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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Tom Houston Releases New Single

Tom Houston has formed and played in bands such as Paper Tiger, Unspeakable Acts, Tite Slax, Del Hood, Bamboozle, The Ventriloquists, Tom Houston and the Keltic Band, and davesnewbike. He has been musical director with Fablevision and the Arches Theatre. He has co-written with Chris Difford, Neill MaColl, David Harper Gray and Christope Edwards. He has released 3 solo Albums: Filling in the Cracks 1990, Open the Skylights 2013 and Plastic Trumpet 2018 and two with davesnewbike : Wanderlust 2015 and The Tin Can and the Flood 2017 and is soon to release Gap In The Fence.

The lead single is I Am The River #33 of which Tom says "​I’ve always loved the water. I spent my holidays by the sea on the West Coast of Scotland, and also fishing the river Earn in Perthshire with my Grandfather Tom Adam. Tom taught me about the flow of the river, the eddies, the rocks, the deep pools and the lifespan of the fish. I was especially fascinated by the Sea Trout and Salmon who lived in both fresh and saltwater.

On the West Coast ‘clock time’ would be overtaken by ’tidetime’. When to launch the boat, when to stand on my favourite rock gazing out over the Minch to Skye and the Hebrides. Looking out for otters, seals, basking sharks and diving Gannets.

Fast forward to the end of 2018 and I was experimenting with a chord sequence that ‘had me hooked’ but the words and idea of a song wouldn’t form. Then a good friend in New Zealand sent me a link to a video about the Wanganui River. The video told the story of the river, but also of how it had been granted the legal status of a person. I also realised that I had the inspiration for the lyrics to the song and I Am the River was born, with the opening verse reflecting the Maori sentiment and wisdom.

I was singing the song in the Anstruther Boathouse (on the Fife coast) with Mary Erskine (aka Me for Queen) when Clive Gray asked me if I wanted to record it with him for a local compilation called the George Street Sessions. We did this in a friends B&B and Clive produced the 2019 version of I Am the River which was released as a single and also as part of the George Street Sessions Vol2. Later that year I agreed with Neill MacColl that we would work on a new album of songs and spoken word pieces. We both agreed that the River should be part of that collection, but for continuity, we would re-record elements of it with Kate St John on Piano, Benn Nicholls on Bass and Mattie Foulds on Drums. To differentiate it from the first version this is known as I Am the River #33."

The track is available directly from Tom at his website


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