Tim Williams Corazones y Murallas

Corazones y Murallas (Hearts And High Walls) mines award-winning singer/guitarist/songwriter Tim Williams’ youth in heavily Mexican American neighbourhoods of Southern California, in the shadow of the U.S./ Mexican border.

Traditional canciones rest beside original tunes and the beautiful Los Lobos song A Matter Of Time, to evoke both border culture and the migration northward.

Long in the planning stages, this project began its journey to reality at the 2017 Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Jossy Gallegos (from the nearby town of Petatlan) sang a song with Tim at one performance, and the blend of their voices (plus their shared love for the classic Mexican cancion repertoire) served as a sign that the time was right.

Tim tells the story:

I know there are those among you who will say: “How is this his story to tell? He’s not Mexican, not Central American, not Mexican-American.” To which my reply might be that Stephen King doesn’t have to be a monster to write about monsters effectively. But no…to be serious, this is the story of people I grew up with, played with, went to school with, and worked for and with.
Those who worked the fields and construction projects of my native Southern California, who cleaned the houses and gardens, and tended to the children of those with money. People whose lives, and those of their loved ones, were and are constantly impacted by the political football that is the Mexico-U.S. border.

The culture, most notably the music, of Mexico has been a love of mine since my earliest memories. San Pedro, the harbour city where I was born and where my grandparents lived more than half their lives, had a large Mexican and Mexican-American population. Neighbours, and the people who owned the neighbourhood stores were, in large part, perfectly comfortable interacting in English and Spanish. The language, culture and music were all around… to anyone with open ears and an open heart.

This album had been on my mind for some time and was pushed into reality by my first encounter with Jossy Gallegos, a truly marvelous singer and guitarist, a few years back at The Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival in Guerrero, Mexico. We sang a song together and the blend of our voices and guitars served as a sign that the time was right. Ensuing events have made it more and more timely. I brought Jossy up for some gigs in January of this year and we recorded three tunes with Kit Johnson on acoustic bass. Roberto Rodriguez III contributed button accordion on two songs, from a studio in Houston. Then began a 10 month journey of coordinating schedules between myself and engineer Steve Gerard, plus Roberto and Tony Zamora (we got one more track done live in the studio when they passed through Calgary with their great Americana/cantina band,Tremoloco), recorded two with musicians I perform and record with here in Southern Alberta , plus the two solo performances and one instrumental on which I overdubbed all the instruments.

The classic Mexican tunes here serve as counterpoint to my songs about the border and the great tune Just a Matter of Time, written by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez of the incomparable Los Lobos. They all invoke the love, loss, and uncertainty of life with the border as a central influence. This recording was truly a labor of love, for the music, for the subject, and among the musicians and singers who participated in the making of it. Sit back and let us tell you a story.

Tim Williams,
November 2018
Calgary, Alberta