Timothy Orr was born in Hartford, Connecticut on June 22, 1967 and began playing the drums in 1976. After playing in several rock bands in the early 80’s, he studied with Edward Blackwell from 1985-89 at Wesleyan University where he earned a BA in English, with a concentration in Medieval and Renaissance literature. In retrospect, he should have studied Ethnomusicology.
During this period, Tim played in several rock, punk and grunge bands, warming up for emerging talents like Helmet, Fugazi, Band of Susans and Soul Asylum. He also worked in college musical theater productions, played for dancers, film soundtracks, and worked on several thesis performances. Upon graduation in 1989, Tim started to perform in several roots music bands in the New England region, performing Cajun, zydeco, bluegrass, post-war Chicago blues, and original music as well.
In addition to his performance schedule, Tim cultivated a career in the music industry, holding positions in alternative radio promotion and classical marketing at Virgin Records, publicity at MCA, retail sales at HMV and warehouse and operations management at TVT Records in New York City. After moving to San Francisco in 1992, Tim hooked up with the Cajun/zydeco scene in the Bay Area, and began to play 100+ nights a year with various people and groups, such as Andre Thierry, Zydeco Slim, Tete Rouge, Danny Poullard, Andrew Carriere, Gerard Landry, Kenny Menard, and many others.