Danny Timms  

Danny Timms
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Born in San Pedro, California in 1948, Danny soon revealed the musical talent that was to serve him so well throughout his life. At the age of four, he amazed family members by picking out Christmas carols and popular tunes of the day on his grandmother's piano. So impressed were they that they arranged to have Danny take lessons with a woman in the neighborhood named Charlie Cotton. Aunt Parsh, as Ms. Cotton was known to her students, charged $1 an hour for instruction but always gave little Danny more than his hour's worth because she loved him and his playing so much. Soon the two were pounding out duets of a classical nature, possibly some of the most unusual jam sessions ever. When Danny told Aunt Parsh he wanted to learn to play jazz piano, thinking that meant he would learn to play like Jerry Lee Lewis, his teacher taught him her version of jazz piano … ragtime. Thus did little Danny Timms begin to boogie, and he hasn't stopped since.

Session work and touring gigs kept him busy throughout the  '70s, as he lent his keyboard skills and soulful voice to a wide variety of musical endeavors, including albums from legendary contemporary Christian group the 2nd Chapter of Acts, Barry McGuire, Rita Coolidge, Kim Carnes, and Maria Muldaur. He also toured with an act billed simply as Delbert and Glen. Texans Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark had just arrived in LA, and Danny fit right in with their bluesy bar band sound. In fact, he and Glen hit it off so well that, over a decade later, Clark would remember and recommend Danny to sub for him in Kris Kristofferson's band, the Borderlords, while he took a break from touring to await the birth of his daughter. That recommendation would, as they say, change everything.

Remembering that gig today, Danny says, "It felt like coming home." And Kristofferson apparently felt the same way, because when the time came for Glen Clark to rejoin the band, Kris simply moved things around on stage to accommodate the new guy he wasn't willing to lose … every great band needs three keyboard players, right? Danny had earned himself a permanent home in the Borderlords.

For the rest of the '80s, when he wasn't writing and touring with Kristofferson, playing keyboards for The Fabulous Thunderbirds, or making his "acting debut" as a hippie band member in a Married With Children episode, Danny joined Clark and another fellow Borderlord, Stephen Bruton, in a side project they called Little Whisper and the Rumors. Billed as "the greatest little band you never heard," they were ultimately not only heard, but also hired, by Bonnie Raitt to join her touring band in the early '90s. That's Danny singing "Good Man, Good Woman" with Bonnie on her Live at Montreux DVD.

Another priority at this time was touring with The Highwaymen, the country superstar lineup of Kristofferson, Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash. Talk about dreams coming true … Danny references this experience in his song "Heroes."

When he wasn't on the road with Kristofferson, Raitt, The Highwaymen, or a post-Doobie Brothers Michael McDonald, Danny found time to lend his talents to recordings by Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles, Peter Case, Edie Brickell, Los Lobos, Freebo, and a host of others, including, of course, the aforementioned Kristofferson, Nelson, Raitt, and The Highwaymen. He even recorded the theme song for the TV series Boston Common.

In 1997 Danny was hired to tour in Steven Seagal's original Fire Down Below Band. Touted as "the best band money could buy," the lineup also included Levon Helm, Steve Cropper, Leland Sklar, Marty Grebb, Doyle Bramhall II, Bobby King, Teresa James, and Bekka Bramlett.

Entering the new millennium, Danny penned a little number called "I'm Goin' Fishin'," which foreshadowed his new direction. Trading in the mad pace of life in LA for the bucolic charms of a house on a lake in Oklahoma, he scaled back on the touring and concentrated on the writing and recording aspects of his career. Danny Timms compositions, arrangements, and performances soon turned up on several movie soundtracks, and Marcia Ball recorded three of Danny's songs on her 2003 release, So Many Rivers.

Kris Kristofferson refers to him simply as "my brother Danny Timms"; Willie Nelson has called him "one of the most talented humans I know"; Bonnie Raitt has said that he has a river of music running through his veins. If you've ever been around when Danny has opened one of those veins and let the music flow out of him, then you know exactly what they're talking about and are already a believer. If you haven't yet had the pleasure, then you've come to the right place. Enjoy the tunes, and thanks for listening.

- Donna Johnston
  August 2010

DJM Records
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Calpine CA 96124
805 276 8071