TIM MAY - Flatpicker Tim May has
been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session
player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring
with Patty Loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole
Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording
of I’ll Fly Away, which was nominated for the Best Country Instrumental
Performance Grammy in 2005, the same year he was session leader on the
critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (Moody Bluegrass II is currently in
the works as well). Elixir Strings, Benedetto Guitars and Breedlove Guitars all
have presented professional endorsements to Tim, a serious nod to his talents.
For fifteen years Tim was a member of Crucial Smith, a powerful bluegrass act
that put out two CDs (produced by Newgrass Revival’s original flatpicker Pat
Flynn) before disbanding in 2003. Flynn has a Tim May tune (King of Babylon) on
his latest album plus Father Time, a tune Flynn co-wrote with Tim. Today Tim
keeps his chops up playing “AmeriCeltic” – a delightful mix of Irish, Scottish,
Old Time and Bluegrass tunes – with his band Plaidgrass. The group released
their first CD in January 2008. He's also on the roster of Radiola and performs
in a hot-picking ensemble on tour with Brad Davis and Dan Miller. As good a
singer as he is a flatpicker, Tim’s vocals can be heard on his first solo album,
Find My Way Back and on A Bluegrass Tribute to Neil Young, a CD Tim’s produced
for CMH Records, released in January 2008.
Though he owns and plays an unusually broad variety of instruments, Tim's a true
connoisseur of the acoustic plectrum sound. He's been long enchanted by early
Gibson pieces and owns the full red sunburst line used in Gibson Mandolin
Orchestras that were popular in the early 1900s, including the somewhat elusive
Mandobass. Tim also owns several guitars from that period, his 1919 “O” model
Guitar perhaps the most exotic. You can hear him play the “O” -- and Sweet Hour
of Prayer on his beautiful 1917 Harp Guitar -- in the video series VINTAGE
GIBSON: A Closer Look at Instruments Used in Mandolin Orchestras in the Early
Tim also excels in acoustic instrument restoration. He spent six years at The
Violin Shop repairing and setting up top-of-the-line violins and other fine
instruments, and was a partner for a while in a small repair shop. Today, Tim
only has time for a bit of custom work, but you can email him if you have a
vintage instrument you'd like him to take look at.
It's no wonder that Breedlove Guitars and Benedetto Guitars endorse Tim May.
Even with access to some of the world's finest vintage instruments, Tim picks up
a Breedlove when he needs a crisp, full tone. He's completely in love with his
custom Breedlove tenor. Tim travels to Breedlove dealers periodically as a
clinician. Check out Tim's Workshops page to see if he'll be in your area soon.
Poke around the site all you want. If you’d like to catch Tim in action, please
head on over to Tim's MySpace page to get up-to-date performance information.
Tim said to tell you he appreciates the visit.