‘BOOM!’ IS HERE!
The new album by Tom Hambridge. See the reviews below!
Purchase “BOOM!” on EBAY. Click on the icon below:
There’s one thing for sure. After you listen to this album, I double dawg dare you not to smile. It can’t be done. Nashville tunesmith Tom Hambridge enjoys what he does, and it shows very well on this collection.
In some cases, Hambridge is an out-and-out Southern Rocker, as shown on potent cuts like “Two Thumbs Up,” “The Pistol,” and “Things I Miss The Most,” which have that bad-boy attitude down pat – even though the latter is a straight ahead tear jerker about what one misses on the road.
There is also a spirited version of “I Got Your Country Right Here,” a song that did well for Gretchen Wilson as of late. As a songwriter, Hambridge does a great job as well. The opener, “I Keep Things,” is a very clever tune, and “The Best In Me” also covers the musical and lyrical bases rather effectively.
All in all, there’s a little something for everyone here, even an instrumental, “Bangin’ Around,” where he shows another side of his talent. So, go ahead, take a listen, I can guarantee you will have forgotten your troubles after listening to this one! One of the more entertaining discs of the year, no doubt!
I have a new travel companion. Tom Hambridge’s new album, Boom, has been in heavy rotation on my car stereo system. It is the type of pulse pounding blues/rock, with a touch of country here and there, that is perfect company for honking down the highway on a summer’s day.
Hambridge is probably best known as a producer, songwriter, session singer, and drummer. He has produced albums by such luminaries as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, George Thorogood, and Susan Tedeschi. He has been nominated for four Grammy Awards and won for his production of Buddy Guy’s Living Proof CD in the Best Contemporary Blues Album Category.
He has also carved out a nice solo career for himself. Boom is his sixth album release and he is currently playing the music on the road as the opening act for George Thorogood and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The album contains slick and well-polished music, as Hambridge is an accomplished vocalist and songwriter. He wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks in addition to self-producing the release. As a drummer, he needed to attract good musicians to compliment his playing and vision during the recording process. The main backing musicians are electric guitarist Rob McNelly, who shines throughout the album, bassist Tommy MacDonald, and keyboardist Kevin McKendree.
The music primarily treads the line between in your face rock and blues, although he does travel in other directions once in a while. He has the knack of writing melodic music that flows well, despite the pounding of the rhythms. His drumming is always very present but he is experienced and wise enough not to let it overwhelm the rest of the instruments that surround it.
The music, for the most part, rotates between hard rock and blues. “I Keep Things” is a melodic and powerful up-tempo opening track. The clever lyrics tell the stories of the things we keep, which evoke memories. “Upside Of Lonely” and “Nine Pound Hammer” are both pulsating blues rockers. “Never Gonna Change” is a hard blues piece in the George Thorogood tradition. “Two Thumbs Up” is just good old rock ‘n’ roll.
Several country-type tracks provide a nice counterpoint to the rest of the material. “The Best In Me,” ”I Got Your Country Right Here,” and “Things I Miss The Most” come with an occasional slide guitar and a different tempo.
One track I have returned to a number of times is the instrumental, “Bangin’ Around.” It can best be described as a barrelhouse rock tune, complete with some creative piano runs.
Tom Hambridge has created an entertaining album of catchy rock, blues, and even country. It is the type of album that could bring him the commercial breakthrough and acclaim similar to what he has received as a songwriter and producer.
“Roots rock is the new country and ex-Bostonian Tom Hambridge is the style’s current MVP. That’s a role he played for years in Beanburg, leading the redoubtable bar band T.H. & the Wreckage and playing drums for legends like Chuck Berry and Roy Buchanan. But after producing Susan Tedeschi’s Grammy-nominated Just Won’t Burn, he skedaddled to Nashville and raised the ante by climbing up the Americana charts with his solo discs, winning Grammies with Buddy Guy and co-writing massive hits for Keith Anderson, Gretchen Wilson, and other mainstream sharpies. On Boom!, Hambridge pokes every corner of his roots, rock, and blues bag, nailing down grinders like the six-string slider ‘Never Gonna Change’ and the clever heartbreaker ‘Upside of Lonely’ with the help of ringers from Delbert McClinton’s versatile band. He also reclaims the stinger ‘I Got Your Country Right Here,’ which was a hit for Wilson. His voice has grown some growl and sprung a drawl, but both suit him well as he delivers these roadhouse anthems with double-shots of conviction.” – Ted Drozdowski, Boston Phoenix
Click on the icon below to read this review at American Blues Review:
Tom Hambridge may not be a household name, but he sure has produced several. Hambridge produced Buddy Guy’s latest album, Living Proof, which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2010. He also wrote the title track, which won Song of the Year. This year Hambridge produced George Thorogood’s new CD, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and 12-year-old guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan’s debut album. It is safe to say Hambridge is one of the hottest producer’s in blues rock right now.
Boom! is the latest solo album from Hambridge and definitely brings a country style approach to blues rock. The album starts off with “I Keep Things,” a radio friendly country rocker and moves into the bluesy “Upside of Lonely.” The album is good mix of country and blues tunes. Boom! also features the song “I Got Your Country Right Here.” Hambridge wrote the song originally for Gretchen Wilson and her version debuted at #6 on the U.S. Billboard Country Album charts.
Tom Hambridge has proven himself for many years as a fantastic producer, song writer, and musician. On Boom! Hambridge not only provides vocals, and wrote the majority of the songs, but he’s on the drums as well and produced the album. Tom Hambridge has been known for making others look good, well he’s not so bad himself.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– I Keep Things
– The Best In Me
– Things I Miss The Most
The Big Hit
– I Keep Things
It just might be true that the best rock n roll music today is coming out of Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music.Tom Hambridge’s new CD, Boom, out on Tuesday, August 30th makes a convincing argument for the truth to that statement.
Boom show cases Tom in all his disguises; first call studio drummer, outstanding vocalist, Grammy® Award-Winning Producer, ASCAP Award winning singer/songwriter, and Blues Music Award winner on multiple occasions. This is roots rock at it’s best, with it’s feet firmly spread all over the musical map of influence; blues, 60’s rock n roll, country, southern rock, and folk.
There are two, if not more tunes on this outstanding album that are ready made to rule the charts for weeks. First, Upside of Lonely, penned by Tom along with Gary Nicholson opens with a simple but infectious bass line reminiscent of Alannah Myles’ Black Velvet. Bass man, and fellow Berklee School Of Music alum, Tommy MacDonald lays down the bottom end throughout the CD with a quiet authority that makes this fellow bass player envious. And the guitar work of the prolific Rob McNelley (he plays guitar on a bunch of my favorite albums lately, and is on the new Shane Dwight CD as well as usually found accompanying Delbert McClinton) . Rob’s guitar work is the perfect yang to Tom’s spicy drums and voice.
My other favorite is Two Thumbs Up, which sounds like it was lifted from a 60’s rave up, despite the bluesy lyric. Kevin McKendree’s on keys shines in the accompaniment. I wanted to get up and dance and flirt and howl at the moon.
Other favorites are Nine Pound Hammer, The Pistol, and I Got Your Country Right Here as well as the instrumental, Bangin’ Around which not only show cases Tom’s skills on the drums, but in typical fashion for Tom, isn’t JUST a drum solo, with parts written for the other band members with particularly nice piano work.
Superstar Records is supporting the release of this great CD with an extensive tour, which is already under way. The next event will be held in Nashville at The Bluebird Café on September 6. It’s planned to feature many of the top artists and songwriters that Tom has successfully partnered with over the years to write and produce Grammy™ nominated and hit songs and albums.
In addition to his CD release showcases, Hambridge is set to open a number of tour dates in July and August with good friends Lynyrd Skynyrd and, in September/October, with George Thorogood. Hambridge produced the new Thorogood CD, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, a tribute to the iconic Chess Records catalog, released in July from Capitol/EMI Records.
Busy as he is, producer, songwriter, session singer and drummer Hambridge finds time to pull out all the stops for his sixth solo album: a fresh batch of original blues- and country-rock numbers of a caliber that’s hard to come by these days.
His production and/or songwriting services have been enlisted by performers such as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, George Thorogood and Susan Tedeschi. He picked up a Grammy this year for Guy’s “Living Proof” album, and Thorogood’s “2120 South Michigan Avenue” recently debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s blues chart. If that’s not enough, he’s on tour this summer opening for Thorogood and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
With backup musicians including members of Delbert McClinton’s band, Hambridge cranks out feel-good tunes (“Two Thumbs Up,” “Bangin’ Around”), rockers (“Nine Pound Hammer,” “The Pistol”), blues (“Upside of Lonely,” “Never Gonna Change”) and country (“I Keep Things,” “The Best in Me”). He even covers three of his own songs: the Gretchen Wilson hit “I Got Your Country Right Here”; a song recorded by and written with McClinton, “I Had a Real Good Time”; and “Things I Miss the Most,” recorded by Van Zant.
There’s plenty of electric and slide guitars, with organ and barrelhouse piano thrown in now and then. Hambridge’s remarkable drumming never overpowers; his vocals are easy on the ears; and his lyrics are slice-of-life, no-bullshit observations with just the right touch of humor.
The other night, a trio of drummers gathered at my brother-in-law’s house to check out each other’s chops by playing along with our favorite CDs. I took along Boom! by Tom Hambridge. “Oh not the blues again,” my brother-in-law complained. “The same old boring drum parts.”
What my relative didn’t know was that Hambridge is not only a blues singer and songwriter, he’s the drummer for his band. As a result, Hambridge is not out to bore himself nor his audience. From start to finish on this rather short set, Boom! is driving rock, blues, blues-rock, and a touch of country. There’s nary a ballad or pensive love song on it. It’s the sort of album you want when you’re needing some tasty, jumping energetic music with serious players showing us all how it’s done.
Over the years, Hambridge has built a heck of a track record. A multiple Grammy nominee, he’s produced discs for the likes of Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, and George Thorogood. On Boom!, he produced, wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks, sang lead and, not surprisingly, put his drums center-stage. Of course, the band he’s working with is far from hidden in the shadows. Players include Delbert McClinton band members Rob McNelley (guitar) and Kevin McKendree (keyboards). Mark Jordan also spends time on piano, Kenny Greenburg on guitar, and both Michael Rhodes and Tommy McDonald on bass. Writing collaborators included Gary Nicholson, Delbert McClinton, Jeffrey Steele and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant. This year, Hambridge has been touring with both Skynyrd and Thorogood which should say something about the contemporary flavor of the blues he plays.
The good times roll on Boom! Beginning with the first track, “I Keep Things,” and continue with “Two Thumbs Up,” “Nine Pound Hammer,” and “The Pistol.” Hambridge gets autobiographical with “Never Gonna Change” and the country-fried confession, “The Best In Me.” As all of the songs are less than five minutes, the instrumental jumper “Bangin’ Around” is the only track where the band has fun doing just what the title implies. Then, Hambridge and Co. go Nashville to the end with “I Got Your Country Right Here,” “Things I Miss the Most,” and “I Had a Real Good Time.”
The last song title sums it all up—Hambridge is here to entertain you and hopefully get your body moving. You don’t have to be a drummer to join in! It’s the sort of album you can play for any gathering as Hambridge knows how to make the blues come alive for everyone—even my grumpy brother-in-law.
Available from CD Baby
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Why Tom Hambridge is so favored by such figures as Johnny Van Zant and Delbert McClinton is plainly evident in Boom!, as this disc loudly shouts “Nashville” from every cut, from the radio anthemic opener, I Keep Things, to the Mississipi sass of The Upside of Lonely, a jilted male’s appraisal of being slovenly, testosteronic, and unchained. As more than one of us has found out after X amount of failed amours, there are indeed benefits to the singleton gig…at least until a certain anatomical region starts in again and says “Hey! Time to go out and make another mistake!”. And, yes, this cut struts like a tomcat prowling the lower East side on an emancipated Saturday night.
Hambridge is a bit of an oddity, a record producer who’s also a gin-yoo-wine muso and can stand on the stage with the pros, giving them what-fer while grinnin’ from ear to ear. Having produced Buddy Guy and Georgie Thorogood, the gent has little he needs to prove, and possessing a smart-ass psychology and roustabout attitude not all that far from Warren Zevon’s doesn’t hurt either. Sly humor abounds, and I guarantee you’ve never heard a start-up to a song quite like Nine Pound Hammer‘s. I nearly snorted bourbon out my nose as the cut cranked in, so bizarrely twisted is it. The rest of the song fits its genesis like a torn bejeweled glove, too: strange, quirky, and appropriate. In the 70s, this track alone would’ve had us running to the record shop to nab the single.
‘N ya better feel like getting toasty and shit-kicking for this one, pilgrims. Too bad Hambridge never cut a disc for the old J. Geils Band, ’cause that would’ve been one hellacious affair. Oh, ya liked J.Geils? Well, sure, so did I, kinda, but when I was plunking their slabs on the plattern, Boom! was what I really wanted. No shit, Bubba, this disc alone walks all over Petey Wolf ‘n da boyz. Had those 70s bastards composed and played like this, I woulda been all over ’em like white on rice. I mean, catch Rob McNelly’s nasty-sloppy riffs on The Pistol and you can put most of the Geils catalogue back in the LP stack. In fact, the more I listen to this CD, the more I’m convinced Hambridge is the new Zevon, grittier and funkier, but a cat after the dear departed’s heart.
Music coverage for eclectic tastes
KEEPING THINGS ORGANIZED – Tom Hambridge carves out time to make a solo album
The thought of taking two days off sure sounded good to songwriter/producer/drummer Tom Hambridge.
He had been working nonstop, putting the finishing touches on George Thorogood‘s 2120 South Michigan Ave. Up next on his schedule was recording an album with Joe Louis Walker.
But instead of taking a break for two days, Hambridge decided to use that time to record and mix an entire album of his own.
The result is Boom!, which was released in August on Superstar Records. The 11-track album is a mix of the familiar and the fresh: songs Hambridge had a hand in writing that had already been recorded by other artists, such as “I Had a Real Good Time” (Delbert McClinton) and “I Got Your Country Right Here” (Gretchen Wilson), plus material he wrote specifically for this project.
“I remember the night before the first session I wrote ‘I Keep Things’ — about two in the morning before the first session — and also ‘Nine Pound Hammer,’ ” Hambridge recalls. “[Because of my schedule], I don’t have all this extra time to prepare … I think sometimes you get a little spark of energy when you put yourself under the gun like that.”
Whether for himself or other artists, writing songs on short notice is nothing new for Hambridge, who prefers to enter a recording studio armed with, as he puts it, “a lot of bullets in the gun.”
“We’re going to know exactly what we got going in,” he says, “and if we don’t have the best album that you can possibly make, we’re just going to write more songs.”
That’s exactly what happened during the sessions for Buddy Guy‘s Living Proof, which Hambridge produced. They co-wrote “Skanky” the night before it was recorded, Hambridge says, and “Let the Doorknob Hit Ya” was composed in the studio.
Hambridge will spend two solid weeks out of the studio this fall as the opening act for Thorogood. For his 2120 South Michigan Ave. album, Thorogood recorded a version of “Let It Rock,” a Chuck Berry song. Coincidentally, Hambridge was a semi-regular concert drummer for the mercurial Rock and Roll Hall of Famer over a period of about 10 years.
“It was always a gas, and I learned a lot from him,” Hambridge says ofBerry. “We did sit backstage and talk, and there were situations where he wouldn’t talk to anyone at the venue but me. … He had a weird way of doing stuff sometimes, but there’s nothing like playing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ or ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ onstage in front of thousands of people with Chuck Berry.”
— By Chris M. Junior
THE BLUES BLOG
By A.J. Wachtel
This is a very good Power-Pop cd with loud guitars, passionate vocals and songs with a hard-driving beat. T.H. wrote or co-wrote all of the album’s 11 tracks that showcase both his great song-writing abilities and his Blues, Rock and Country influences. Make no mistake this is a very autobiographical project and some of the best tunes are collaborations with notable notables Delbert McClinton and Lynyrd Skynyrds’ Johnny Van Zant. My favorites: “Two Thumbs Up” : Chuck Berry on steroids. Dueling guitars and a song about chicks. “Bangin Around”, the only instrumental; a shuffle with ominous guitars, great bar-room piano and fantastic Hambridge drums. “I Had A Real Good Time”, co-written by McClinton, is a great Southern Rock romp. I love it ! “Things I Miss The Most” opens with a nice country feel with beautiful harmonies but ends up rocking harder than one would expect from the Southern States. This was originally a Top 100 Billboard Country hit recorded by Donnie and Johnny Van Zant, who also co-wrote the melody with T.H. And the band captures these different moods perfectly: Rob McNelley on guitars, long-time band-mate Tommy MacDonald on bass and Kevin McKendree on keys provide the spark that lights the fire. More good music from Tom Hambridge.
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