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by Tom Stevens

Rootsy pop/rock Americana with some psychedelic touches from Long Ryders bassist Tom Stevens.
Genre: meta id="cphContent_metaGenre" itemprop="genre" content="Rock">Rock: Psychedelic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ghost Train
3:36 album only
2. Belladonna
3:21 album only
3. In The Basement
3:18 album only
4. I Don't Know
3:33 album only
5. Death Wish
4:08 album only
6. Flame Turns To Blue
2:26 album only
7. Tornado
4:10 album only
8. Away From The Great Cold City
5:59 album only
9. Home
4:20 album only
10. Flying Out Of London In The Rain
4:44 album only
11. Weekendland
3:19 album only


Album Notes
During his long and prolific musical career, Tom Stevens has recorded over a dozen albums, both solo and with Magi, The Long Ryders, Danny & Dusty, Chris Cacavas and Junk Yard Love and Jack Waterson. As a solo artist his blistering guitar playing and depth of songwriting speak volumes, both on stage and in the studio on Stevens' three solo albums: Another Room, Points Revisited, and his latest release, Home.

While still a teenager in Indiana, infatuated with 60s garage and hard-edged rock and roll, he joined regional heroes Magi, a dual-guitar, kick-ass rock and roll band. When Magi packed their gear and moved west to Los Angeles, they found their angle had gone out of style, replaced by the vibrant punk energy of Black Flag and X. As other band members moved home, Stevens stayed in Hollywood, absorbing the raw sounds and urban sensibilities of the L.A. musical landscape. It was during this period that Tom first began
seriously writing songs.

Taking a cue from the thriving DIY punk scene around him, with the help of some friends, he took those songs and produced a six-song EP on Pulse Records, 1982's Points of View, which eventually sold out its original pressing and started him on a solo career. This was quickly side-tracked as a fateful series of events one day led him to join the soon to be acclaimed roots-rock godfathers, The Long Ryders, in late 1983.

During his 3-1/2 years as a Long Ryder, Stevens saw the release of three albums - Native Sons, State of Our Union, and Two Fisted Tales (the latter two on Island Records) - all featuring Stevens-penned songs - as well as lengthy worldwide tours, many international magazine covers, a UK top 40 hit ("Looking For Lewis & Clark"), long runs on European and U.S music charts, and several live TV appearances.

Stevens was also a member of the legendary Danny & Dusty, whose album The Lost Weekend made the year-end top ten best albums list in the New York Times. Additionally, he performed as stand-up bassist with Gene Clark of The Byrds on some of his final live L.A. performances.

Roots-rock has been done to death this decade, but you’d be hard pressed to find it done harder/better. For starters, Stevens helped instigate its original ‘80s resurgence with L.A.’s Long Ryders, just part of a 31-year recording career dating to 1976’s Maji. And Home hits like the best Long Ryders—think “Still Get By”—with shades of Gram Parsons, Buffalo Springfield, 1966 George Harrison, and especially Gene Clark. If anyone knows Clark, it’s Stevens, having backed him on bass before the Byrds legend’s death in 1991. (Clark also cameo’d with Long Ryders on 1984’s Native Sons.) The exuberant Home is 10 parts “So You Say You Lost Your Baby” and “Elevator Operator” (“Home”) and two parts “Why Not Your Baby,” the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” and Procol Harem’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” (“Flying Out of London in the Rain”). Despite playing all instruments in his home basement studio in Indiana (from “Belladonna,” he’d clearly tired of Hollyweird values!), there isn’t one under-considered, underplayed, or under-written second on his first new album in 12 years. All four Long Ryders reunited for a 2004 tour of the U.K. and Spain, but from this, they couldn’t have a better co-headliner than their own bassist.
-The Big Takeover

Sightings of Tom Stevens on any horizon have been rare these last ten years. The splendid Another Room surfaced in the mid-90s and was followed shortly by the retrospective collection Points Revisited, but then, apart from postings on the Paisley Pop list and an intermittent advert running in No Depression, it was silence.

That silence was broken in 2004 when the classic line-up of the Long Ryders toured Europe and kicked ass. But for whatever reason that stayed a one-off, and Tom returned to his family in Iowa. Something however had stirred and [he's now released]...his first album for the new millennium.

It's called Home because that's where it was made and that's where it comes from. It's self-recorded and almost absolutely solo; daughter Sarah plays violin and sings on a couple of tracks and "Uncle John" Potthast adds banjo and Fender Bender on another but the rest is Tom. And he's come up with a stunner, a stone classic. With its mix of LA folk-pop, psychedelia, and a little bit of country, you could call it a paisley potpourri.

"Ghost Train" starts things off mightily with a drench of reverb and echoing guitars shimmering boldly with a phantom jangle beneath. Then comes the chunkily Pettyish "Belladonna" followed on by the country-hued Dillard & Clark-esque "In The Basement", on which Potthast guests.

Some darker tones surface in "Death Wish" and "Flame Turns To Blue", being songs about passing and loss, though they can't help but retain the vivacity of the rest of the album. Next up is "Away From The Great Cold City", by some stretch the longest song here; at times reminiscent of Beatle George by way of the Chamber Strings, across its length it demonstrates a marvellous palette of arresting guitar play.

The triumphant title track, the keening "Flying Out Of London In The Rain", and "Weekendland" finish up the collection. "Weekendland" is like the Beatles playing country with Costello singing, while "Flying Out Of London In The Rain" is a road song with a certain kinship, through subject, to "Eight Miles High". About the bitter-sweet jadedness that tends to surface on the flight home it's plaintive and true; lines like "stuff my soul in the overhead" and its lovely female vocals mean it's probably the standout of the many good things here.

For this is an assured and mature collection of performances of fine songs. It retains freshness over many hearings combining the thrill of recognition with a hardly-diminishing sense of surprise and wonder. Tom has allowed himself free rein, but seemingly as a consequence of his own enthusiasm and excitement about the music he's making. And the result is a real pleasure.
-Bucketful of Brains (UK)

Tom Stevens has not released an album of solo stuff for 12 years and the songs on this album come from a period between 2003 and 2005 so there should be a sense of considered patient tunesmithery – not a bit of it!

The tunes leap from the grooves with an immediacy that belies the gestation . The opener Ghost Train is dripping with reverb and a sense of bands past , In The Basement recalls the Byrds and Green on Red with its country strut (as you would expect of a Gene Clark/ Chris Cacavas former sideman), I Don’t Know is a spiky new wave pop song with its roots in a garage in Austin.

The cd seems to be flying along in a merry but slightly lack lustre fashion. There is a sense so far, that these are songs that you would expect to hear of someone of Steven’s pedigree but that nothing flags this effort up as anything other than an accomplished cd of reasonable songs.

Death Wish changes that – multi layered guitars, vocals with a bite and a sneer and a tune that lifts the whole shebang out of the average, similarly Tornado – a full on rocker with squealing guitars and atmospheric vocals. That’s better.

The title track brings in a viola but doesn’t descend into mawkishness as it rattles out its autobiographical path with the now standard guitar sound.
This is a CD of energy and commitment and does rewards repeated listens – it is not a classic but will be loved by many for its passion and honest feel.

Being a huge fan of everything out of the Paisley Underground from the bottom and up, there's simply nothing about this Tom Stevens record I don't like. Here's a man with both feet firmly planted on the floors of the music clubs in LA and a twangy Telecaster strapped around his neck.

His new collection of new songs is the first since 1995's Another Room, but he's for certain spent his time well at crafting jangling good tunes and tuning his guitar to the beautiful dirt in the back of his amp. The drive and jangling of "Flame Turns To Blue" reminisces of both Byrds and Big Star, while "Tornado" sounds almost like the perfect blend between Green On Red and Dream Syndicate. Almost, because it's still significant.

There's a whole lot of Elvis Costello, both vocally and in the writing, mixed with the best side of Tom Petty - yet all of these references don't really mean a thing when you turn it up and tune in.
-Anders Svendsen, Luna Kafe



to write a review


Great music - lots of variety
I love the CD and have been listening to it on my commute - great driving music. Tom Stevens is a seasoned musician and it shows in the music he has written. Unlike the store purchased CD I recently bought by a fairly new musical group (top 40), the songs on the CD are all very different and have a unique sound. Thanks for a great musical experience!