Released in 2019, "Renaissance Man" is Tom's third album (this time an EP) in as many years...
and the eighth original album in his catalog. Combining his love for different genres, and, with new and wonderful collaborations with Southeast Virginia's finest musicians and vocalists, he continues to
write, produce, perform, engineer, and master his original songs at Farley Music Services.
Songs of Reflection...Songs of Remembrance...Songs of Renewal....
Sit back and enjoy the latest creations from the "Renaissance Man".
"Renaissance Man" (2019)
Credits and Liner Notes
"Ten and Fourteen" began with a solid rhythm track I developed using studio loops. I found a drum set sound I liked...and a bass sound as well...and put together an energy and chord pattern I really enjoyed.
It was missing a great electric rhythm guitar, electric lead guitar, and keyboard tracks to finish the creation. Greg Wikle loved the existing rhythm I had created. So I sent him a copy of the scratch tracks and gave him some time to work with it. When I got the chance to record it, it had the feel and magic the song needed (just as in all of Greg's performances in our sessions).
Next...Electric Guitar Lead...
I wanted electric lead guitar and keyboards (both piano and organ). Guitarist Barry Shumate not only lived in the same apartment building as the studio (me on the 10th floor; him on the 14th), but loved the song from the beginning. In his first professional studio session, he came in and gave one of the finest performances I've recorded. It fit to a "T".
I worked with Bernie Lee via an Earworks' project with Bob Smith...but never had the chance (or the right song) to ask if he'd be interested in collaborating...until now. Bernie's willingness to share his time, experience, and creative energy made the final pieces fall into place. His original organ rhythms and piano leads were the perfect compliment...and our first studio session was filled with great communication and conversation.
I have worked in the studio and on stage with Greg Wikle for many years...and on many songs. There is a special connection that comes to life when we have the chance to collaborate.
We have a lot of interpretive and creative energy..but the most subtle and intimate is when we play together as an acoustic duet. It started with "By the Fence in the Sun"...and continues again with "Better with Age"...with Greg on mandolin and acoustic guitar...and me on acoustic guitar, vocals, bass, and squareneck dobro.
Written for my good friend, Bob Young, before his passing. It is a reflective song about the Yin and Yang of growing old...the sadness and the joy...and the lessons we learn along the way.
The year 2018 was a year that marked the moving and passing of some old and cherished friends. Their loss was deeply felt by those in their circle...and they will be truly missed. Whether they leave you to move to a distant location...or pass on into the next life...make sure you spend the time, say the words, and share the moments.
It is an important part of living. I realized that the loss of friends and loved ones will be a part of living that will occur more frequently as the years pass...and that sharing moments and conversations before they go can make all the difference. This is why "Before You Go" was written.
The creative stylings of Bernie Lee on Piano and David Mills on Bass make this a great trio...enhancing the meaning with great passages and musical moments.
"Sinking Feeling" was written by Steve Gallagher, my best friend. It is a testament to his spirituality and musicianship...and was many years in the making. It is one of scores of songs we have collaborated on over the years, but is the first we have brought to completion as a finished studio recording.
Most people might find that odd...but if you understood the penchant for experimentation and distraction that is our process, you would understand the timing. It was well worth the wait...
Over 50 years ago...at he beginning of our creative energy...we developed our acoustic guitar fingerpicking stylings through many recording sessions. It is now a part of who we are. Combined with Steve's wonderful strings, vocal, and recorder tracks, it is a picture of two friends still enjoying the process...
Tania and I know what care-giving for others is all about. For over five years we were the caregivers for my mother (with Alzheimer's Disease) and my father (a stroke victim). We also were the closest point of family contact for Tania's mother for over a decade. Care-giving is challenging...and at times heartbreaking. It requires sacrifice of both time and substance. But it is also one of the most rewarding experiences life can offer...and provides moments of love and conversation that can never be measured or forgotten. It is why "About the Giving" was written...and is dedicated to caregivers everywhere.
"Free Me" is an anthem about addiction...its impact on the addicts themselves and their families and friends.
Our family has seen the way addiction can change and ruin lives.
We have experienced the never-ending cycle of abuse, lies, recovery, relapse, and heartache that are a part of addiction.
But there is also hope and will and love and trust...and sometimes, they win in the end.
It is (to date) one of the finest collaborations of studio artists from Southeast Virginia
...and was a true joy and labor of love creating it.
To those of you who seek their freedom from addiction...and for those who offer their love and support...we dedicate this song.