Healing as I Tour
Thank you all so much for the kind and caring cards, letters and emails you sent me. They certainly have helped me heal. I was asked to write something about my forthcoming CD, Bloodlines. Here are the liner notes:
Forty years ago as of this writing, my brother Paul and I were in our late teens playing at the Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village, New York. We were in a band called, "The Raggamuffins." Often we opened the show for "Jimmy James and the Blue Flame." As most of you know, Jimmy James was Jimi Hendrix. The name "Jimmy James and The Blue Flame" was given to him by an ex-carnival barker named Tex Jones who booked the bands and thought the name would look better on the club marquee.
I remember the day Chas Chandler came to the club and talked Jimi into going to England. It was a great move for Jimi as he and the rest of his band were only making about 5 to 10 dollars a night each. Jimi went to England alone, put "The Experience" together and the rest is history.
That same summer, my brother-in-law, Vern Miller, was in a Boston based band called "The Remains" and they were one of the opening acts on the final Beatles tour of America, playing with them at huge venues like Shea Stadium and Candlestick Park.
I first met Vern in 1972 and he began dating my sister Susan. They got married and the rest is family. By the way, "The Remains" are back together doing European shows and working on a documentary. My brother Paul played bass with John Lee Hooker after the Raggamuffins broke up when he moved to California.
As I was writing the songs for this album, it dawned on me that we had never recorded a full CD before, though many times we jammed at family reunions or when we were together at holidays, my father Tony playing with us. And so this album
This is a collection of many styles of songs. Some will make you laugh, some will make you angry, some might give you courage
and hope, some might make you cry. There is no over-running "theme." Just lots of different moods and emotions. It's the way I write. I don't know how I'll be feeling or what I'll be thinking when I set a blank paper, pen and guitar in front of me every couple of days, my dog Lily sleeping at my feet.
Other family members who participated on this are Paul's new girlfriend, Marian, who he met a year after his cancer operation and close brush with death. Patty and Tony Sanders, my sister and brother-in-law, both of whom have had long careers in music in Florida and Texas. Because of the distance in geography I don't get to see them and their children Nicole and Holly enough--both of whom are also artists and so the genes carry on...
Let me tell you, due to the miracle of technology, tapes and CD files were flying all over the country to record this.
Also, Roland Mousaa-background vocal, a musician all his life who wrote "The Indian Prayer" with me and has been a close friend for 36 years. Brian Hollander, another friend for 30 years who played beautiful square neck resonator dobro. And a painting by my sister Susan, a wonderful painter who has a studio in New Jersey and also teaches art to many students and is beloved by all.
The most important things in life are health, family and friends. And this album reflects that. It is intentionally done with a raw, unpolished sound, as though it was done in a living room with everyone sitting around and playing together the way people used to before social conditioning and media distractions isolated us from one another. This is a special album to me.
Hope you like it! -Tom
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