Pittsburgh native Bill Toms is the reincarnate troubadour. His songs are stories he paints about the human condition, in all its frailty and triumph. He touches the listener’s soul, speaking the language of rhythm, blues, soul, and country, while offering a peek at the light. His gifts of music and storytelling, paired with his creative compulsion for songs that burrow deep into the soul, have his dedicated fans continually coming back for more.
Bill Toms' guitar skills were recognized early on.
He joined Pittsburgh”s legendary band, The Houserockers, as lead guitarist in 1987. The band’s meteoric rise into the professional music scene enabled Bill to tour the United States and Europe repeatedly. The Houserockers opened for and played with a long and impressive list of notables, such as The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
During his 19 years of playing guitar and singing back-up vocals for the Houserockers, Toms’ recorded six studio albums and one live concert album. In 1995, the acclaimed CD, “American Babylon,” was recorded and produced by Bruce Springsteen.
Even though playing with the Houserockers was a full time gig, Toms continued to pursue his own musical career. He formed his own band, Hard Rain, in 1997. His engaging style and gift for songwriting, combined with his consummate musicianship, evoke the deepest emotions from his listeners. His songs pay homage to the little guy, the dreamer in us all. He weaves tales about lovers, boxers and working stiffs, saints and sinners - the soul who sees the light but can't quite bask in its glow.
Ed Masley, of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette wrote in his October, 2005 review of Toms’ “The West End Kid”, "Bill Toms could have called Hard Rain's new album "Harder Rain," kicking it off as he does with a street-tough bar-rock anthem fueled by Joffo Simmons' pounding Motor City beat, a fierce garage-rock riff on distorted electric guitar and Toms' impassioned vocals growling out the story of a faded boxing champ getting drunk at the neighborhood bar."
Bill Toms’ solo performances have taken him all over the United States and Europe. His Italian and Spanish tours bring out his old fans and consistently draw many new ones, as they are usually sold out and return bookings are scheduled. Some of the headline artists Bill has opened for include Marshall Crenshaw, The Kennedys, Steve Forbert, and Ellis Paul.
In addition to his four studio CD's and one EP, he has a new CD/DVD scheduled for release in April 2008.