Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2020 : Year of the Revival

The release of Great Beyond in October felt like the culmination of an eight-year long art project. So many miles on the road, so many shows, and years honing my approach to the solo performance. I'm proud of the recorded result of my efforts.

Toward the end of 2018, I began to feel the call of rock and roll again. Dead Root Revival was born, and since that time, the band has garnered more and more of my creative focus. This is why, in 2020, I will be taking a break from solo touring, and focusing on developing the DRR sound, and performing more shows with the band. I will still be performing solo shows in Ontario, and if anyone wants to offer me a grand a night to go on tour as a sideman, I would be happy to change plans! 😄

The release concert for Great Beyond made for a very special evening, bringing the two very different facets of my creative output together in one show. For many Kingston fans, it was the first time they had seen the solo performance, seeing as most shows over the years had been on the road. Then the other side of the coin: Dead Root Revival hit the stage (after a stellar set from our friends The Mill-Rights)! We were fortunate to have Geoff Chown on sound that night. He also was there to record our set. The resulting recording captures the band at its best, and where it belongs: On stage powering through some epic jams!

To be released on March 2nd, DRR Live : Volume I will bring you to that show. Come rock out with us again and again on CD or digital format ( Yes, this album will be on Spotify, etc. despite my ongoing protestation of the streaming platform.) Our hope is you will purchase the live album to help DRR raise funds for a future studio release. The plan is to release a couple of live records before the studio release, in order to give fans new music, and to keep feeding our musical engine(the band bank account!!).

(Side Note: DRR is a band that likes to jam. Every show is a different musical journey. We encourage "taping" and sharing of shows. If you want to bring mics and recording gear to shows, please feel free. We only ask you don't obscure sight lines of audience members.)

On Friday, March 13th, we will be celebrating the release of DRR Live : Volume I with a show back where it all went down: The Mansion in Kingston, Ontario. Get your tickets here
. Connor Poulain opens the show, then Dead Root Revival hit the stage. The band will feature Tony Silvestri on keyboards, Daniel Chalmers on congas/percussion, Paul Stacey on saxophone, Richard Piche on bass, Bonz Bowering on drums, and myself on guitar and vocals. Powerhouse!!!

Doors at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 in advance/$15 at the door ( tickets are available at The Mansion or from me in person. Hit me up at open mic at the Rose & Crown).

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Back from tour! The CD is Not Dead!

Rolled back into Kingston after a long haul from Wawa, Ontario and slowly getting my bearings, and adjusting to being back home. As usual, the tour  was a hard slog, an enjoyable ride, a test of will and endurance and patience, and a whole lotta fun all rolled into one. Thanks to the venues ( and their staff), presenters, sound techs, fellow musicians, and friends new and old who opened their homes to this weary traveler. I very much appreciate your support.

This new record is a real trip. I've never done anything where art intersected with life so much. Developing the sound and playing style of the solo show and touring it over much of the past decade gives this new album the feel of the culmination of an 8 + year art project. The audience is a large part of the process, and it feels really good to give them (and you!) an album that reflects exactly what I'm doing on stage. 

Sales went really well on tour. The CD is not dead folks! If anything, I've seen an uptick in sales over the past few years. Needless to say, I am very thankful for this! As a full time musician ( performing mostly original music), merchandise sales are a vital ingredient to my survival in this business. I understand the convenience and choice that comes from streaming services ( I've used them myself), but I'm not seeing how to make money from them. And a large portion of the money I make from record sales goes directly back into my art. 

I was listening to some music industry podcasts while on the road, and they were chanting the mantra of "The CD is dead. Streaming is everything." and I couldn't help but ask aloud while driving, "But how do you make money from it!" They never answered me. My own conclusion: You don't!

It is for this reason that my new record, Great Beyond, will not be available on streaming services ( except for a single or two for a sampling). If you want to listen, you'll have to buy it. I make records for three reasons: 1) artistic expression, 2) to share my music with my fans, and 3) to make money to make more records. Spotify is good for the first two reasons, but the third, not so much.

You can help the cause! There are seven days left to preorder Great Beyond ( thanks to everyone who has contributed to the preorder campaign thus far). Check out the indiegogo site for special offers such as: CD + tickets to hometown release concert, The Box Set ( a collection of 4 CDS), and a House Concert ( 1 of these left at the discounted price). For those in the Kingston area who are planning to attend the album release concert ( with The Mill Rights and Dead Root Revival BTW), the preorder site is the best option for purchasing tickets.



A couple of shows to tell you about:

This Friday, Dead Root Revival will be fired up and ready to rock at The Red Lion in Belleville, after a month-long hiatus. 9:30 PM.

Saturday, October 19th, I will be bringing the solo show ( and new album) to the Few Acres Farm concert in Russell, ON ( near Ottawa). Message me for details.

And of course, Friday, October 25th is the Hometown Album Release Concert at The Mansion in Kingston!

See you on the road and thank you for your support.

Cheers,
Tom