PERSONAL JOURNEY: Lawyer contemplates career in music

Tim Tye’s mother was his inspiration for entering the legal profession.

Tim Tye of Bellbrook started playing the guitar as a teenager in Oakwood. A 1971 graduate of Oakwood High School, Tye loved music, but never thought he would make a career of it.

He attended Miami University and graduated in 1975 with a degree in political science and went on to graduate from law school at Ohio State University. He followed his mother, Rose Tye, into a career in law.

“I was in some bands in high school and kept playing, but music took a back seat,” Tye said. “My mom’s work as a lawyer inspired me. I’ve been practicing law for 45 years now.”

Eventually Tye opened his law firm in Kettering, practicing with his mother, but never forgot his music, playing and writing throughout his life. Then in 2009, he began wondering if he could do more after talking with a musician friend about the possibilities.

“I wanted to try to sell some of songs and put together high-quality demos,” Tye said. “My friend put me in touch with Gary King – a sound engineer that is sort of a legend around here.”

Tye and King met and hit it off immediately. Tye soon found himself in a studio with a few musicians and together the group cut one of his songs.

“It was exciting to hear my material done so well,” Tye said.

One song led to another song and in 2014, Tye decided to compile 11 songs and put them on an album called “Dark Stretch of Road.” It was a slow process due to his busy law practice and his life responsibilities. But he kept writing. And today records under the name “Midnight Sky.”

“In 2019, I released another album called ‘A Few Good Years,’” Tye said.

And earlier this year, he released his third album – “Last Hope for the Modern World,” which he is now working to promote.

“If you’d asked me a few years ago about my life I would have said I can’t imagine not practicing law,” Tye, who specializes in transactional law like real estate and estate planning, said. “If I could have a career involving music, I believe it would be time to retire from law.”

And that’s saying a lot, since Tye said his law career has been very fulfilling. He enjoys helping people and reducing their stress over seemingly big issues.

“Most of the time, the problems aren’t big, and we can fix them,” Tye said. “It’s just satisfying when our conversations end peacefully, and people feel they are no longer in crisis.”

Tye said that though his mother was the one who inspired him to enter law, both she and his father, Floyd, were supportive of his choices, though neither was interested in music.

“I didn’t think I could pursue music as a full-time career because my guitar skills are just modest and I don’t have a great singing voice,” Tye said.

Tye has been writing songs since high school, when his five-member band played at school dances and local venues. It was during those years that he learned that cover bands seem to be the most popular.

“To this day, if you are in a band doing covers and you tell the audience you want to do some of your own songs, that’s when people start to leave,” Tye said.

With all three of his albums, Tye said he left the instrumental tracks to professionals. His focus is on writing and fortunately, most of the reviews, whether from people he knows or people he doesn’t, have been positive.

“I like to think that the more I write, the better I get,” Tye said, “I think the new album is better than the first two, although I’m very proud of all three.”

Today Tye says he is “always writing,” and bases his songs on true stories from his life. His genre of choice is “country rock,” but he said it’s all essentially pop.

“I try to keep my songs accessible and not too complex,” Tye said.

When he wrote the title track for his first album – “Dark Stretch of Road,” Tye said he was going through a low period in his life.

“I think it’s a song people can relate to,” Tye said.

And though the title of his latest album is “The Last Hope for the Modern World,” the album has some upbeat songs, including the title track with the lyric “Love is the last hope for the modern world.”

Tye’s hope for the future is that he can continue writing and producing albums. He hasn’t devoted a lot of time to promoting the albums but has entered national song writing competitions and connected with nationally known artists.

“Every year you are alive, you have a bunch of new experiences,” Tye said. “Whenever you are writing or creating, you’re drawing from these experiences.”

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