He Croons-They Swoon
Published Tuesday December 21, 2010
Slice: He croons, they swoon
By Josefina Loza
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Chivalry is not dead, at least not to Tom Tomoser.
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He opens doors, orders the first round of drinks, helps women with their coats and catches the bar tab.
When he winks, women blush. But when Tomoser sings -- oh, my, watch out -- they swoon.
Never mind the wire-rimmed glasses that slide down his pudgy nose, or his snow-white hair and well-trimmed beard. Wearing his dapper straight-lined suits, he doesn't look a day over 60, though he's actually 71. Women take note of his color-coordinated ties, pocket squares and fedora trimmings.
Tomoser shines on stage at local bars and lounges. During the day, he's a security guard. At night, he's a karaoke star. And, sometimes, when he's scheduled to work a graveyard shift, he'll squeeze in a few songs before rushing to his post.
Click here to see video of Tomoser performing Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
On a brisk Monday night, Tomoser waited for a few friends outside a neighborhood bar, Phoenix Food & Spirits near 120th and Blondo Streets. He was eager to show them his routine.
Inside, four people already were sitting at his table — an old buddy, a cute brunette and two brawny guys . Beer bottles clinked and patrons mingled while a scrawny guy in Steve Urkel glasses sang off-key. No one minded. It was a typical karaoke night, with a goulash of songs ranging from country to rock blaring from speakers.
Tomoser's shtick was much different. Vintage, if you will, from the era of “Mad Men.” He takes his cues from Frank Sinatra. Ol' Blue Eyes is his favorite artist to perform. That Monday night, in fact, Sinatra was on his mind.
At 10:33 p.m., a DJ called Tomoser to the bar's balcony. A few people clapped.
“Oh, yes,” a blonde yelled from a back bar table. “I love him.”
“Go, Tom,” a guy in a gray muscle shirt shouted.
Tomoser tipped his hat to the audience and took the microphone. He gave a little spiel about his background. He's a 30-year performer who's been trying to break into the music industry for quite some time. He started out as a composer in the 1970s and eventually tried his voice as a singer in the 1980s. He records and produces music for Lone Eagle Records, the label he created in 1997.
Tomoser has appeared on “Amateur Night at the Apollo” in Harlem. He finished fifth out of 40 acts, a major feat at that venue.
His music videos have aired on cable TV's “Video Country,” a CMT show. He has performed in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and Lincoln.
But on that Monday, Tomoser mentioned only his three decades of experience and plugged his latest album, “Love Passionately.”
He's only been singing karaoke for about a year and a half, one or two nights a week. It started as a fluke, just a random night to flex his vocal muscles. But the crowd response became addictive. So alluring, in fact, that at one point, he performed at Omaha bars nearly every night.
This particular evening, the song's instrumental introduction prompted him to start.
“And now, the end is near,” Tomoser sang. He took a few careful steps down the balcony's staircase.
“And so I face the final curtain.”
The blonde in the back, that's 27-year-old Jessica Kirby. She took a few of her friends out for karaoke night.
She turned to a woman sitting near her and explained: “You've got to watch Tom. He's such a good guy with a great voice. He opens doors for all the pretty ladies and to have that kind of confidence at his age … Wow!
Tomoser's blue eyes made contact with a woman in a lemon-yellow shirt. He reached for her hand and softly touched it. Her boyfriend nearly choked with laughter as the woman awkwardly stood near Tomoser, not knowing how to react. Her peachy cheeks turned fiery red.
“My friend, I'll say it clear. I'll state my case of which I'm certain,” he sang, then paused a moment. “I've lived a life that's full. I traveled each and every highway. And more, much more than this. I did it my way.”
Sinatra's “My Way” — or perhaps Tomoser's soulful voice — roused the bar crowd. People began to shout, “Go, Tom” and “Git her.”
The woman he was supposed get was Omahan Mallerie Woodson, 24. She was a tad embarrassed about blushing.
“He's just a cool guy,” she told her boyfriend. “He reminds me of my grandpa, but a little smoother.”
For the most part, Tomoser's singing was excellent. The bar noise softened to a minimum so people could hearhim. One 20-something woman raised a lit lighter, signaling that she wanted to hear more. Others followed her lead.
“I can't figure it out,” said Andy Greenberg, Tomoser's friend, who's helped manage him and has given him music advice. “Young women are enamored by him.”
For the big finish, Tomoser twined the microphone's cord between his fingers, swayed from side to side and belted: “The record shows, I took the blows, and did it my way.”
He got a standing ovation. Guys whistled and clapped. Gals shrieked for more. Some teased him and asked for photos and autographs.
Tomoser worked the crowd — especially the ladies — as the DJ flipped Will Smith's “Gettin' Jiggy Wit It” on to restore the bar's cool vibe.
Tomoser hurried back to his seat.
“Aww, that was so much fun,” he said to his buddy.
He banged his fist on the table.
“You just can't get that feeling anywhere else.”
* * * * * *
Click the link to see Tomoser perform Sinatra's My Way Live at the Phoenix in Omaha
Tom Tomoser "Love Passionately
Tom Tomoser knows music. In addition to singing, he produces music and started his own label, Lone Eagle Records, so it is no surprise that his newest release, “LOVE Passionately!” displays his knowledge of music and his definite talent. Tomoser arranged eight of his own hits as well as eight great hits of the past to create an album that has the perfect combination of love songs to speak as the soundtrack to any love story. His voice is filled with such romance and infatuation, it is clear that Tomoser is singing from experience, only someone who has lived such love can sing so passionately. Each song really takes advantage of the piano to create a peaceful, relaxed, sensual sound.
Track 1: Tomoser takes Debbie Boone’s hit “You Light Up My Life” and personalizes it. His soothing voice and the accompanying piano make an old song a new hit that can be listened to with a significant other or while relaxing.
Track 7: “This Love of Mine” is a great display of why Sinatra’s hits are perfect for Tomoser. As if the lyrics weren’t passionate and full of love already, Tomoser sings with such passion and romance that makes this a great track for couples to dine or dance to. The piano in the song really compliments the romantic vibe of the song and turns it into a smooth hit.
Track 15: “You Are The One” is a brilliant, original track from the album that wraps up the album perfectly with a soft tune and lyrics that describe feelings anyone in love can relate to. This song displays Tomoser’s ability to not only improve on other artist’s love songs, but to also create his own classic love songs.
Reviewed by Samantha Jacobi of Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion
Lea Jane Barenati
Tom's New CD
The following is a pre-review heads up note from Lea Jane Berinati of Nashville. Lea Jane is one of the most sought after backup singers and producers in Nashville and frequently opens for the stars of the music business.
Lea Jane Berinati’s
“So I guess life is too busy, because --- with the best of intentions—I have misplaced your CD at least four times, put it in my car twice, and finally got to listen to three cuts on my way to a session. I promise I will eventually listen to every note. If you need a review right now (and you needed it last month I’m sure), you can say this from me: “This album is all heart” Lea Jane Berinati, Lea Jane Singers Nashville, Tn.
“Who ever you are singing these love songs to is one lucky lady, because it is evident that you mean every word. There is so much feeling on this album. Even the saxophone sings beautifully. And you my friend, handle the range of notes with amazing ease. There are some unusual melodies in there that call for skill as well as interpretation, and you’ve got it covered. Congratulations!”
Here is a snippet from Lea Jane’s Bio to give you an idea of her credibility.
Lea Jane was soon a familiar name as a session singer, a vocal group leader, and arranger. In addition she toured as a keyboardist/vocalist with the Earl Scruggs Revue. She also recorded and performed with Guy Clark’s band and opened for Emmy Lou Harris in London. As one of the Hollady Sisters, she appeared in Paris with Eddy Mitchell and began recording with Elvis Presley. When the Holladays left Nashville, Lea Jane continued working with Elvis and it was with her own group – The Lea Jane Singers- that she left a permanent vocal signature in Nashville and the recording industry. The artists with whom she has worked on hit records reads like the “Who’s Who of the great performers of all time-including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Charlie Daniels, Ronnie Milsap, Brenda Lee, Elvis Costello, Lobo, James Galway, Dr. Hook, Tammy Wynette, Lynn Anderson, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Steve Wariner, Petula Clark, Wille Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, George Jones, Barbara Mandrell, Frank Sinatra Jr., Nancy Sinatra and the list continues.
One of the most notable things that Lea Jane did as a session player on Kenny Rogers and Dottie West recording of “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer” was to say to Kenny when he wanted to record it a 5th time. Lea Jane said, “Kenny we can record this again if you want, it may be a little different but it won’t be any better, it’s a hit as it is why don’t you press it? Kenny looked at her and said, “You really thinks it’s a hit, and Lea Jane said, “I know it’s a hit.” So Kenny agreed and Lea Jane was right and Kenny and Dottie had a hit.
Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
Wonderful Pop Classics and Originals
Tom Tomoser sings up a storm on his recent released CD, “Love Passionately,” as he lets the listeners sit back and relax to a wonderful collection of 8 popular Pop classics and 8 original songs. All these songs have one thing in common: love, and that just what make this a soothing and sweet CD. Tomoser takes his vocal talents and weaves a unique and charming crooner tonality that is not only honest and sincere but strong and heartfelt. His rendition of “My Way,” originally sung by Frank Sinatra, is warm and tender as the distinctive voice of Tomoser gracefully sings his way around the stunning lyrics. Another song, “Pretty Lady,” is soulful and has a quaint Bluesy appeal as the walking bass line and bright piano riffs cascade around the vocals. The song, “All The Way,” is another great standard with nice vocals and lovely crisp piano. Fans of Pop music with musical styles from yesteryear will thoroughly enjoy the beautiful arrangements on the album, “Love Passionately.”