TOM GILLAM SINGER,SONGWRITER,SLIDE GUITARIST
Tom Gillam Bio 2016
Tom Gillam's latest release "Beautiful Dream" is about a lot of "things" but mostly it's about beginnings and endings or a Gillam himself says "It's about..40 minute of music".
The beginning would be with his band Tom Gillam & the Kosmic Messengers and the end would be, at least for the foreseeable future, his days as a solo artist .
"There is so much more I can do with this band, than what I'd experienced in the past, recording basically whom ever was around at the time" he quickly injects "though I had a good time and got some great results with those releases, they never felt as cohesive as Beautiful Dream does".
Much of the credit for the "cohesive sound" of the record can be traced to the other members of The Kosmic Messengers with whom Gillam has been playing live shows with for almost two years. "What started out being just a way to play (2013's) "Good For You" live has blossomed in to a full blown band, one in which I feel a musical kinship and freedom I'd sought for so long but never really attained" "David Spencer (Lead & Slide Guitar, vocals) and I really not only "think alike" musically but almost have a weird telepathy when it comes to guitar playing and even writing as well!"
The Kosmic Messengers are: David Spencer (lead guitar, slide, steel guitar & dobro), Dan McCann (Bass guitar) and Kenn Furr (Drums and Percussion) and their presence can be felt in each track of Beautiful Dream, be it the dueling guitar harmonies on "Flying Blind" or "Just Don't Feel Like Love", the moody melodic bass on "Lazy Sunday" or the drumming bombast in the intro to "Better Things To Do" each member not only shines in their own light, but also compliments Gillam's vocals and Guitar playing as well as bring his brand of songwriting to life.
"Beautiful Dream is not just a collection of songs...well in some ways yes it is, but the 10 tracks (9 full songs, one instrumental) actually tell, albeit loosely, the story of a break up. In Gillam's own words;
"It's not so much of a concept album but more of a "quasi-concept' album" he says with a smile. "I know it sounds pretentious but hey, I'm an artist, it's allowed"
"I watched a friend go through a kind of sad divorce" Gillam says "I went through one myself although it was quite some time ago (Gillam is very happily married to his 2nd wife), and I know a bit of how he felt, from the initial utter disbelief ( Tell Me What You Want, Just Don't Feel Like Love), the finality of the divorce (Red Letter Day) to a lost weekend (Flying Blind, Lazy Sunday) and to the final resignation that it's over and the (maybe) the start of something new (All About Me, Better Things to Do, Sail Away)".
"There's even a cover of an old Eagles tune "Good Day in Hell" re-imagined by The Kosmic Messengers for good measure." Gillam says followed by one of his hearty laughs
Sonically Beautiful Dream has just the right amount the "70's bombast" Gillam has been associated with in the past without sounding like a"throw back" as well as some much deeper sonic experimentation thanks to co-producer Ron Flynt.
"Our goal was to create a sonic landscape that, on first listen, would seem normal but on repeated listens would bring out the subtleties and depth of the recording"
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 6min plus "Lazy Sunday" which incorporates not only a lyrical "beautiful dream" but a "dream like" mid section that will sweep the listener away to another world. "We pulled out all the stops on this collection, no idea seemed too far out to try and there was no other mission than to create the perfect listening experience, lyrically and sonically"
Three of the ten tracks on Beautiful dream were co-written with Guitarist David Spencer, something Gillam says we will see more of in the future. In Gillam's mind, the possibilities with The Kosmic Messengers are endless.Musically Gillam thinks there isn't anything Tom Gillam & the Kosmic Messengers couldn't tackle.
"I'm really proud of this band and this album and actually can't wait to record the next one!" For Tom Gillam, those ideas are already starting to take shape, for the rest of us we'll just have to wait.
* the track Flying Blind is currently a single on Texas Music Radio stations and will be nationwide soon. "Beautiful Dream" is available @ iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, and in Europe on Blue Rose Records. It is also available to stream @ Spotify!
(c) 2016 Radio Rodeo Music, Great Tone Records
Born in Southern NJ, Deptford to be exact, just across the bridge from Philadelphia, Tom Gillam spent his early years experimenting with a variety of musical muses and bands. In 1997 he released his first solo effort "First of All" a collection of roots based "country rock" songs inspired in part by his teenage love of the Southern California sound" of the early 70's. First of all although a mere glimpse into the music that would soon come to be Tom Gillam's "stock in trade", was a minor hit regionally in the NJ/PA/NY area.
After a bit of touring and critical acclaim he then released his 2nd CD and 1st national release "Dallas" that quickly entered him into the "Americana" brand of music spotlight.
His third release "Shake My Hand" brought rave reviews tons of radio airplay, a place in the top 5 of the Americana Radio Chart and a nod from the Americana Music Association's awards for "best emerging artist" in 2004.
More touring, this time not only nation wide but landing an opening slot on the European tour of friend Joseph Parsons whom Gillam would later collaborate in US Rails.
Gillam would parlay this oppourtunity into a record deal with Blue Rose Records of Germany and through his consistant touring, quite a large solo following as well.
Gillam's popularity in Europe is undeniable he tours as often as he can, sometimes twice a year, focusing mainly in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.
After the release of 2006's Never Look Back, feeling a growing kinship with the wonderful people and musician's of Texas, Tom and his wife Caroline relocated to sunny,"gawd awful hot in the summer" Austin TX where they now reside
Tom has released 9 LP's in all : First of All (1997) , Dallas (2001), Shake My Hand (2004), Never Look Back (2006), Play Loud Dig Deep Live (2008), Had Enough? (2009), Rustic Beauty (2010), Good For You (2012-13), Beautiful Dream (2016), & Better Than The Rest (European compilation of first 3 releases)
His music has been called "Bombastic" "Heartfelt" and " Slide Guitar driven" or as Grant Alden writing for" No Depression magazine" so aptly put "“The edgier side of Americana coupled with a healthy dose of 70’s guitar rock” . Gillam himself says "it's just what I do, I make no apologies" He tours regularly throughout the greater TX area, nationwide and in Europe yearly with Tom Gillam's Kosmic Messengers and also records and tours as part of the Singer/Songwriter collective known as US Rails.