Tom Gillam "Shake My Hand"

     The talented Tom Gillam's new release, "Shake My Hand", has just hit the streets. It will shake more than your hand! Your head will be bobbing and your feet will be tapping in moments. Tom plays a mean slide guitar, traditional acoustic and electric guitar, and has a remarkable voice to boot. He has the ability to demand your ears and pull you right into his music. Some of my favorites include:

     The rocking opener, "Outside The Lines", starts with the guitar work of Craig Simon and Tom's  slide guitar backed by the solid bass lines of Tim McMaster and the rock steady drums of Mike Gillam [brother?].  This tune, like many on this CD, was penned by Tom. It is the perfect forum for his vocals and his slip-sliding electric guitar licks.

     The hard hitting rocker, "Take It Easy On Me", is easily an airplay hit. The guitar work sounds so effortless but is full of remarkable turn arounds and fills. The slide solo in the middle of the song is par excellence in this genre! Tom's voice is meant for this tune. His voice is augmented with great backing vocals and strong mix.

      The story telling "Abby and Andy" is a strong acoustic guitar based song with highlights of pedal steel and a backing band. Tom tells the story of love for all of the wrong reasons with ease and conviction to his voice.

     "Stand By You" could have been a Byrd's hit. I fell in love with this song right away. Mandolin and terrific backing guitar heighten the feel.

     The beat funky strutting title track, "Shake My Hand" is an auditory treat. Be certain to listen to this on a great system so you can appreciate the engineering and mix on this track. Duane Allman influenced slide guitar takes a solo run.

     The foot stopping beginning to "Your Parting Gift" belies the tough lyric in this song. A showcase for every musician on the track [even piano], it simply rocks.

     "I Could Be The One" adds the lap steel and baritone guitar work of Joe Carroll. This rock ballad is well written and delivers the goods. The arrangement uses the lap steel to create a haunting return to the words Tom sings.

     "Over & Over" adds percussion to set the stage. Engrossing synth, sound effects, acoustic guitar and piano fill the background while a pychedelic mix moves various instruments around. Tom and the "Tractor Pull" band ventures into new territory here.

     You can read more about Tom Gillam and even see a video of "Outside The Lines" on his site at . Everytime I listen to this CD my appreciation grows. From a composition standpoint to the sheer instrumental and vocal quality of this CD, I find myself listening to it over and over. It is a great musical accomplishment and a very rewarding listen. Please give Tom Gillam a try--you will not be dissappointed! You can get your own copy here

~ steve ekblad

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