Tom Pacheco | There Was a Time

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Bob Dylan Pete Seeger Tom Paxton

Album Links
Appleseed Recordings website

More Artists From
United States - NY - Upstate NY

Other Genres You Will Love
Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Political Moods: Solo Male Artist
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

There Was a Time

by Tom Pacheco

“Tom Pacheco has time and its passage on his mind. It's a theme that plays out as an uncommonly graceful meditation, with arrangements to match, on the latest album by the veteran folk singer.” – Philadelphia Sunday Inquirer
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Indian Prayer (The Land I Love)
5:27 album only
2. If I Could Come Back
4:15 album only
3. Broken Piano
5:52 album only
4. Butterfly
7:12 album only
5. What About Us
4:35 album only
6. There Was a Time
4:54 album only
7. Provincetown
6:34 album only
8. What We Left Behind
3:46 album only
9. Heroes
5:44 album only
10. Saint Christopher and the Cornfield
5:46 album only
11. You Will Never Be Afraid Again
4:39 album only


Album Notes
Veteran singer-songwriter Tom Pacheco wears his world on his sleeve. In a career spanning more than 35 years, over a dozen albums and 2500 original songs, Pacheco has addressed social and political issues, depicted a gallery of real and imagined characters from the past, present and future, and created a living treasury of unforgettable images. On "There Was a Time," Tom's twelfth solo album and first American release in six years, he adds still more memorable people, places and events to his songbook, but it's a darker world that he describes.

Despite an avowed dislike of nostalgia, the death of his mother, serious illness of his father, and loss of three friends in the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11 plunged Pacheco into a period of uncertainty and reflection about the passing of time - many of the songs on "There Was a Time" take stock of what's vanished from Tom's and our world and what needs to be recalled and reclaimed.

The songs on this CD express anger, irony and regret at corporate greed ("What About Us"), the betrayal or failure of the American Dream ("There Was a Time," "Indian Prayer," "What We Left Behind," "Saint Christopher and the Cornfield"), and personal loss ("Provincetown," "If I Could Come Back"). But, as Tom writes in the liner notes, "there are still glimmerings of hope and spiritual resurrection" in these and other songs. He honors the brave and inspirational chance-takers among us - "Butterfly" is a tribute to Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who took up residence in a California redwood tree to save the surrounding forest from a lumber company; "Heroes" thanks our professional guardians and their unpaid everyday counterparts called to greatness by emergencies such as 9/11, and the CD ends with the exhortation and challenge, "You Will Never Be Afraid Again."

Pacheco's stoic, understated baritone and guitar playing are embedded in a warm musical backdrop provided by noted producer/bassist Scott Petito, guitarist Jim Weider and Rick Bell (both latter-day members of The Band), renowned fiddler Jay Ungar, Norwegian country music star and longtime Pacheco collaborator Steinar Albrigtsen on guitar, and special guest Pete Seeger on banjo.

This is a folk album in the best sense, transcending time even while describing the topical and painting mental pictures that will not fade.


He's been recording since 1965. Some of his 2500+ original songs have been covered by Jefferson Starship, Richie Havens, The Band, and Rick Danko. He's written a series of Number 1 hits for Norwegian country star Steinar Albrigtsen. He was dubbed "one of America's greatest songwriting treasures" by the Folkwax e-zine, and England's fRoots (Folk Roots) magazine raved, "If anyone deserves to be mentioned in the same hushed tones of reverence as John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Russell, Guy Clark, and Steve Earle, it is he." But in a lengthy recent feature article about him, Dirty Linen magazine all too aptly described Tom Pacheco as "The Lost American Songwriter."

In great part, Tom's refusal to play kowtow to record label politics and to tailor his music to industry fads has led to his status as "The Outsider" (ironically, the title of his 1976 RCA album, which was so hamstrung by the label's censorship that he left the music business for more than a year).

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1946, Pacheco was learning to play guitar by the time he was ten. Before he was 20, Tom had released the first of his twelve solo records and had moved to Greenwich Village, where he performed as a solo act before forming The Ragamuffins, a folk-rock group that cut two singles and frequently opened for Jimmy James (later Jimi Hendrix) in Village clubs.

When The Ragamuffins broke up, Tom and fellow bandmember Sharon Alexander formed Euphoria, an acoustic quartet whose recordings were mutilated by record company overdubs - Tom's first of many encounters with the industry's corporate
priorities. After cutting a duo album for Columbia, Tom and Sharon separated, and Tom resumed his solo career, taught guitar and occasionally toured upstate New York and New England.

In 1974, the Jefferson Starship recorded Tom's "All Fly Away" for their Dragonfly album. That same year, Richie Havens recorded "Indian Prayer," cowritten by Tom and Comanche performer Roland Moussaa, for his "Mixed Bag II" album.

Halfway through the '70s, Pacheco signed a recording contract with RCA, which released two of his albums in 1976. Concerned with the controversial nature of some of Tom's material, RCA omitted various songs from the spiritually inclined "The Outsider," and Tom temporarily retired to Woodstock in disgust.

Tom spent the next decade leading the Tom Pacheco Band (a.k.a. The Hellhounds) through a blur of roadhouses from New York State to Texas and back. Tired of the touring grind, Tom moved to Nashville in 1986 to become a non-performing songwriter but was predictably appalled at the assembly-line nature of the town's song factories.

Within a year, Tom followed a friend's invitation to visit him in Dublin, and a six-week visit became a decade-long stay in Ireland. Signed to a trustworthy label and supportive management, Tom used Ireland as his home and touring base for forays around the U.K., Germany, Holland, and Norway (and the occasional return to the US for performances and some recording sessions). On one Norwegian tour, Tom encountered the country's reigning country music star, Steinar Albrigtsen, and their association would lead to six Pacheco-penned Top 5 Norwegian singles for Albrigtsen and a periodic partnership that has yielded two duo albums to date.

In 1994, Pacheco signed with Scandinavia's Sonet label, and a re-recorded version of one of his older songs became his own Top 5 hit in Norway. He returned to Woodstock in late 1996 to record the "Woodstock Winter" album with The Band's post-Robbie Robertson lineup and guest John Sebastian as backing musicians; the record was Tom's first US release in 21 years and, true to form, was soon squelched by industry politics. After another 16 months back in Ireland, Tom relocated to Woodstock, continuing to write songs and release albums on foreign labels. In 2002, Pacheco found a home with the Appleseed label and recorded "There Was a Time."



to write a review


A Warm Voice Singing Emotionally Driven Songs
Tom Pacheco's voice singing emotionally driven songs envelopes the listener. Everyone will have favorite songs from, There Was a Time. Provincetown is a superb story song that touches the heart. If I Could Come Back paints the picture of mortality. The song Heros is a catharsis for today's times. The last song on the CD You Will Never Be Afraid Again counsels the listener of a beneficial outlook to live in these challenging times. There is many a gem on this CD.


An amazing collection of songs
An amazing collection of songs that leaves no part of the soul untouched. The words are filled with passion and many brought tears to my eye. Indian Prayer is haunting and beautiful.


We first heard "There was a Time" performed by Tom on FSTV right before elections and it sent chills down my spine and brought tears to my eyes. That song just says it all but unfortunately not enough people see it.

Ian Doran

Music for the heart
Tom's songs on this collection hit you where you live in terms you relate directly to. He's a good friend you never realised you had. An elder brother passing on lessons learned so you will be wise to the world. This is the album that should have made Tom a household name but it's a funny world. Songs of humanity , of struggle , of wonder , of remembrances of days past , of hope for the future , of substance, of joy , of morality and mortality. I particularly recommend St Christopher And The Cornfield, Provincetown, Indian Prayer and the title track but there are no weak songs here as his many fans will ably confirm. Do yourself a big favour ....turn off the TV ...and let this album talk to you about the real world. Play it in your car. Give it to your friends when they think nobody's making great music anymore......

Gerry Ewen

Picken up where Rick left off
I know as do all of you , that there can never be another Rick Danko . But his Spirit is very evident and present in this CD . We now have some where to go to here REAL music . Real North East Music . I know that Tom has been around for a long time . But man, he just keeps talken to us in our own tongue . I thought that we may have lost real music but Tom doesn’t by that . I walk down my dirt road in NH and expect to see him on any Corner . There was a time is the CD for any human with feelings or loss or gain. Clearly we are not alone , Clearly we have a friend , Clearly this CD was made for us . Thank You Tom