Fifteen years after releasing "Songsmyth", I decided to archive the master tapes into a CD for my own pleasure and for their preservation.  When I heard how good the original cuts transferred to CD format, I decided to work to add additional "basement cuts" and make a fuller, 72 minute album.

The result is a history and compilation of established and never-before-heard cuts that will please fans and newcomers alike. 

It is my pleasure to re-release the Songsmyth album....completely re-mastered...and share with you some of the best memories and moments

I have savored over the years.

Tom Farley - News and Media, tom farley, farley music se

 

 

Songsmyth and Songsmyth and the Basement Cuts Liner Notes

 

 

Just a bit of background….

 

The Songsmyth album was my first attempt at a major studio recording.  When it was produced, my thoughts were to bring together some of the most endearing musical friends I had known over the years and to let the magic happen.  The end result was a labor of fun and sheer joy. 

 

At my side on keyboards and vocals, as in every musical group I was connected to, was Tania Farley…..the one who believed in me the most.  My brother-in-law, Steve Ihlenburg, who would later bring his energy and humor to The Tom Farley-Cam Head Band, was our drummer.  Steve and Todd Gallagher, whom I had developed a rich writing and recording tradition, accompanied me on lead guitar, keyboards and flute.  Donnie Satterwhite, known for his tours with Thunder Road, The Ill-Eagles and duo with Jim Cootes, has been a part of every major studio situation in my career.  From my earlier days of Cimarron was Tom Lavin, a bassist steeped in the Southern Rock tradition.  Denny Smith of the Blacksburg-based band Happy was the fellow background vocalist, responsible for all of the background vocal arrangements.  Just back from the road was Cam Head, whose collaboration in both duo and band I would cherish for nearly a decade.  Rounding off the list would be Jim Cummins on harmonica, Greg Ferris on guitar and Mike Gosey on acoustic lead.

 

The final mixing and mastering were done in Nashville.  I chose Quadrafonic Studios because I was a real Fogelberg freak at the time, and, I wanted to be surrounded by the people and equipment he worked with on his earlier albums.  To have the chance to experience the atmosphere and spirit of Nashville was a real education.  Thanks to Tania, our families, our friends (especially Beetle Bailey, Laura Kesser, Debbie Hazelwood, Sharon Kelley, Charlie Scott, Pat and Beau Ludwig, Lloyd Stone and Kristin Phillips), and the many fans and supporters, I had the rare chance to have a dream come true.  Little did I know that it would open other doors that would continue to enrich my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

 

Songsmyth Musicians

 

Tom Farley: Acoustic Guitar; Electric Rhythm Guitar; Lead and Background Vocals; Piano

Tania Farley: Background Vocals; Piano

Tom Lavin: Bass

Steve Ihlenburg: Drums and Percussion

Donnie Satterwhite: Moog; Piano; Pedal Steel Guitar, Banjo

Denny Smith: Background Vocals; Vocal Arrangements

Steve Gallagher: Strings; Flute

Todd Gallagher: Electric Lead and Rhythm

Cam Head: Electric Lead

Mike Gosey: Acoustic Lead

Jim Cummins: Harmonica

 

 

 

The “Basement Cuts” Songs

 

Gasology with Tom Jones

By Tony Rice

Recorded in 1982 at South Oliver Drive, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Tom Jones; Lead Guitar

 

Tom Jones is one of the finest lead players Hampton Roads has ever produced.  Although we enjoyed playing music together, Tom was involved with The Street Talk Band and I with The Tom Farley-Cam Head Band; we never had many opportunities to play together.  When Tom came over to my house one day in 1982, I set up a makeshift recording situation and was able to capture some really nice moments.  One was our first attempt at Fresh Air, which we later recorded at Live Oak Studios and found its way to The Calm Before the Storm CD....along with "An Old and Familiar Play".  The other was our version of the Tony Rice tune, Gasology.

 

 

Similar Features with Tania Farley

By Melissa Etheridge

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Tania Farley: Lead Vocals

Gerry Herndon: Electric Lead Guitar

Recorded Live in 1989 by The Tom Farley Band at The Restaurant By George, Nags Head, NC

 

Tania Farley has always been known as one of the premier female vocalists on the local scene.  With Cimarron, The Tom Farley-Cam Head Band and The Tom Farley Band, she distinguished herself in her musical style and interpretations.  On a cold, windy, rainy, icy night in December, The Tom Farley Band (with Gerry Herndon) went to play at The Restaurant By George in Nags Head.  Following us were a caravan of die-hard friends and faithful from Chick's Beach Café.  It was truly a night to remember, as is the live performance Tania gives to this song.

 

 

I'll Be Waiting

By Tom Farley

Recorded in 1987 at Gallagher Studios, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Guitars and Vocal

 

Ever since my college years I have shared my love for music and recording with my best friend, Steve Gallagher.  We have always relished the creative process.  As I invested my time into the performing aspects, Steve did so in home studio engineering.  Without his friendship and collaboration much of what I know and love about music and the recording process would have never been realized.  Several of the basement cuts were recorded where he was living at the time.  Many became the basis for band and recording products.  This song was written for my wife, Tania, during a period in our lives when we both were working so much that we rarely had time to spend with each other.  It was my way of telling her that I love her, and that when all is said and done, I'll Be Waiting……….

 

 

Promenade Blues

By Tom Farley

Recorded in 1987 at Gallagher Studios, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Guitar and Vocal

 

Long before it was recorded on The Calm Before the Storm CD, this song was a personal favorite.  It was written on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach during a break when I was playing solo at Abbey Road.  That was on a Saturday night; on Sunday afternoon, I was at Steve's recording it.  Nothing like getting it fresh out of the oven….

 

 

Just Jammin'

By Tom Farley and Lloyd Huckstep

Recorded Live in 1974 at the 70th Street Apartment, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Lead Guitar

Lloyd Huckstep: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

 

Lloyd Huckstep was a close friend of my good college buddy, Charlie Wilkerson.  Charlie and Lloyd came down from Richmond to spend a weekend with Steve and I when we lived on 70th Street at the beach.  Lloyd and I had just met and had never played guitars together before.  Steve was setting up the deck to record and needed to set the levels.  The result is a spontaneous moment that remains special to me for one reason: I never before or since had the opportunity or the pleasure of playing guitars with Lloyd ….

 

 

Women

By Foreigner 

Recorded Live in 1985 at Smackwater Jacks, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar; Background Vocals

Tania Farley: Background Vocals

Cam Head: Lead Guitar; Background Vocals

David Frink: Bass Guitar

Johnny Bailey: Lead Vocals

Jim Cummins: Harmonica

 

In my performing career I have had the pleasure of making music with some truly unique characters.  Johnnie Bailey was one of these characters, and, one of the best crowd-pleasing entertainers I have ever met.  He would sit in with our acoustic act for a period of about six months.  During this time, we developed a small but wonderful song list with Johnny singing lead vocals: Shamma Lamma Ding Dong, Shout, The Boys are Back in Town and, of course, Women….

 

 

Over the Rainbow  (Instrumental)

By Harburg and Arlen

Recorded in 1987 at South Oliver Drive, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Cam Head: Acoustic Lead Guitar

 

And

 

Gasology with Cam Head (Instrumental)

By Tony Rice

Recorded in 1982 at South Oliver Drive, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Cam Head: Acoustic Lead Guitar

 

For many acoustic and rock fans in Hampton Roads, the name Cam Head brings to mind one of the most unique talents ever to hit the local scene.  Creative, intense and fascinating to watch, he has never failed to amaze me in the forty-two years that I have known him.  We started our musical relationship at his garage in 1973 when he was a senior and I was a first year teacher at Indian River High School.  It just got bigger and better as the years went on.  Starting as a duo some years later, we would evolve into The Tom Farley-Cam Head Band, playing together for over seven years.  While practicing for our acoustic duo at my house on South Oliver Drive, we decided to set up and record so we could critique ourselves.  Part of the result of that session is our versions of Over the Rainbow and Gasology.  

 

 

Professional Backroads Man

By Tom Farley

Recorded Live in 1983 at Michael's, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Rhythm Guitar; Lead Vocals

Tania Farley: Percussion; Background Vocals

Cam Head: Lead Acoustic Guitar; Background Vocals

Donnie Satterwhite: Pedal Steel Guitar

Jimmy Dunne: Electric Lead

Rick Price: Bass

Steve Ihlenburg: Drums

 

Every once in a great while you get the chance to have some fun with people you really admire and cherish.  As a means of filling out a Sunday afternoon program at Michael's, a Hilltop Country Music bar, Tania, Cam, Steve and I decided to get together and jam with some of our friends in the house band, Thunder Road.  Totally unrehearsed and spontaneous, we opened with this song.  After that afternoon, we came up with an ending to this tune….

 

 

Squirrels (Instrumental)

By Tom Farley

Recorded in 1984 at Gallagher Studios, Va. Beach, VA

Tom Farley: Acoustic Guitars

 

When Tania and I lived on South Oliver Drive, we had a nice lot with dozens of trees.  Squirrels were naturally part of the landscape.  However, on one particular day, they seemed to be playing together in greater numbers and with fun on their minds.  I must have watched them for an hour or more.  They had an energy and rhythm that I couldn't get out of my mind.  So, I let it out in a song….

 

 

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