I’m currently locked down in a Chicago hotel, digging through e-mails and catching-up on some sleep. Last night I spent my morning driving from St. Louis up to Rock Island, Illinois to visit with the music blog Daytrotter. I’d been looking forward to visiting with Daytrotter for a long time, and was glad I could make it work with this Midwest tour. If you are not familiar with their music blog, you should go check it out here: http://www.daytrotter.com. If you are a music fan, I’m sure you will find dozens (if not hundreds) of artists you like that have sessions posted.
I had some hurdles along the way to make this happen, namely a small blizzard I drove through about halfway up Illinois. I counted a half-dozen spun out cars along I-74 alone. With the reality of needing to beat darkness and more snow on my route to Chicago, I spent far less time enjoying Rock Island than I had initially hoped for. My in-studio show will be posted in a few weeks and I’ll make sure to throw the links on here in good time.
Tonight I’ll be playing in Chicago at Uncommon Ground. They have 2 locations, the original being a relatively well-known restaurant and intimate music venue. They expanded to a 2nd location in historic Edgewater a few years back and that’s where I’ll be playing tonight at 9 PM. It’s a brisk 18 degrees out by the way.
Uncommon Ground, Edgewater Location; Chicago IL
December Midwest Tour Dates Announced
November 27 2013
I’ll be touring through a few stops in the Midwest in December and also just added year-end shows in NYC and Boston. I’m really looking forward to getting back to some of you and as always, thank you for spreading the word.
12.6.13 / St. Louis, MO @The Demo; Friday, December 6th (http://www.thedemostl.com/)
12.8.13 / Rock Island, IL @Daytrotter; Sunday, December 8th(http://www.daytrotter.com/)
12.9.13 / Chicago, IL @Uncommon Ground; Monday, December 9th (http://www.uncommonground.com/)
12.11.13 / Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Tavern; Wednesday, December 11th (http://woodlandstavern.com/)
12.12.13 / Pittsburg, PA @ Club Cafe; Thursday, December 12th (http://www.clubcafelive.com/)
12.19.13 / Boston, MA @ Red Room at Cafe 939; Thursday, December 19th (http://www.cafe939.com/)
12.20.13 / New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall; Friday, December 20th (http://rockwoodmusichall.com/)
November 11 2013
It’s been a heavy few weeks of traveling. Last week I finally found myself back in Southern California for a few shows as well as returning to San Diego for the first time in nearly seven years.
Los Angeles: To start the run on Wednesday night I was back on North Cahuenga Boulevard at Hollywood’s Hotel Cafe. It’s really called “The Hotel Cafe” I believe, but I’m not sure they have picked their horse either. It’s a cool little place but a royal pain to get too if you are coming up from the South Bay, which is where I was earlier that morning, trying to be healthy and participating in my own semi-annual run on “The Strand” (for the visitor, The Strand is both the most inspiring and depressing place to run in all of America). LA shows are always interesting for me as I actually have a good amount of close friends in the city, as well as family, and therefore it becomes a trip home in a way as I’m also catching up with lifelong friends.
On Wednesday morning, the day of my show, my Twitter feed was blowing-up with word that Chris Martin from Coldplay had shown up unexpectedly to Hotel Cafe the previous night with an unannounced gig and played some of Coldplay’s hits to the 30 or so stupefied people left in the room. What a trip. .. for everyone probably. My hope was a large group of confused tourists from East Asia would show up early the following night and hope for a repeat performance.
The Hotel Cafe, LA
Laguna Niguel: Some old friends from Washington DC made the wise decision years ago to move out to Orange County. . . . and open a yoga studio. The business is doing great and as they have expanded the business to include an art gallery and performance space, they invited me to play a special Friday evening event. It was a beautiful event and humbling to have the complete, undivided attention of the audience for every moment of the entire set. No cell phones. No liquor or beer. Totally mellow. A rarity in this day and age I’d say. Denise and Eric are doing something great down in Laguna Niguel and you can check out their Yoga and Art Studio, “You and the Mat” over here.
You and the Mat in Laguna Niguel
Laguna Beach: Earlier in the afternoon, I stopped into Laguna Beach’s newest independent radio station and only FM dial, KX 93.5 FM. I was able to hang with Leeds native and Orange County transplant DJ Jason Feddy for the in-studio interview. You can check-out the entire Podcast and in-studio performance over here: (http://kx935.com/podcast/jason). Note that the office building and studio has a 2nd story, panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean . . in Laguna Beach. What more can I say. The chain smoking “Shock Jock” in the basement of a mid-block downtown building in Cleveland .. that guy.. . . keep that guy away from even knowing about this place.
Manhattan Beach Pier and The Strand
San Diego: Emotions were running strong and deep upon my return visit to San Diego. The last time I was in San Diego was also the last time I was with my Dad and therefore the last time I saw him alive. We were on a family vacation in San Diego and I felt that memory for that full drive down from Los Angeles. I made sure to play some Willie Nelson as the sun set over the Pacific and I passed Aviara on Interstate 5. Powerful memories indeed.
The show at Lestat’s later that night was a special one. Intimate and intense yet full of good vibes with the songs of fellow songsmiths Justin Carter and Peter Blachley. Furthering the unwritten rule that it is in fact a very small world if you can just keep your head-up, Peter runs a very well known photography studio based out of New York City called Morrison Hotel where I’d recently spent a few hours of my life “kicking tires” among their iconic rock-and-roll images. I was humbled to share the evening with Peter as well as his special guest that night, rock and roll photographer Henry Giltz, who among other notable works, shot the infamous Doors album cover photo for Morrison Hotel and thus the namesake of their studio.
Lestat’s, San Diego
And finally, lest not forget that all you need is love. At least that’s what the Gods were conspiring to remind me in the belly of Los Angeles.
All You Need is Love
Tonight in Providence, RI
October 21 2013
In the midst of my Northeast run of shows here & playing in Providence, RI tonight. Can’t make it to Providence for my show at The Spot? Fear not my friends, they will be web-casting the show at http://www.990wbob.com/ so you can experience this from the comforts of your own home. The show starts at 9 PM and yours truly will be kicking off the show promptly . . . also at 9 PM.
I had the luxury of playing with Nashville’s Tim Easton last week to kick things off in Vienna, Virginia @ Jammin Java. I then headed up to New York City for CMJ with a showcase at Alphabet Lounge on Friday night. Here are a few pics from this week. Looking forward to getting up to Boston on Wednesday night as well for the show at Cafe 939 at 8 PM. Purchase your advanced tickets here: http://www.cafe939.com/events/
FALL 2013 TOUR SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED!
September 6 2013
FALL 2013 TOUR SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED!!
9.12 – Austin, TX @ Flipnotics
9.14 – Austin, TX @ House Concert
9.16 – Annapolis, MD @ Ram’s Head (w. Bleu + Will Dailey)
PLEDGE MUSIC Presents: TICKETS HERE
9.21 – Kensington, MD @ FNDTN Gallery(Buncearoo Presents!)
9.25 -Nashville, TN @ The Basement (ASCAP Presents)
9.27 – Washington, DC @ Gypsy Sally’s (w/ HCJ)
10.15 – Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java (w/ Tim Easton): TICKETS HERE
10.16 – Wilmington, DE
10.19 – New York. NY
10.20 – New Haven, CT @ The SPACE
10.23 – Boston, MA @ Lizard Lounge
10.24 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Grape Room
10.25 – Baltimore, MD
11.6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
11.7 – San Diego, CA @ LeStat’s
11.8 – Newport Beach, CA @ Private Concert
11.13 – Richmond, VA
11.14 – Raleigh, NC
11.15 – Charlotte, NC @ Evening Muse (w/ Ellis Paul)
11.16 – Chapel Hill, NC @ The Southern Rail
11.17 – Atlanta, GA
11.19 – Nashville, TN @ The 5 Spot
11.21 – Knoxville, TN
11.23 – Washington, DC @ IOTA Club and Cafe
12.3 – Lexington, KY @ Natasha’s Bistro
12.4 – Louisville, KY @ Rudyard Kippling
12.6 – St. Louis, MO @ The Demo
12.7 – Indianapolis,IN
12.9 – Chicago, IL @Uncommon Ground
12.9 – Cleveland, OH
12.11 – Columbus, OH @Woodlands Tavern
12.12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
12.19 – Boston, MA @ Cafe 939
12.20 – New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
More dates to be confirmed . . .
BALTIMORE CITY PAPER / MORNING IN GLEN BURNIE REVIEW + SHOW PREVIEW
August 27 2013
Tonight at Joe Squared: Morning in Glen Burnie
June 24, 2013 by Geoffrey Himes
Tom McBride didn’t grow up in Maryland, but his dad did, and that’s why the son’s third album is called Morning in Glen Burnie. The title track imagines the father at the same age the son is now, a twenty-something torn between hitchhiking out west and staying home to work at Bethlehem Steel or some internet content farm. Over a hillbilly guitar strum and a rock’n’roll kick drum, McBride sings in the voice of his father: “In Baltimore at 22, I snuck a shot and beer before the Orioles game. I made a deal with Master Steel that I’d return with leather from a cowhide plain.”
McBride’s father died six years ago, but the son has struggled with a similar ambivalence about his career. Born and raised in the Boston area, he moved to Nashville to try a music career, gave it up for an office job in D.C., gave up the job to try music again in the D.C. area, moved back to Nashville, and recorded the new album with old friends in Boston. The decision to give music another shot was a good one, for the new album shows a sure command of roots music—not just Americana but also old-school soul music—with smart lyrics lending an original, personal twist to the templates. Tonight, McBride gets within shouting distance of his dad’s hometown with a show at Joe Squared.
The opening track, “But I Don’t Care,” which won the Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Association’s gold prize, describes two lovers who back off every time they get close to a promise. “Is it true,” McBride sings in his raspy tenor over a relaxed country melody, “we’d rather be lonely?” A similar relationship is sketched on the steel-guitar-fueled “Take Her Somewhere,” where the woman begs the singer to take her to a faster, bigger city, even though he knows he’ll lose her there. There’s a longing for certainty, articulated on the album’s two best songs, the R&B ballads “Julia” and “She Knows,” where McBride’s handsome voice is liberated by strong melodies and romantic commitment.
It’s not a perfect album; the music is a bit generic at times and sometimes the over-extended metaphors cloud the narrative. But the title track forms a terrific trilogy with two more songs about parents and children. The horn-powered R&B of “Do It for the Kids” describes those parents who stay together “for the kids,” only to watch their sons “move off to California and dance with all the single girls.” But on the hillbilly-noir of “Just Like You,” his mother tells him, “Don’t live so lonely…. Don’t look down when you walk with that name.”
Tom visits with WMBR 88.1 FM in Cambridge, MA for Doug Gesler’s Lost Highway
August 12 2013
Last weekend I was up in Massachusetts and dropped in to visit Doug Gesler who hosts a great radio show on WMBR 881. FM on Saturday morning’s called “Lost Highway”. Doug has been working at WMBR for the past 14 years, hosting his show at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, MA along the Charles River.
The alarm sounded a bit early but we made it in on time and got to hang with Doug and talk about the new record, Italian opera, what voice lessons can teach you, as well as play a few tunes live in the studio. Joining me was the producer for the album and bass player Kimon Kirk. You can listen to our full interview and in-studio performance on the WMBR site right over here: http://wmbr.mit.edu/cgi-bin/arch.
TONIGHT / BALTIMORE @ JOE SQUARED / SCREAMS & WHISPERS SHOWCASE
July 24 2013
It’s been a while since my last Baltimore show and I’m real exited to get up there tonight to play this Screams & Whispers Showcase hosted by Baltimore’s own Craig Cummings. Show starts at 8 PM at Joe Squared’s North Station location. (133 W. North Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201)
For more info on the venue and directions please visit their web-site here: http://joesquared.com/