That Hoodoo you do

By Andrea Louise Thomas Photos Jai Seales & Gary Sissons

Point Leo musician Tim Stout has always lived a double life divided between his love for music and the practicalities of making a more reliable living. Only once in his entire music career was he employed full-time as a musician working for a couple of months as the drummer in a production of Godspell at The Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne. Despite having a day job, he’s been singing, song writing and playing music professionally for 45 years. He’s a virtual musical missionary.

During lockdowns Tim set a goal to play six songs at 6pm every night live on Facebook. He never missed a single night. He brought presence, joy and connection to his listeners, many of whom relied on that musical buoyancy to get through the days. In fact, he exceeded the 262 days of lockdowns producing over 300 consecutive nights of music. He still does it on a Thursday. Tim is a man who gives with his music whether he gets money for it or not.

Though he runs his own building company, Stout Build, Tim is busier than ever playing gigs as front man of the popular blues band, The Hoodoo Men. He sings and plays guitar though he is also a talented drummer. In fact, the drums were his first instrument. Hanging out at his Mum and Dad’s milk bar in Mordialloc, Tim was always drumming on something. It drove his Mum crazy, but a local music teacher heard him, took him for a drum lesson, came back and said, “The kid’s got it!”

With that comment, Tim began studying music. He learned the drums, then guitar, then they got a piano at home and he learned some piano too. He started to play the drums in his church band in primary school. At 15 Tim joined a local band as their drummer and they started playing professional gigs. He couldn’t even drive yet! Fortunately, his Mum was happy to transport him with his drum kit to gigs.

Tim wanted to study music at the Victorian College of the Arts, but a paperwork mishap foiled that plan. Later, he went to the Council of Adult Education to learn jazz piano. Though drums were Tim’s first instrument, his musical versatility gave him choices. He started singing from behind the drumkit and found he really liked that too.

He sang and played guitar professionally with a band called King Cactus for fifteen years.

Meanwhile his day job was restoring antique furniture where he learned valuable carpentry skills. Renovating houses was the next string in his bow. He started working in the building industry, then he completed a Certificate IV in Building and Construction Management. After 20 years in the industry, he’s just obtained his builder’s registration for his business.

Local music legend Marty Williams used to run muso nights in Balnarring and at Baha in Rye. He organised local musicians and created opportunities for them to gig and share their work. He also encouraged them to write their own songs. This was an impetus for Tim to rekindle his love for writing original music. It was a welcome change after fifteen years of playing other people’s music. He formed a band called Jam Roots through that connection.

Though Tim has been writing songs for decades, amazingly he didn’t record his first album until he was in his late 40’s. He has since recorded three albums and currently, his latest album, Tim Stout Live at MBAS recorded at the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society, listed under Timothy John Stout, is #5 on the Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Chart. It’s an intoxicating collection of earthy soul stirring original blues songs.

From the beginning, Tim most identified with African – American blues, funk, soul and reggae. He loves how raw and evocative it is. He wants his own audiences to get those feels. Tim joined blues band, Greg Dodd and the Hoodoo Men in 2016, but Greg took off to travel around the world. Tim took over the band in 2019. He had written lots of new songs and with a fresh guitarist onboard, they recorded an original album called Found the Blues (under The Hoodoo Men on Spotify). It got as high as #4 on the Australian Blues charts in 2020.

The band spent nine months on the Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Chart through exposure on community blues radio shows. Tim booked a lot of gigs for the band on the strength of that. Most of those gigs had to be cancelled due to COVID, but audiences remembered the band and now they are busier than ever.

Check out upcoming gigs on facebook to go and check them out live, or have a listen on Spotify or Soundcloud.

FB: @thehoodoomen

Peninsula Essence – January 2023