New Jersey Stage

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bill Toms Returns To The Saint On August 11

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The sounds of the heartland will fill The Saint in Asbury Park when Bill Toms from Pittsburgh returns to headline an early acoustic rock show on Saturday, August 11. Toms, who began playing Asbury Park during his two decades as a member of Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers, has made the town a stop on his tours ever since going solo. Back from a recent tour of Italy, he's touring in support of his latest release, "Memphis". Local favorites Sandy Mack and Friends, and Chris Scanlon will also be on the bill. Doors open at 6pm, admission is $14. The show is a seated, no-talking during the performance show, which turns the rock and roll club into something of a listening room -- perfect for hearing acoustic performances like this.

Bill Toms joined Pittsburgh's legendary band, The Houserockers -- a personal favorite of Bruce Springsteen's -- as lead guitarist in 1987. The band's meteoric rise into the professional music scene enabled Toms to tour the United States and Europe repeatedly. While with Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers he 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 addition to his previous six studio CD's and single EP, his CD, Toms' Live at Moondogs: Another Moonlight Mystery was released to international critical acclaim in January 2010.

Toms, who has been honing his songwriting craft in the past decade and has released a handful of solo albums, has evolved to become one of the best orators in the music business today. He connects to an audience and embraces the American traditions of rhythm and blues, soul, folk, and rock and roll like few others; and his performances have become legendary in sheer power and passion, and his gifts of music and storytelling, paired with his creative compulsion for songs that burrow deep into the soul, have connected with his fan base again and again. 

"Memphis", Toms' seventh studio album, was produced by Nashville veteran Will Kimbrough, and while the album title and Kimbrough's southern touch might suggest more twang, Kimbrough's steady guidance instead embellished upon Toms' heartland roots more than ever before, adding depth and touches of Memphis blues to Toms' signature sound.

"The characters that speak through this collection of songs are predominately voices of the southern United States, and reflect its history," said Toms. "Having Will Kimbrough produce it made so much sense. He's such a talented artist, and since he happens to be from Alabama and reside in Nashville, he gave me a great perspective. I believe Memphis' is my most ambitious project to date."

Bill Toms heads back to Pittsburgh following the show at The Saint and will return to New Jersey to perform at The Record Collector's Store in Bordentown on Saturday, September 29.