Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar, is a veteran musician who should be more famous than he is, given that he’s a stellar singer/songwriter with a sublime set of pipes. On Bye Bye 17, his fifth album under the Har Mar moniker, Tillmann takes a detour from 2009’s disco-infused Dark Touches and delves into full-on classic R&B, Sam Cooke-style soul, and early ’70s-era Al Green-inspired tunes. On the opener, “Lady, You Shot Me,” bombastic horns support Tillmann’s woeful tale of heartbreak. The singer’s clearly got a sense of humor: Tillmann’s fond of posing flamboyantly in his underwear, despite the fact that he resembles a young Ron Jeremy. But while he sometimes plays the fool, when he opens his mouth to sing, it’s clear his music is no joke. Bye Bye 17 also features a heaping helping of funk (as on the track “Prisoner”) and even a few doo-wop numbers. His funny lyrics shine throughout, as on the clever track “Restless Leg,” which is all about moving on after a relationship. Tillmann isn’t afraid to be vulnerable or silly, and while he’s no typical playboy, you may just fall for his swagger. The BBC called Bye Bye 17 a guilty pleasure, but I’d never feel guilt about enjoying songs this great.
April 12, 2013 — Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN
April 13, 2013 — The Earl in Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2013 — 1982 Bar in Gainesville, FL
April 16, 2013 — One Eyed Jack's in New Orleans, LA
April 17, 2013 — Mango's in Houston, TX
April 18, 2013 — War Room in San Antonio, TX
April 19, 2013 — Red 7 in Austin, TX
April 20, 2013 — Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas, TX
April 21, 2013 — Tricky Falls in El Paso, TX
April 22, 2013 — Plush in Tucson, AZ
April 23, 2013 — Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ
April 25, 2013 — The Satellite in Los Angeles, CA
April 26, 2013 — Backstage Bar & Billiards in Las Vegas, NV
April 30, 2013 — Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, UT
See Har Mar Superstar's full tour schedule here.
Har Mar Superstar | Bye Bye 17, $4.99, harmarsuperstar.com
By Laurie Henzel
This review appears in the Apr/May 2013 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Grimes. Subscribe now.