There’s both sweetness and sincerity imbued in Dreaming Small, the ironically named EP from North Carolina native Timothy Scott. It’s an easy and amenable song that allows for a clear connection and a sense of familiarity even when hearing these songs for the first time. He effectively navigates using a musical style suggestive of the ‘60s and the singer/songwriter sensibility that echoed through the ’70s, topping it all off with an ample amount of pop pleasantry and pure down home designs. It’s a fertile combination and one that’s carefully crafted as well with traditional bluegrass instrumentation.
It’s also worth noting that Scott’s songs evoke a sound that seems as if it was borne from another era, a time when the space between people was negligible, and one’s view of the world was tinted and toned in a sepia sort of hue. Scott’s songs ring with both innocence and enthusiasm, and though there’s no hard truths or any attempt at revelation, his upbeat attitude suffices.
In that sense, Scott possesses an uncanny knack for parlaying earnest emotion into an otherwise unassuming setting. Scott and his wife and collaborator Sarah Williams allow Down Below, By the Railroad Track, The Way It’s Gonna Be, and the title track to roll forth via a kind of celebration of serendipity, supplemented by a jaunty delivery, happy harmonies, and no small helping of his unyielding optimism. On the fifth and final song in this all too abbreviated set, Scott brings his homespun sentiment to its fullest measure. It’s found in the gentle yet still jaunty Mama’s Table, a number that stirs nostalgia, optimism and innocence all in equal proportion.
That, then, is the secret to Scott’s success, that is, his ability to find common ground between bluegrass, country, and a more mainstream mantra. There’s little here that should alienate anyone on the basis of genre alone. Modest though it may be, Dreaming Small ought to be the effort that takes Scott to a more ample-sized audience.