Alternative music reviews

Tom Leach

7 Song Tape Jul 2006

Tom Leach is one of musical heroes. He wrote and sang one of my favourite songs ever (he was featured in my Drowning In A Well series). I hadn't heard of him for a long while until there he was on MySpace and with a new CD as well.

He isn't Alt-Country, he is Country - not in the Nashville sense of show business and sequins but in the sense of the simple, direct, and honest music that is America's own. He doesn't need a fancy studio or guest performers - just a guitar, harmonica, four-track, and a few songs.

He often sings little bar conversations and vignettes of everyday life. Songs like At The Bottom Of A Barroom On A Hill In Tennessee where a man sees how low he has come and decides to turn his life around. Thank You For The Coffee is just two people in a cafe during a storm who get talking and find they can open up to each other.

His voice betrays the fact that he has lived, tasted both disappointment and love. Listen to the pathos of #04 (Go On Home) and try telling me that this isn't someone revealing his inner self in all of its rawness. Tom Leach has a voice that cracks with emotion, resonates with passion, and always with a strangely familiar ring like it's a friend talking to you. If you have enjoyed The Handsome Family, then you will be ready to go deeper into America's heartland and get to know Tom Leach.


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