Rocking from Tel Aviv to Tinsel Town: Guitarist Agam Timor is an International Success Story
By Patrick Elliott
Guitarist Agam Timor’s dynamic, distinctive style has earned him an international reputation as one of the instrument’s leading proponents. Timor’s reliably solid, in the pocket grooves qualify him as am unrivalled rhythm guitar accompanist and, as a soloist, his dazzling proficiency and arresting fusion of blues, jazz, funk, pop and modern rock is consistently effective.
The Israeli-born, Hollywood-based musician brings an appealing warmth, presence and color which elevates any song he takes on — an invaluable sonic presence that’s earned him a sterling professional reputation. Currently working as lead guitarist for chart-topping folk-pop sensation Barns Courtney, Timor has easily reached an impressive plateau in the music business, fulfilling an almost pre-ordained destiny,
“Music was always around me,” Timor said. “Since I was 6 years old I was playing different instruments — violin, piano, saxophone — but when I found the guitar, I immediately fell in love and I haven’t put it down since.”
Timor honed his skills as a teenager and during his stint in the military, emerging as a talent who quickly made his mark and became an in-demand player with a full schedule of television (‘X-Factor’) and theater credits (the musical ‘Mary Lou’) as well as extensive recording studio sessions for such top Israeli stars as Ruthi Navon, Chen Aharoni, Adir Getz.
“As a professional musician it’s really important to have patience and to understand the artist you are recording with,” Timor said. “I worked on an album that the legendary producer Luis Lahav was doing with singer Or Colenberg. I recorded all the guitars and it’s incredible to add your own personal taste to someone else’s music and watch it become something whole.”
“Another project that I really enjoyed was with Doron Raphaeli, an amazing drummer and the founder of Tararam Group. The album was inspired by different cultures and religions. We spent days working on this, and when I recorded the guitar solo for ‘Aguim’ it was so late at night that Doron fell asleep in the control room while the engineer and I finished.”
Timor’s musical Midas Touch earned him great acclaim. “When I produced the new intro for Omer Adam’s show, who is the biggest star in Israel, the premiere show at the Sammi Offer stadium was sold out — 30,000 people,” he said. “I got amazing compliments about the intro and how much it enhanced Omer as an artist.”
Inevitably, Timor out grew Tel Aviv’s thriving scene and he traveled to the United States. There he received a scholarship to the world famous Berklee College Of Music, graduating with summa cum laude honors. Re-locating to Los Angeles in 2018, Timor’s impeccably executed guitar style began turning heads and within months, he had joined Barns Courtney’s Band.
It’s a dream gig — the British-born Courtney’s fast moving career has skyrocketed in popularity since the release of his 2015 debut single “Glitter & Gold,” which quickly became a favorite on BBC radio and topped the UK Spotify Viral and iTunes Alternative charts (the songs has been streamed more than 41 million times and its follow-up, “Fire” over 35 million times). With a handful of US Top 40 hits, television appearances (“The Conan O’Brian Show”), key song placements in film (“Burnt,” “We, the Marines”) and TV (“Teen Wolf,” “Suits,” “Lucifer”), Courtney has become a staple on the festival circuit and shared bills legendary rockers the Who and modern stars Ed Sheeran, Blur and the Libertines.
“We have been on the road for the past 8 months,” Timor said. “Touring with Barns has been an amazing experience. I get to meet so many different people every day, different culture and languages. We toured all over the US, UK and Europe nonstop.”
But for the hard-charging, versatile Timor, road work is only part of his musical picture.
“Besides playing with Barns I also write my own music and compose new music on the road,” he said. “My goal is to always aim higher, keep evolving your craft, keep moving forward with everything I do.”
Timor’s zeal and dedication are as impressive as his fast-growing resume of professional achievements. For him, there are no days off.
“When I’m off the road, I wake up in the morning, drink my coffee and go straight to my home studio,” Timor said. “I like to go through mixes I did the night before, or just start an entirely new idea.”
Timor’s superior skills, sheer dedication and illimitable creativity have allowed him to succeed at the most challenging and desirable aspects of his field, but the accomplished guitarist is only just getting started.
“I want to produce and collaborate with as many artists as I can,” Timor said. “I want to spread my musical taste so others can hear my perspectives and, of course, keep playing show because there’s nothing more fulfilling.”
“Music is for everyone. It make you feel, it’s an emotional experience, and when music comes from a feeling is when it sounds the best. To me, that’s the most important thing in the world.”