A Medium Exclusive: A Tribute Song for His Grandmother Barbara — Timmy Brown’s “If You Were Here”

Donna Block
5 min readFeb 25, 2021


Years after his grandmother’s passing, Timmy Brown’s “If You Were Here” is a heartwarming tribute to the loving impact she continues to have on his life, his dad’s, and grandfather’s.

At the age of five, Norton, Massachusetts native Timmy Brown began playing the piano, and, from then on, music became his passion and his life.

Music lessons played a big part of your childhood — they started after your parents saw you playing on a toy piano. What are some of your favorite songs to play on the piano?

I love messing around on the piano now that I finally have one back in my apartment here in Nashville. One of my favorites has always been Billy Joel’s “Piano Man!”

Playing sports in high school and singing the national anthem at school events. You started singing at Norton High School, after your friends encouraged you to join the chorus, and are now a classically trained singer. What led you to audition for The Voice, America’s Got Talent, and two seasons of the American Idol reboot?

When I finally built up enough courage to sing in front of people. I knew I wanted to pursue music as a career for the rest of my life. I figured why not audition for some tv shows to get my career going! Even though I didn’t win, it was such a great experience and helped me figure out who I am as an artist over the years.

Going to your sister’s softball tournaments in Nashville first exposed you to Music City’s country lifestyle. If you were to show first time visitors around the city, where would you take them?

One of my favorite spots in Nashville is the Midtown area with some of my favorite local bars and of course you have to show them Lower Broadway!

After high school you considered college, to become a music teacher, until you realized it wasn’t the classroom but the stage itself that motivated you. You’ve taught yourself to play the guitar, with Brad Paisley and Keith Urban early influences. How did you choose your Gibson Hummingbird?

I loved the looks and sounds of the guitar of course but I actually bought it the week after my grandmother passed so I could start writing more original music.

Your first single, “Lil Bit,” reached the Top 100 on iTunes within its first 24 hours of release.

Next came your debut EP, Leave This Town, which included “Fly Away,” your first song for your grandmother Barbara. You shared that she was your best friend and a huge influence in your life. What music did the two of you listen to?

My grandmother and I used to love listening to some Alan Jackson and Randy Travis. We were also huge fans of Josh Groban and his song “You Raise Me Up” reminds me of her every time I hear it.

Dealing with anxiety and depression, not knowing how to fit in, while playing shows. What resources help you control your mindset, allowing you to believe in yourself, your ability to do great things, and relieve yourself of other people’s expectations?

I take mental health very seriously and I never realized how important it was until recently to educate yourself on that topic. Everyone has their own story but for me it has been an ongoing process and fight every day to become the best and healthiest version of myself. I’ve looked for help in learning different ways of meditation/breathing techniques. I have also learned a lot more about what I need to do to deal with certain situations as they come up. I would love to help others and answer any questions about this topic so please send me any questions through social media!

How do you plan on meeting your 2021 goal to connect with everyone on a more personal level within the continuing pandemic restrictions on live shows?

Honestly just by being myself and being more conversational. I will be spending time on showing more vulnerability through social media/live shows!

Your second song for your grandmother Barbara, “If You Were Here.” “… She kept our family going and was always there for us through the good and the bad. I was able to talk about three generations in this song, starting with my grandfather and what he has been up to since she passed. Then my dad. Then I decided to finish the song telling her what I have been doing since I have moved to Tennessee to chase this dream of mine. My family misses her so much and I hope people can connect with this song about a loved one they have lost in the past.” What advice did she give you, as she encouraged you to follow your dream and pursue a career in music?

My grandmother Barbara always gave me that confidence. She always made me feel good and always supported me no matter what I was singing. That being said, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell me to practice some more either haha!

Good Life, your upcoming album produced by Josh Gleave, will have 10 songs, including “Play It By Beer” and “If You Were Here.” How do these songs represent you as an artist?

I have always had a hard time being vulnerable in my song writing. Everyone back home and even here in Nashville know I love to have a good time, drink beers, and go out. I’m always down for whatever, that’s just who I am. For the first time in my life, I have some really deep vulnerable songs like “If You Were Here” and “Wish You Knew Me Better” that I am so excited to share with everyone. I’m finally able to let people into my life without being afraid.

Oh, and did you ever find those overalls?

Haha nope not yet!