Bill Toms And Hard Rain review….March 28, 2019…..

BILL TOMS AND HARD RAIN

FEATURING THE SOULVILLE HORNS

LIVE

TERRAPLANE RECORDS

WORKIN’ (INTRO BY ROB O’FRIEL)–I GOT NO USE FOR WHAT YOU’RE SELLING ME–YOUR LOVE IS GOOD FOR MY SOUL–THE BALLAD OF JIMMY JONES–DARKEST SIDE OF TOWN–PAYING THESE DUES–NOTHING LIKE MY BABY–DEVIL’S TRAIN–I WON’T GO TO MEMPHIS NO MORE–INTO THE STORM–I AIN’T WORRIED–SOMEBODY HELP ME–I’M SAD NO MORE

Bill Toms has been payin’ his dues for some thirty years, ever since he broke into this bidness as guitarist for Pittsburgh’s Joe Grushecky And The Houserockers waaayyy back in 1987.  His last album, “Good For My Soul,” from 2017, established him and his band, Hard Rain, as major players on the Americana/roots scene.  During the recording process for that record, Bill knew, deep down, that this was a group that did its best work in a live setting.  The result is their latest for Terraplane Records, aptly-titled, “Live,” from Pittsburgh’s famed Club Cafe on May 5, 2018.

Bill and the band, along with the Soulville Horns, start things off with an ode to the blue-collar folks in SteelTown, where they’re “Workin’ every day, workin’ every night, I’m workin.  A lover offering nothing but lies is the backbone of the STAX-worthy soul of “I Got No Use For What You’re Selling Me,” while Bill calls out for a “Wilson Pickett and a Sam and Dave groove,” on a tune that could well serve as Bill’s biography, the funky-up-to-your-neck, “Paying These Dues!”  A song inspired by true events surrounding the death of a Pittsburgh bank robber from 1911 and those last five minutes of his ill-fated life play out in the somber “Ballad Of Jimmy Jones,” while the set closes with a song that sounds just like any given Sunday at Freedom Baptist down in Dickson, TN, where there’s “no more cryin’, no more tears, I’m Sad No More,” featuring Wil Kondrich on guitar on this beautiful, spiritually-uplifting finale!

Bill Toms and Hard Rain, along with the Soulville Horns, know how to move an audience thru their strong performances.  They are, indeed, a band that are at their best when they are “Live!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: