Simply because your mother is a trombone player will not insure that you reach any success in the business of being a fine musician. It may not influence an interest in music whatsoever. It did however, in the case of Tim Carbone, violinist, vocalist, guitarist and a sought after producer in the metropolitan New York City music scene. Somewhere between the notes on that trombone and the voice of Ed Sullivan announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles,” an inspiration harmonized in the mind of a now prolific talent. Tim Carbone's history was set to motion.
Even the love story of his parents began within the beat and harmony of music. Tim recalls, “My dad and mom met at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. It was 1936. He was a dance instructor there. She played trombone in the Saturday afternoon dance band.” The two married not long afterward, giving birth to a line of musicians, turning the house into a musical enclave. It was there that Tim Carbone cut his teeth, or fingers if you will. At seven years old, he saw his future, as he says, “All my older brothers were in bands by that time and I knew I would be too after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan!” Something in that first inspiration and love for that explosive sound has driven Tim Carbone down the path of his musical adventure.
After forming and unforming the usual high school projects, Tim found himself a member of the popular east coast jump and swing band, The Blues Sparks From Hell. While juggling the guitar and violin in crowded east coast road houses, it was there that his song, “Real Man's Car”, garnered that group a New Music Award from C.M.J. as Best Unsigned Band, an award that previously went to the band, R.E.M. His song “Hearts Radio”, off The Blue Sparks' first album, “Tonight, The Blue Sparks”, appeared on the soundtrack of Touchstone Pictures' “Can't Buy Me Love”, shown in HBO rotation.
Before forming his new band Kings in Disguise, for a brief time Tim served as an early member of the band, From Good Homes. From Good Homes went on to tour successfully, releasing three highly acclaimed recordings from 1993 to 2000 on the RCA record label while Kings in Disguise toured the east coast extensively, releasing three recordings of their own. Tim and his band had the honor of touring as the backing musicians for the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, Rick Danko, bassist for the well known fathers of Americana roots music, The Band. Reflecting on his work throughout the last year and a half of Rick Dankos' life, Tim notes, “He was not only the most gentle soul I've known, he had the voice of an angel.”
In 2000, Tim Carbone was invited by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to perform with the Dharma Bums at The World Festival of Sacred Music. With the Dharma Bums, a band dedicated to spreading the Buddhist Dharma, Tim traveled extensively throughout India and Thailand. While in northern India they were invited to perform a private concert for the Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharmsala. This experience, as one might imagine, was a most enriching and cultural journey. “My trip to India. with the Dharma Bums, culminating with a performance for His Holiness, was one of the greatest spiritual and musical experiences of my life”, says Tim of his eastern musical adventure.
In recent years he held the honor twice, as the house fiddler for New England’s long running Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. He has joined the stage, lending his talents to some of his musical heroes such as Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Chris Hillman, Greg Brown, and John Gorka. Most recently, Tim has become the founding member of the “rootsgrass” band, Railroad Earth. “Shortly after recording our first album, we played our tenth gig at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival and were signed to Sugar Hill Records,” says Tim of their speedy success. Railroad Earth have since released their second album to date, Bird In A House, in 2002, to excellent reviews and nationwide radio air play.
Somewhere within his busy touring and travel schedule, Tim amazingly finds the time to step to the studio microphone to enhance the recorded tracks on dozens of other talented artists’ projects. “Carbone”, as he is known on the session scene, is as well, a much sought after producer and engineer, turning the knobs on many respected releases and live events. In the radio studio, Tim has garnered a long standing reputation as an eclectic jockey on the now missed and defunct, “Boneyard” show on station WNTI. Thus is the musical wardrobe of the talented artist and musician, Tim Carbone, as he says “I’ll wear as many hats as the universe will let me as long as it its on my musical head!”