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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Key West Artist Tony Baltimore to Release New Album June 17th

By Pati deVries.

Tony Baltimore is pleased to announce that he will be releasing a new long-player, Let's All Go Insane, on June 17, 2022, via Conch Town Records.

Years before building his genre-bending "alternative roots-rock" sound in Key West's beachside bars and clubs, Tony Baltimore grew up in urban Maryland, raised by working-class parents who taught their son the value of sweat equity and long hours. That work ethic carried Baltimore through grad school, where he obtained his MFA in poetry. Poetry led to songwriting, and Baltimore quickly found himself spending more and more time on stage, playing shows around the mid-Atlantic region before moving to Key West in search of new inspiration. He found a free-spirited town whose culture reached far beyond the island cliches popularized by Jimmy Buffet songs. This was a place where you could be anything you wanted to be. For a solo artist looking to make music that abandoned parameters, funnelled a wide range of influences into something new, and blurred the boundaries between genres, Key West immediately felt like home.

"I realized that there's no format you're required to follow when you play music in Key West, and I took full advantage of that," Baltimore says. Daily gigs, a rapidly growing audience, and solo albums like Define the Blur and Hear Me In followed, turning Baltimore from the new kid in town into a hometown hero.

With his third album, Let's All Go Insane, Tony Baltimore does more than re-establish his credentials as Key West's resident pop/rock innovator — he also writes songs that reach far beyond the borders of his adopted home, delivering universal messages about triumphing over challenging circumstances, enjoying life's blessings, and going a little crazy once in a while.

Produced by Ian Shaw, Let's All Go Insane was recorded on both sides of a global pandemic that temporarily brought Baltimore's gigging schedule to a halt. For a decade, he'd been playing shows every day, sometimes performing as a solo act during the afternoon before fronting a five-piece band for a nighttime set. Those gigs had sharpened not only his vocals but also his songwriting chops. "I'd write songs in the morning and play them for an audience later that day," he remembers. "Songs like 'All Day' were even written onstage, with me singing the lyrics as they came to me."

While riding out the pandemic at home, Baltimore got to work, piecing together his most hook-driven collection of music to date. Songs like the Harry Nilsson-inspired "Let's All Go Insane," the ragtime "Loot the Joint," and "Seaside Blues" were all inspired by New Orleans, a city whose melting pot of multi-cultural artists mirrored the diversity in his music. Those influences lend a wild, carnivalesque vibe to Let's All Go Insane, whose title track — a sunny salute to a life lived on the outer edge of sanity — makes room for swirling organ and blasts of brass.

Let's All Go Insane celebrates musical finesse and musical freedom. It's a tribute to individuality and instinct. Tony Baltimore connects the dots between the melodic and the abstract, the unexpected and the gratifying, the pop and the rock & roll.

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