Gerry Timlin, Irish folk singer, musician and entertainer, will play two shows April 28-29 at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville.
The program is presented by the Bethany Area Repertory Theater.
Timlin has been playing his special brand of folk music before audiences for more than four decades in Ireland, the British Isles, the U.S. and in Canada.
Born in Ireland, and resettled in America, the folk singer has enjoyed success with his rich baritone vocals, instrumental talent, and his irreverent humor.
Proceeds from the concert benefit the BART Scholarship Fund.
Timlin talks about his music and his coming visit to the Delaware beach.
Where in Ireland are you originally from?
I was born and raised in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, but have resided in the United States since 1972, most of that time in Pennsylvania, and now happily at the Delaware beaches. I return home often and also provide group tours. It is beautiful there, but always expect to wear a rain jacket or have one close by. In Ireland, there is always that chance where you just might experience four seasons in one day. I really love it here though. In Ireland, I was an hour and 15 minutes from the beach and here I am a hop, skip and jump.
What style of music do you play and how long have you been in the music industry?
Oh, I have been playing internationally for about 50 years now. I started off in Ireland – won a few singing competitions and from there was invited to join a popular folk group, The Jolly Tinkermen, which I did for a while.
The range of music I perform is a nice mix of contemporary style that is still considered folk music; I sing Irish folk, American folk, Canadian folk and Australian folk. Although there is some humor in my songs, a lot of what I do is historical going back a couple of hundred years such as the Famine in Ireland and the Civil War of Ireland. There is just so much that has not been properly documented. I have studied a lot and there are just so many different ways to get a message across through music which I learned how to do through many mentors and years of practice.
When people are listening to your music, do they ever approach you after a show and tell you that they never knew certain historic elements that you portrayed?
It happens a lot. A lot. People are genuinely intrigued.
After 50 years of performing, do you ever flirt with the idea of concluding your career?
I am not going to quit now.
Is it safe to say that you are here to stay through the last note then?
Absolutely! I was just talking to a good friend of mine recently who is also in the Irish entertainment and music business and I jokingly said, “Geez. Maybe it is time to pull the plug. Ah. You know what? If I am 90 years of age and God spares me, I will still be on that stage.” My friend said to me, “they will be taking me off stage with my walker.”
Are there any downsides though after all of these years of performing?
Every once in a while, the travel gets to you; it can be extremely busy which is great, but sometimes it is tiring. Even some of my younger musician friends say the travel is exhausting. The work is the easy part; the getting on stage is the easy part. It is the travel to and from hotels that can dissuade a musician, but it is still something I would not stop doing. I love doing what I do.
What was some interesting advice you received throughout the years?
My first vocal teacher was at West Chester University many years ago and he asked, “So. You’re an Irish tenor?” I answered him, “Yes. I am an Irish tenor.” My teacher asked me to sing a few notes at the piano and before I finished, he said to me, “Tenor. Never were. Never will be. You’re a baritone.” I have been singing baritone ever since.
What are you looking forward to at this performance in comparison to the many decades of performing?
The thing I like about Dickens Theatre is that it will be small and intimate. When you have a nice venue like that, it gives you leeway to really enjoy what you are doing while performing because it is easier to make eye contact with the audience members in comparison to bigger theaters or festivals. After the first two or three songs I will know whether or not it is going to be a great night or if I am going to have to quietly say to myself, “well, that’s going out the window."
IF YOU GO
What: Irish Folk Musician, Gerry Timlin
Where: Dicken’s Theatre. 35715 Atlantic Ave., Millville
When: Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, at 7 p.m. (Parlour opens at 6:45 p.m.).
Contact: 302-829-1071 or https://dickensparlourtheatre.thundertix.com/