Jenny Where You Going
Tom Adler grew up in the rich folk music scene of Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1960's and 70's with performers such as Ramblin' Jack Elliott appearing frequently in the local coffeehouses. The abundance of great touring and local coffeehouse performers and weekly folk music gatherings in the art studios, homes and bars along Canyon Road provided young Tom with a well rounded and colorful folk music education. He started playing in coffeehouses and in old-time string bands in his teens and continued learning ragtime, blues and contemporary folk-rock on the guitar as well as Appalachian old-time music on the banjo. In his teens Tom also began to write songs drawing inspiration from songwriters such as then local songwriter, Eliza Gilkyson, and by the mid-eighties was regularly performing his original material in concert venues and coffeehouses across the southwest. Tom's new CD of original songs, Jenny Where You Going is due to be released in January of 2004. The album which draws from many Americana, alt. Country, folk rock and traditional folk music influences features his songwriting, guitar and banjo work and singing. The album also features some great playing from Frank Reckard (Emmylou Harris' Hot Band) on lead and rhythm electric guitar and Sally Van Meter (The Good Old Persons, Jorma Kaukonen, Kathy Kallick) playing dobro, lap steel and Weissenborn guitars. In 1981 Tom co-founded The Fast Peso String Band, performing old -time string band music from the Civil War through the 1920's at festivals, concerts, dances, museums and community events. The FPSB has appeared on television and radio and in feature and documentary films such as Young Guns, Lucky Luke, NBC's Desperado: The Long Arm Of The Law and the PBS documentary, Fred Harvey an the American West. The band has toured in Mexico, won the 1984 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band contest and most recently, appeared in concert with The New Lost City Ramblers at the Santa Fe Traditional and Bluegrass Festival in August 2003. In 1996 Tom recorded his first CD, A Long Time Overdue, receiving great reviews in publications such as Dirty Linen and Victory Review. His songs have earned honorable mention in songwriting contests including the Billboard and John Lennon Songwriting Contests. His 1998 CD, Borrowed Car received wide airplay in the US and in Europe that included several spins on NPR's Car Talk. In 2002 Tom produced, arranged and played guitar and banjo on the CD, Sweet Nell, an album of all original old-time string band music with the top NM area tunesmiths and musicians contributing their tunes and playing on the CD. Sweet Nell received lots of folk radio airplay in the US, Europe and Canada and garnered excellent reviews in folk music magazines such as Sing Out!, Folk Roots and The Old Time Herald. Currently, Tom is performing in a three man songwriter show with Vince Bell (Women of The Phoenix, I've Had Enough) and Elliott Rogers (Praying Hands). The trio is planning a tour of the southwest in 2004. A Long Time Overdue, 1996 'A winning first release from an artist who paints pictures of life's important questions without sparing the beautiful colors...' Dirty Linen Borrowed Car, 1998 'We've had great phone response to this CD! Great Lyrics! WDSL Mocksville, NC 'Damn Good! A wide variety of musical influences shown here! KMIT Mitchell, SD Sweet Nell, 2002 '....I'm flattered to have a tune named after me, let alone such a beautiful one!' Nell Newman, Newman's Own Organics 'Tom Adler is an excellent guitar and banjo player....' Sing Out! 1.) WITHOUT A FIGHT.....A brand new murder ballad in the mountain music tradition seems a fitting way for this CD to kick off..... Featuring Sally Van Meter on dobro, John Egenes on mandolin and the song's co-writer, Elliott Rogers singing harmony. 2.) WEATHER WOMAN.....Loneliness, geography, a pondering of natural phenomena and a gentle infatuation with a television tour guide of many states are running themes here. A sweet blend of Jon Gagan's bowed bass, Sally Van Meter's lap steel and Janet Dows' accordion in and out of Adler's guitar and vocal. 3.) JENNY WHERE YOU GOING.....Another Adler-Rogers co-write, this song explores love, disappointment and music in a young woman's life with the music winning out in the end. Some very tasty electric guitar from Frank Reckard playing off Sally's lyrical dobro work with some fine mandolin playing from John Egenes and sweet piano played by Sharon Shaheen in this country-folk ballad. 4.) HANDING DOWN.....Tom Adler's great grandfather's pocket watch being handed down to him by his father sparked this song title with the tale of a son's farewell set in a coal mining town soon to follow. Gary Ashkin is featured here with Adler living out a lifelong dream of playing banjo and guitar at the same time! 5.) UNTIL I SLIP AWAY.....Should I go or should I stay? The classic question is almost but not quite answered in this country-rocker. Some hot electric guitar work from Frank Reckard, shimmering lap steel from Sally Van Meter, blistering piano played by Chris Ishee with Mark Clark letting go on the drums and some classic country-rock vocals from John Eddy, Joey Bradley and Nancy Gagan. 6.) INTO THE NIGHT.....Country Blues meets Broadway in this sassy romp. Stellar dobro work from Sally plays off Adler's fingerstyle blues guitar playing here. 7.) CRAZY WAY.....The third song in a trilogy written about migrant workers with the coming of age tale experienced through the eyes of farm boy. Some wonderfully tasty electric guitar work and mandolin from Frank Reckard and John Egenes supporting drop D fingerstyle guitar playing from Adler. 8.) HELL'S HALF ACRE.....Tom Adler teamed up with Banded Gecko Tim Taylor to write this song loosely based on the Richard F. Selcer study of the famous Fort Worth tenderloin district of the late 1800's and early 1900's. The song features a bouncy blend of Gary Ashkin's fiddling seconded by Janet Dows' concertina, Adler's clawhammer banjo and guitar playing, Jon Gagans' upright bass and some very soulful harmony singing from Evelyne Taylor. 9.) THE STRANGER.....A woman battles her demons and makes good her escape from an abusive situation in this country-pop ballad co-written with Elliott Rogers. Some penetrating and moody lead and rhythm electric guitar playing by Frank Reckard surrounds Adler's acoustic guitar with some sweet backing vocals from Nancy Gagan. 10.) MOONLESS MILE.....Out of the dark and into the light, Tom Adler wrote this song of redemption through love for his sweetie, Kathleen. Chris Ishee's piano styles range from lyrical Latino to smoking New Orleans Blues. Frank Reckard and Mark Clark go wild on electric guitar and drumming on the choruses here with some powerful backing vocals as well. 11.) SKIN GAME BLUES.....Atlanta bluesman Peg Leg Howell is the source of this song from the late twenties. Adler learned this version roughly from Paul Hostetter of Bonny Doon, CA. Sally Van Meter's weissenborn slide work is featured here along with some fine gospel blues vocals sung by Joey Bradley and John Eddy. 12.) CAT'S EYE/ PRAIRIE DOG TOWN.....A walk along the railroad tracks in the Santa Fe rail yard while watching the prairie dogs pop into and out of the many miles of holes they had dug inspired this medley of original old-time modal tunes. Great propulsive interplay between Ashkin's fiddle and Adler's banjo.