Tom Maxwell | Somebody

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Pop/Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Tom Maxwell

Songwriter, singer, slide guitar player Tom Maxwell's bluesy roots are instantly recognizable, but his pop-oriented lyrical and melodic sensibilities coupled with soul-stained vocals bring something a bit different to the table.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I'm Ready Now
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3:53 $0.99
2. You Got Me Good
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4:11 $0.99
3. Baby, I Will
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2:46 $0.99
4. Just Gone
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3:28 $0.99
5. Up in the Air
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3:15 $0.99
6. Just Plain Bad
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4:03 $0.99
7. Don't You Know
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2:10 $0.99
8. I Gotta Know
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4:49 $0.99
9. Three
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5:09 $0.99
10. Somebody
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6:01 $0.99
11. I've Got Love
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3:50 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Like so many before him, Tom Maxwell got his hands on a guitar, fell in love with it, and was never the same again. But it wasn't until he wrote his first verses that he discovered his true passion - songwriting.

Tom started playing the guitar as a freshman in high school. Inspired by Jimmy Page and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Maxwell dove head first into the world of rock and blues. His father's love of music and virtuosity introduced Tom not only to the compositions of Mozart and Chopin, but to the bluegrass masters Monroe and Scruggs. He and his father, a mandolin and guitar player himself, attended local bluegrass jams, giving Tom his first real opportunity to make some music with others.

After high school, Maxwell enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College, which allowed him to stay in school and pursue his passion for music. There he met David Loving - the lead singer, rhythm guitar player, and songwriter of an indie rock band called Solace Sovay. He and Tom became friends and when Solace Sovay needed a new lead guitar player, Tom signed on as a member of the band. They worked together for a few months, but ended up going their separate ways in early 2009. Before long, Tom was frequenting the open mics and blues jams in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland, playing and gaining as much experience as he could. He caught the attention of the man who ran most of those jams, Steve 'Wolf' Crescenze, and was asked to join one of his projects called Hot Rods and Old Gas with guitarist and vocalist Andy Poxon, guitarist Zach Sweeney, and drummer Mike O' Donnell. As they started to gain a local following, they were joined by Lisa Lim, a front woman with a following of her own. Tom, Lisa, and Wolf started another group, separate from but associated with Hot Rods and Old Gas, called Over the Limit. After the departure of Andy, Zach, and Mike from Hot Rods and Old Gas, Over the Limit became Tom Maxwell's main project.

Around the middle of 2011, Tom realized that it was time to get serious and start to focus on creating an album of original music. As he envisioned, wrote, and arranged more and more songs, that album started to look more and more like a reality. The "Somebody" sessions took place in April, May, and June of 2012, with mixing completed in June and July. With "Somebody" now available, Tom Maxwell is more eager than ever to get out and make music that moves him and anybody listening. Tom Maxwell is all over the DC/MD/VA area, playing his original music or high-energy blues and roots rock with Over the Limit and Hot Rods and Old Gas.


to write a review

G.W. Hill

"Somebody" by Tom Maxwell
This is quite a strong release. In fact, it would be pretty difficult to find anything to fault here. The music is potent and all the performances are strong. The blend of musical styles presented is classic and yet fresh. It never seems redundant or slows down. T his will likely find its way into some “best of 2012” lists.

“I'm Ready Now” starts things in sort of a folk rock motif. The vocals, though, have a real passion to them and a little bit of a country edge. Overall, though, it’s a strong singer songwriter tune with plenty of folk in the mix. Comparisons to John Mellencamp would be somewhat warranted, but comparisons to Elvis Costello wouldn’t be out of the question, either. A couple slide guitar solos add more of that country charm to the piece.

With the next tune, “You Got Me Good” it’s more of a soulful alterative rock sound that’s on display. Still, there is plenty of folk in the arrangement, too. While the vocals were strong on the opener, they are much more poignant on the follow-up. It includes some great use of backing vocals and has a catchy hook. At some points in this tune, the arrangement leans towards jazz.

While the first two songs were based on acoustic guitar motifs, “Baby, I Will” brings it into electrified territory. It’s got an old time rock and roll musical element, right down to the guitar soloing. “Just Gone” overall is based in an acoustic guitar-driven, alternative pop rock meets folk and singer songwriter styles. Still, the slide guitar appearances bring more of that country element to the table. It’s another with a particularly noteworthy vocal arrangement.

There’s more energy to “Up in the Air,” but the arrangement is still dominated by acoustic guitar. There’s almost a Latin beat on the tune and the overall perception is something close to Elvis Costello. It’s another great change and while the overall musical concept fits with the rest of the set, it definitely brings some versatility to the set. It has another of those classic hooks and there are some jazzy changes. The electric guitar soloing on this is closer to jam bands like The Grateful Dead than any kind of country link. This is one of the highlights of the album.

Based on the particular mix of sounds here, blues seemed a turn the set was likely to take. “Just Plain Bad” delivers on the concept. It’s a slow, balladic blues tune and the vocals really steal the show. There is some country in the mix, but really the two musical styles share a lot of territory. With “Don't You Know” Maxwell revisits old time rock and roll and there’s some rockabilly in the mix.

There is some seriously funky bass driving “I Gotta Know.” The tune combines a classic jazz sound with some modern alternative rock and pop sound. It’s another that has some great hooks. It’s also a tune that brings some further variety to the set. There is some blues in the mix here, but then again, you can have blues without jazz, but you can’t have jazz without blues. The electric guitar solo is one of the best on the album. Acoustic and stripped down, “Three” is every bit as much jazz as the previous tune. Still it provides yet more variety to the CD while still feeling that it belongs quite well. It’s also one of the tastiest pieces presented here.

Folk music and alternative rock combine on the energetic, but acoustic based title track. It has one of the most effective vocal performances and (considering the rest of the stuff here) that says a lot. The instrumental section later (and also the recurring slide guitar) brings in some more of that country flavor. While alternative pop and folk rock dominate the disc’s closer, “I've Got Love,” guitar soloing showcases the country elements. The vocal performance is another that deserves particular notice and this is a great way to end the disc in style.

Maxwell is a master at his craft and this album is surely proof of that fact. It has a great flow and serves up plenty of variety and contrast. Yet, nothing is weak by any means. In addition, this is the kind of music that should appeal to a wide range of listeners.