Timothy Gurshin, a New Hampshire solo practitioner who lives in Canterbury, is also a singer/songwriter whose performance schedule is as full as his lawyer’s calendar. A graduate of the University of NH and the UNH School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law School), and a NH Bar member since 1986, Gurshin practices civil law and criminal defense. "I feel a real sense of satisfaction when I’m able to help some young man who’s made a mistake," says Gurshin. "I am aware that what happens to him affects his whole family."
Gurshin was a full-time musician for awhile after he graduated from UNH and before he started law school.
"I knew I wanted to do something besides the music, but I didn’t know what," he says. "I wanted to help ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary situations and I finally decided on the law."
Gurshin started singing and playing the guitar when he was about 13 years old. "I had two older brothers who introduced me to Bob Dylan – and I have been composing and singing ever since," he says. "My music is a blend of folk, rock, and some blues and country, in other words – Americana."
Performing at various venues around the state – and the country – four to eight times a month, Gurshin travels a lot. He has been to Nashville several times to play and record his music and has produced several CDs. His most recent is Songs along the Highway, recorded in 2010.
Gurshin says he finds the inspiration for his music in the ordinary happenings of everyday life. One of his latest songs, "Rainy Day," was inspired by a visit to the dry cleaners during a sale of unclaimed clothing. He performed the song, which is on his latest CD, during his visit to the Bar Center in Concord.
"I bought a shirt for two dollars," he says, but he also found the material for a new song on the subject of personal redemption. This is the first verse:
I bought a red cotton shirt, at the dry cleaner’s sale; I’m gonna wear it to work, shootin’ nails. Somebody lost track – they forgot to pick it up, So now it’s on my back, for a couple of bucks. God knows where it’s been, God knows what it’s done Was it stained with sweat – or was it blood? But all that evidence has all been washed away, Like the dust across this road – on a rainy day.
"My inspiration may come from anywhere," says Gurshin, "I don’t know how to describe the process of writing lyrics or music – but when the two come together, a mysterious ‘spark’ is created. Sometimes I may just hear a song in my head as I’m driving along – and I write it down later."
His music has been used in documentaries and has won a rock song contest. He has also recently written and recorded the music for the sound track of a documentary titled Mayflowers, a film about the student demonstrations at UNH in 1970.
Not long ago he played at an open mike in Pawling, NY, at the Town Crier Café, nationally known as a venue for performers of acoustic music. The owner of the café happened to be present when Gurshin played. He asked Gurshin to come back and play at the annual invitational. "Since this performance is by invitation only, it could lead to my being asked to open for a big-name star," said Gurshin.
Gurshin is married to Olivia Henry, a former guidance counselor at Rundlett Middle School. The couple has one son, Tim, who graduated from Belmont High school in 2010 as valedictorian of his class and is now at Stanford. Gurshin is very involved in his community and is a shareholder in the Canterbury country store, which was "saved" by a group of townsfolk when it was about to close ten years ago.
Thursday, June 16, Gurshin will play at The Homestead in Merrimack, NH, at the Shannon Door pub in Jackson on June 17 and on Saturday, June 25, at the Coach Stop in Londonderry, NH. By visiting his website (www.timothygurshin.com), you can listen to some of his songs, watch videos and see his "gig" schedule through November.
"In addition to my own songs," he says, "my live shows feature my arrangements of a variety of classic acoustic music, from Bob Dylan to Green Day." CDs may also be listened to and purchased online.