Alternative music reviews

September 12, 2008

More Tom Leach

Filed under: tom leach — @ 11:40 pm Comments (0)

I’ve been catching up on my interests in Country music over the past few months and listening to a lot of new releases like The Felice Brothers, O’Death and the best of last year’s albums with Octoberman. I’ve also investigated David Eugene Edward’s career since Sixteen Horsepower with his Woven Hand project and managed to hear his band before 16HP, the Denver Gentlemen. So, a lot of good stuff has passed through my ears recently. However, none of these commercially available albums can compare to the impact that has been made on me by 15 tracks I downloaded from Tom Leach’s webpage (since I already have the Seven Songs EP I missed out 4 of the possible downloads). They just get better every time I listen to them.

So my self-created album “More Tom Leach” is 51 minutes long and covers unreleased oldies, some tracks from Homemade/Handmade which isn’t available, and some new rough mixes of songs destined for “Macon” (Macon, Georgia is mentioned by Tom as his next project). Obviously these are recordings with a few rough edges but that adds to their charm.

It covers the period from the Tom Leach album (was that around 1997?) to the present day. The earlier songs are just as fine as those on that first album and each tells a story. Call Waiting sounds just like the sort of song Johnny Cash would have have sung when he first went on the Sun Records tours. I’m Not A Cowboy, No I Ain’t is a gem where Tom points out that cowboys don’t cry and don’t need anyone.

The next album is obviously going to be great. judging by the preview songs on here. There was something about one of these songs that made me go to the Internet for a good search. I was looking for references to Ida Mae but apart from a reference to a Lightnin’ Hopkins I found nothing. I had assumed it was one of the classic Country songs being covered and re-interpreted. I promised myself that I won’t underestimate Mr Leach again.

Ida Mae by Tom Leach

Ida Mae by Tom Leach

The final track of the album (in alphabetical filename order) is an unreleased song from around 2001. Called I Know Time, it is one of the most perfect miserable songs about the inevitable loss of love. It is almost malevolently sad with its slow, relentless pace. While listening, I found that the vibrato in Tom Leach’s voice led to me thinking of Michael Stipe (also from Georgia). I’m not going to hold my breath, but I do think that if Michael and REM work really hard for the next ten years then they may come up with a song as good as this. At least it gives them something to aim at.

I Know Time by Tom Leach

I Know Time by Tom Leach

Tom Leach’s MP3 page

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