Tom Gillam

Tom Gillam
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Tom Gillam died March 20, 2006, returning from a string of dates in Texas and in the middle of recording his fourth LP. He’s doing fine, thank you. There’s a reason his new album is called Never Look Back. He suffered two of three heart attacks on the table in the ER of Virtua Hospital in deepest New Jersey. They were operating to clear his totally blocked aorta the third time; two percent of the men in their 30s and 40s survive similar attacks. Occasionally it pays to be in the minority. None of which means his new album is filled with maudlin songs revealing his new appreciation of life and deep spirituality. (Those are private matters.) Like 2005’s breakthrough Shake My Hand — 14 weeks on the Americana radio top 10, peaking at #4 — for which he received a “Best Emerging Artist” nomination from the Americana Music Association — Never Look Back is a thoroughly entertaining and highly literate burst of classic songwriter-driven rock. After a short recuperation, Gillam returned to the studio (yes, clean and sober; or at least regularly washed) with his long-time band Tractor Pull and producer Joe Carroll to finish Never Look Back. The new album is both an extension of Shake My Hand and a step beyond its promises. “I wanted to make a record that was a bit deeper lyrically than my last few, but at the same time still entertaining on a purely emotional level,” Gillam says. His knack for a strong hook blends the edgier side of Americana with muscular ’70s-style guitar rock. Gillam’s vision is facilitated throughout by his crack band, some of whom he’s played with since high school, all of whom play with effortless and intuitive commitment. Tractor Pull (Craig Simon on guitar; Tim McMaster on bass; Dave Latimer on drums; and producer Joe Carroll on acoustic and baritone guitars) are the perfect vehicle for Gillam’s songwriting voice and slide guitar, gliding effortlessly between straight-ahead rock, moody ballads, and simple acoustic numbers. Echoing the past thirty years of rock history (much of which, to his shame and credit, Gillam has lived), these eleven new songs maintain a fresh and unique sound. Their topics reflect Gillam’s broad interests, from love to love lost, from addiction to current affairs and religion (there is a difference). The song Gillam himself seems most attached to, just now, is “Where Is Bobby Gentry,” a tune inspired by the mysterious ’60s country pop songstress who penned “Ode To Billy Joe.” As Tom tells it, “I found a copy of her first LP in a used vinyl store. After I took it home and listened to it, I was flooded with memories of my childhood and quite taken with her songwriting and singing style. After a while I tried to find out what happened to her after the hits, but found very little info past the late ’70s. The actual song I wrote very quickly; it seemed to write itself. We recorded it maybe a day later.” The song is performed to subtle perfection by Gillam & Co., augmented by a haunting string arrangement conducted by jazz pianist Dave Falciani. The title track, one of two contributions from guitarist Craig Simon, sums it up best: “with no regrets, no debts to pay, there’s nothing standing in my way.” Or, as Tom Gillam puts it, “Honestly, I’d be doing this even if nobody was listening. It’s just what I do.” Let’s hope someone is listening.
Date Venue City State Note
No Tour Dates Available
05/17/2006 - Tom Gillam: The Road Back  - Read More
04/05/2006 - Tom Gillam Benefit Concert - May 13  - Read More
03/28/2006 - Tom Gillam - Out of the Hospital  - Read More
03/24/2006 - Tom Gillam - I'm Ready To Rock  - Read More
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Average Rating : 0              Total Reviews: 12

Tom Gillam  03/15/2005            
j.r. riedel
i first heard tom on knbt bout a year ago doing a live jam/interview. awesome! a throwback to days gone by when the countryrock ruled! great stories, playing, harmonizing. tom and his band did the ballads, the rockers, the righteous jams. and what an engaging and funny storyteller on the air, seemingly at ease and kickin back and at home in his element, it seemed. i picked up his latest release, "shake my hand" (i also have his last one, "dallas" another 5starrer) and boy-o-boy, does it jump from the truck stereo!!! SLAMMIN!!!!!!!!!! great singing, playing, production. do yerselves a favor, GET THIS NOW!!!!!!!
Tom Gillam  03/10/2005            
Evan Gavalas
This is one of the best records i have ever heard. He perfectly mixes catchy tunes with meaningful songwriting. His previous albums were also brilliant but this one is a standout. True musicianship is becoming a rarity and he is able to make you love music again. I Love Tom Gillam!!!
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