TG and the Swampbusters – Swamp Tooth Comb | Album Review

tgandtheswampbustersTG and the Swampbusters – Swamp Tooth Comb

Booze Records

9 tracks

Hamilton, Ontario’s Tim Gibbons is an eclectic roots artist. He is an experienced and accomplished musician who has worked on a variety of projects and styles, but roots music is his forte. On this CD he has shifted from banjo as his primary instrument to the electric guitar. He takes a bayou approach to his music and there is a distinct swampy-ness to his approach that belies his Canadian roots. Tim Gibbons leads the band and is joined by Swampy Joe Klienfeltr on bass and Patch on drums for this CD of nine original cuts.

The sound is very much out of the bayou. On the vocals Tim takes a gritty and almost minimalist approach. The guitar work is also not over the top; it blends with the overall sound, a slow delta sort of groove. Even when there is a big solo one can sense restraint- there is no desire or need for over the top histrionics. Laid back and cool seems to be their mantra.

“Bayou Preacher” opens the set. Gibbons begins to pick a little and lets out a groan before the guitar and greasy harp (no credits anywhere for the harp but it must be Gibbons as he plays a plethora of instruments) come in. A gutsy vocal begins and it sets the hook. An impressive opening cut. “Who Wants To Dance w/an Old Ding Dong?” is a slick little boogie. Gibbons wails and whines while picking out the lead on his guitar. The harp interplays with the guitar as Gibbons lets it a bit loose; the restraint is still evident. Next up is “Hey Poor Boy Hey” where TG bemoans being a poor boy. “The Brooder” opens with nice guitar licks. I was waiting for Gibbons to go off but he remained in line and this country rocker with a deep bass line just grooves along. My head was bobbing all the way through. “Country Side of Town” begins with a deep bass line with a little guitar laid over it. Gibbons gets into the first verse and chorus as we visit his country side of town. The tune builds as the drums and guitar sound gradually increase their presence. It’s a slow country rocker with a bluesy overtone.

“Cornpone” is the story of a young country boy who works by day and pleases the ladies by night. The swamp groove and harp are done well and Gibbons vocals are solid. “Hot Money” follows. Showing restraint, we have more of that half-baked swamp country sound with nice harp and guitar again. Next we have “Play Me Some Blues & Keep It Country” where Gibbons gives us some straight up, laid back blues. He closes with “The Bone of Contention;” it’s sort of “Dire Straits visit the swamp” in it’s approach. Another good cut, demonstrating Gibbons approach and roots. My only bone of contention with this album is that the tempo and tone of all the songs is the same. It’s not slow, it’s not fast, it’s unhurried and it does not vary in tempo and mood very much. That is the lone fault I see. I liked all the songs and TG and the Swampbusters are a cool band. I just wish they’d have let it all hang out on a couple of tunes. The slow songs are close to the fast one in tempo, so you kind of feel that the groove starts with the first song and ends with the last one.

Despite that complaint, this is a solid record. Musically, Tim Gibbons has the country bayou blues sound down, giving authentic and convincing performances. The back line offers the same restraint in their approach as Gibbons and compliment well what Gibbons is leading with. If you like music from the bayou, this one with a Canadian twist will interest you. Get you alligator head out and groove to the beat!


Ann Arbor, MI

Swamp Tooth Comb by TG And The Swampbusters

Album Review

April 2, 2015

TG and the Swampbusters play some down-home blues on their new release Swamp Tooth Comb. It’s perfect with a cold beer on a hot day.

You would think that TG and the Swampbusters were from way down in Mississippi after listening to Swamp Tooth Comp. This album oozes with that sweat-soaked early country blues of Son House and Elmore James. It turns out that they are from Canada; Hamilton, Ontario to be exact.

The band is Tim Gibbons (TG) on guitar and vocals with “Swampy” Joe Klienfeltr on bass and Patch hitting the skins. TG’s vocals sound like a cross between J.J. Cale and Keith Richards, with a hint of Bob Dylan. His tone is relaxed and easy. With his vocals mixed with the laid-back feel of the album, you have music that is great to listen to. Kick off your shoes, sit back on the porch with a tasty beverage in hand, and dig in.

The whole album is approachable and a joy to listen to, but a few numbers stand-out. “Play Me Some Blues Keep It Country” is pure roots blues satisfaction with some fine guitar playing. TG and the Swampbusters play it with conviction and soul. “Country Side of Town” has a great old-time delta feeling that surely would influence a modern-day Elvis Presley. The combination of simple harp and slide make “Cornpone” sweet and delicious. Finally, “Hot Money” has Keith Richards written all over it. It’s a ragged alley cat of a song that you’d hear in a smoke-filled bar reeking of booze.

The roots of the blues keep on giving and TG and the Swampbusters have harvested a fine album with Swamp Tooth Comb.


Atlanta, GA

A Love Letter to TG and the Swampbusters

by Eric Petersen on January 14, 2015

Here at RUST Magazine we liked roots-rocker Tim Gibbons' new project so much, we actually wrote him a love letter instead of a review:

Dear TG and the Swampbusters,
We love you. You are so cool. We love the way you play guitar and we love your funky down-low beats. We love the way you keep it so real, and we love how you write your songs. We love your swagger and your style and we love your new CD Swamp Tooth Comb.

You are our very favorite roots rockers. We listen to your album all day long and at night and we play it in the car and we nod our heads up and down while we drive down the road. We told all the other kids at school about it too! We think you are awesome.

So, if you're not dating another music magazine, can we go steady?

Love, RUST Magazine