After three previous recordings and a long career as a singer of traditional folk songs, Birch Beer Records is proud to introduce you to Tom Smith’s highly anticipated first studio recording of original songs, Journey Home – songs for today with a firm folk foundation. Tom’s singing is well supported on this album by his expert guitar and banjo playing. The tasteful addition of warm acoustic instruments (guitar, upright bass, violin, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, and clarinet), played by veteran musicians (Seth Connelly, Joyce Andersen, Eric Royer, Sean Staples, Billy Novick) and supporting vocals (Seth Connelly, Oen Kennedy, Mally Smith and Alle Santiago) provide the perfect setting for this great collection of original music. With the release of Journey Home, the rest of the world will enjoy songs that, until now, have touched only the lucky folks who have attended Tom’s shows at some of the best New England listening rooms and festivals.
About Tom Smith
Tom Smith’s songs are in turns humorous, touching, thought provoking, and inspiring. Deeply rooted in the old-school folk tradition, his timeless stories are told with a voice that is honest and sincere with melodies that you will remember forever. In the words of noted singer/songwriter Barbara Kessler, “Tom Smith will make you laugh and cry (maybe even in the same song) – a very captivating songwriter and performer.”
Tom grew up in rural Pennsylvania in a family where music was part of the fabric of everyday life. As a young man living at the epicenter of the folk-quake that was Cambridge, MA in the 1960’s, Tom solidified what has become a life-long love of self-made music. Now a folk veteran of over thirty-five years, Tom performs at festivals, coffeehouses, schools, and concerts throughout the Northeastern United States to audiences large and small, young and old.
Journey Home Patrons
This album has benefited from the generous financial support of the following wonderful people.
THANK YOU to Demi and Rob Ayres, Maggie Babb, Sally Baker, Krista Baroni, Elizabeth Bounds, Kimberly Boyd, Neal Braverman, Marc Bridge, John Bunce, Martha Burns, Adam Cardinal-Stakenas, Bettie and Ron Carlson, Kate Chadbourne, Dan and Kalina Cloutier, Alison and Jim Connolly, Christine Deblois, Pascal Desassis, Perry Desmond-Davies, Regina and Eric Dull, Walt Eldredge, Jane Ross Fallon, Lori Fassman, Nancy Faulkner, John Ferullo, Gail Finnie Rundlett, Jim Giddings, Laura Gold, Brendan Hogan, Heather and Doug Hsu, Merle Jacobs, Kim Jennings, Jean Kendall, Pat and Bob Kenneally, Trisha and Phil Knudsen, Randall and Pam Kromm, David Lawton, Leslie Lee and Steve Gretz, Mickey and Erica Levine, D Michael Loveridge, Carol and Robert McKinley, Danielle Miraglia, Marshall and Liz Neilson, Susan Noble, Deborah O’Hanlon and Peter Fischman, Junko Ogawa, Mary Jean and Phil Oman, Ursula and Tom Ostrom, Dennis Pearne, Carl Reed, Tim Riordan, Kelly Ryer, Faith and Dan Senie, Ellen and Allen Schmidt, Meghan Shea, Bethel Steele, Ann Steinberg, Allan Sylvester, Dan Tappan, Armen Varteressian, Carolyn Waters, Ted Wells, Jerilyn Willig
Comments from Reviewers and Listeners
Chosen by Wanda Fischer for the “Best of 2011” list for WAMC’s long running Hudson River Sampler program.
Bill Copeland, Bill Copeland Music News
“Tom Smith’s CD Journey Home offers emotional joy and solid craftsmanship. Smith has certainly come up with one of the strongest singer-songwriter CDs of 2011. Every word and feeling is a treasure and the song craft shows true mastery.”
Brian M. Owens, Metronome Magazine
“… a well produced and played jewel of an album.”
Peggy Seeger, performing songwriter
“Thank you for your CD, lots of good stuff there.”
“Tom is a New England folk veteran, delighting audiences for over 35 years. […] This latest album includes 13 songs, mostly by him, including the totally delightful and clever Lick My Face […] It bowled me over. You’ll have the same reaction. […] A fine album. Get it.”
Edie Carey, performing songwriter
“Just got finished listening to your CD. […] It’s just stunning. The writing is smart, thoughtful, heartfelt – and the production is pristine, warm, and so complementary to the songs.”
Susan Levine, performing songwriter
“Gorgeous-sounding & the songs are the folk tradition at it’s finest!”
Brendan Hogan, performing songwriter, radio host WUMB Boston, MA
“Congrats on the new CD. What a great [CD Release] show yesterday. I loved it. Wow.”
Deb O’Hanlon, singer
“Tom is right up there with the best of the best songwriters. His songs are genuine, honest, human, connecting.”
Patricia Nedder (a fan)
“The songs are amazing, squeezed from an honest heart full of simple, hard earned wisdom.”
“Poetic songs with a touch of humor and a powerfully positive philosophy about life and what we should take from it.”
Marc Bridge, performing songwriter
“Tom Smith is an American Folk Original. […] His timeless stories are told with a voice that is as honest and sincere as they come with melodies that you will remember forever.”
Kate Chadbourne, musician, singer, songwriter, story teller, poet, and Celtic scholar
“Your new CD is exquisite, heartfelt, beautifully conceived, performed and shared. You’ve assembled the most wonderful performers who all seemed to understand how to inhabit your songs so naturally that they seemed to have read your mind. […] It’s all woven together and coherent in sound and spirit.
But it’s the songs themselves that really stand out. I love the range and voice of this selection of songs. What they have in common, it seems to me, is interest in our shared human journeys and a generosity of soul I can hear on every track.
You’ve made a beautiful work of art! Hurray and Congratulations!”
Alice Noble Chmil, Purveyor of good taste
“Tom Smith: his folk songs are in turns funny, touching, thought provoking, and inspiring. His music is peaceful and beautiful. Listening to him play and sing is probably one of my very favorite pastimes in life. I am incredibly fortunate that he is my uncle so I get to hear him play frequently. [..] Do yourselves a favor and [get this album] so you can share the pleasure.”
John Fern, performing songwriter
“Although some of the music deals with the harsher realities of life, there is always an element of optimism in the songs, and I couldn’t help but feel uplifted at the close of each one. Not only because of Tom’s wit and humor, but also the positive feeling that comes through in every note he sings. I was also impressed with the wisdom in the lyrics and felt like I was getting a lot more out of each song than just great music.
Listening to “Journey Home”, not only made me want to aspire to be a better songwriter, it also made me want to be a better person. When it comes to the power of music, you can’t do any better than that.”
Jerry Rasmussen, Folk-Legacy Recording Artist
“I am thoroughly enjoying your new CD, Tom. I feel right at home, listening to it. The songs are warm and welcoming, and filled with kind sentiments. I will enjoy listening to it many, many times.”