Artist Bio Short
Eternal Friends is a recording project of singer, songwriter, producer Tim Bowen. The name comes out of Tim’s reflection on how much friendship has enriched his life personally and musically over the years. Friendship is one of those intangible blessings that the material world can't replace. Much like friendship, music is best when the individuals uniquely compliment the whole. In the words of legendary bassist Abraham Laboriel, “music is not a competitive sport, but a collaborative art”. For Tim, it’s all about longtime friends and new ones coming together to create music that inspires the soul. His songs incorporate elements of pop, rock, and soul while employing tangible grooves.
Eternal Friends has released Darkness Won’t Prevail, a contemplative jazz-rock twist on 3 classic carols with an anthemic original as the title track, and a cover of the 70’s hit Lovely Day by Bill Withers. Under his own name, Tim has also released a full length album called Burnt Offerings, and a 6 song EP called No Stiffnecks.
A New Jersey transplant, he moved to the west coast to study vocals at Musicians Institute, Hollywood, CA. Tim lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two children. He continues the pursuit of producing and writing timeless music.
Album Talk - "Darkness"
While I love a great energetic, feel good pop tune, I’ve always had a huge soft spot for songs of the minor key persuasion. They seem to lend themselves to complex ways of expression. Consequently, I thought it would be unique to record a Christmas album of contemplative, minor key songs, as the season is not always joyful and celebratory for many people. I quickly narrowed the song list down to a few favorites: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, O Come O Come Emmanuel, and a lesser known ancient carol Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, which I originally heard on John Michael Talbot’s Christmas album Birth of Christ from the ‘90s.
Over the years, I had performed each of these songs several times and solidified some arrangement ideas. Instead of using a big rock band, I thought the contemplative feel would be better communicated through a live “jazz trio” type band composed of Bass, Drums, Piano, with Guitar sprinkled in and out.
After years of sitting on the project, I decided to move forward and finish the demos. It dawned on me to write an original that could encompass a theme and act as the title track. I thought it would be a good idea to reread the story of Christ’s birth in the Scriptures. As I read the account of God saving Joseph, Mary and Jesus from Herod’s murderous plan, the thought that “Herod did not prevail” came to me. As I thought of related themes like evil, suffering and pain, the word “Darkness” seemed to encompass them all. My wife and I had several friends who had been facing tragedy and difficulties the last few years. For one couple, Christmas meant another holiday without their beloved teenage daughter. I wanted this song to offer hope to those in familiar circumstances. I settled on the title Darkness Won’t Prevail and started writing the original. My longtime friend and fellow musician Scott Lippincott helped out with writing the chord progression for the horn solo section, and my music producer friend Jose Ricardo Torres helped with some insightful production tips. I also called on my friend and vocalist Charlotte A. Pope to tell her about the project. She has been singing with me on just about every project I’ve done and her smooth, jazzy voice would fit right in with these songs.
Soon after I talked with producer/engineer Scott Frankfurt of www.scottfrankfurtstudios.com. I heard of Scott through a few musicians that I knew, but we had never met. I had little time on my hands with 2 kids, a full time job, and virtually no pro recording gear left in my aging arsenal of stuff. Scott has a beautiful studio with top notch gear in a cozy setting, and was able to hire top level pro musicians for the project, but made no promises as to who. I had seen pictures of session players & singers on his website including Abraham Laboriel, Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty’s drummer), John Legend, and members of Earth, Wind & Fire to name a few. I had known of Abraham Laboriel since I was a kid. I first heard him on Matthew Ward’s Toward Eternity album that he played on with Phil Keaggy. From there I kept following his credits in the CCM, Jazz, and Pop world. I shared with Scott my “brush with greatness” story about meeting Abraham Laboriel’s wife 7 years prior at a pediatrician appointment for my daughter. She happened to be the doctor and as we talked it became apparent who she was and I felt like I had met music “related” royalty. Who knew that Abraham Laboriel’s wife would be the pediatrician checking out my kid! For the next 7 years I was telling my musician friends that I had met Abraham Laboriel’s wife! Scott laughed as I shared this story and said he knew the Laboriels well. We wrapped up the meeting and I decided soon after to work with Scott on this project. A couple of weeks later, Scott informed me that a rare situation of schedules aligning had happened. The session band would be legendary bassist Abraham Laboriel (Michael Jackson, Keith Green, Stevie Wonder, and recorded on over 4,000 albums), drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. (Paul McCartney, Sting, Seal), jazz/pop pianist Tom Ranier (Streisand, Christina Aguilera, and countless films), and Grammy winning session guitarist Andrew Synowiec. “Huh?!” I knew I was hiring some pro session guys, but not at this level. “You got to be kidding me!”, I exclaimed in my head.
A couple of weeks later I was telling my longtime friend Mark Adams about all that was happening. He was excited about the project and wanted to come on as a producer-partner as well as shoot video and photos. I said, “Uhhhhh, YES!”
Ground Zero for recording day came and it was a whirlwind experience of joy, nerves, and excitement witnessing this longtime project come to fruition under such talented hands. These musicians, though giants in their field, were very humble, positive and easy to work alongside. The core band of bass, drums, and piano finished within 5 hours, and the guitars were overdubbed in about 1.5 hours. Day 2 was dedicated to recording vocals and french horn. I was running on 3-4 hours of sleep the past few nights due to nervous anticipation. The lack of sleep forced me to trust that God had purposed this and that He would give me energy for the session. Laura Brenes recorded the French horn solo for Darkness that morning and Charlotte recorded her sweet sounding harmonies later in the evening. Day 3 was spent finishing a vocal lead and beginning the vocal comping and mixing process. Within 1 week the project was recorded, mixed and mastered, and the EP Darkness Won’t Prevail was complete. I purposely sub titled the EP “Christmas Volume 1” as I have every intention of recording a Volume 2 in the future, and maybe, with this same group of friends.