohs and ahhhs". The smoky sheen of these songs seems to emanate from both kinds of “cigarettes". “Top on Tight” has a playful Syd Barrett nursery rhyme quality. At his heart Cohen is a crooner and he does just that on the songs, “Legerdemain” and “The Flower”, the former drifting off and down into a neo-psychedelic “rabbit hole”. ” On the song “I Looked Up”, which closes the album, all the elements that make this record such a unique and joyous creation coalesce. The folky strum of an acoustic guitar paired with the warm, rich overtones of the organ and swirling haunt of vocals give way to double-timed euphoria. Grace Slick once famously said at Woodstock, “Alright friends, you have seen the heavy groups, now you will see morning maniac music. Believe me, yeah. It's a new dawn. Good morning, people!" That is Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick encapsulated in a quote.  See Tim Cohen and the Magic Trick perform tonight, February 24th, at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall as part of the ((folk YEAH!)) presents showcase along with Puro Instinct and Holy Shit.

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