The album ‘Hands of Time’ barrels into your speakers at 85 MPH with the opening title track ‘Hands of Time’. While leaning heavily upon 60’s psychedelic melodies complete with Iron Butterfly-esque reverb, the band burns up the road like a muscle car of the same era. Meanwhile, more Jangly songs such as ‘Living a Lie’ seem to come from a different mode of transportation (possibly a boat).. A few songs into ‘Hands of Time’ and the listener is immediately impressed with the guitar wizardry and the bands overall ability to change their sound by 180 degree turns.
The traditional blues structure has a strong presence in the Trailmen’s recipe for a song, in addition to hints of Parrothead worthy party grooves that echo ‘Quicksilver Messenger Service’,’Santana’, and the darker lyrical elements of the doors. Songs like ‘Serpent’ are good representations of all of the aforementioned qualities. The song not only tells the story of Jim Morrison, but also channels his presence vocally.
The song ‘This Isn’t the Time’ is the perfect crooning, book end to an album like ‘Hands of Time’, as there is no shortage of solid guitar work both rhythmically and in the lead department. The bass and drums lend a solid backbone to this powerhouse. I could see this band playing festivals, smaller private events, or even killing it on an outdoor patio. There is definitely a honed craftmanship to their final product and with 6 albums under their belt…they show no signs of stopping anytime soon. Michael Elam -Blue Harvest
If you have been craving some country rooted rock these days then “Dust In Your Hands” by Tom Hood and The Trailmen might be right up your alley. Their lineup of songs sets them apart from most rock acts with the addition of fiddle and mandolin both of which are well blended in the mix. Hood takes on the song “Caught In The Rain” with a very inspired Johnny Cash influence making for a great crossover tune. One of the standout tracks is “Back To The Baja” which features some nice lead guitar work and a bouncy groove that could be heard on any Jimmy Buffett or Traveling Wilburys album. Don’t expect any classic style cowboy tunes on “Dust In Your Hands” because it’s sheer rock/country entertainment.
-Shaun and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
CD Review…Aural Fix Magazine
Riding Into Town
by Tom Hood and the Trailmen
As one-half of the duo The Unknown Gentlemen, Long Island’s Tom Hood has released half a dozen CD’s with bandmate Paul Carden. There are many good songs on those discs, but lost amid production that often seemed like demos, with drum-machines and one-man overdubs. So it is good to have Tom going ‘solo’ on his new CD “Riding Into Town,” ironically with a bigger band! Paul Gilmore on bass and Tom Peterson on drums provide a solid live rock band feel for these mostly Western-themed tracks. But the real delight here is local guitar hero John Brzoza on lead. Whether giving Mexican stylings to “Pretty Senorita,” Caribbean atmosphere to the Jimmy Buffet-ish “Mailboat Man,” or going all-out for “The Well,” and especially in a Stevie Ray Vaughn style rave-up on the seven-minute “Breaking Stones,” Brzoza always shines, giving these easygoing songs depth and sparkle. Hood’s vocals are relaxed and appealing, and he adds competent harmonica here and there. The southwest/Mexican atmosphere continues throughout the disc, from the cowboy-movie title track, through the bilingual ballad “Contigo,” to everyone’s favorite barroom sing-along, “No Mas No Mas.”
This will definitely rate in my Top Ten for 2008.
reviewed by Hank Stone
CD Review by Mark Loebl – Long Island Acoustic Movement
Riding Into Town”
by Tom Hood and the Trailmen
Tom Hood is one of the more prolific local recorders of music having previously released “The Ballad of the Unknown Gentlemen”, “Ain’t No Kin of Mine”, “Way Out” and “ Love Waits for No One” but his latest, “Riding Into Town” is his best yet. Accompanying Tom are John Brzoza on lead guitar, Paul Gilmore on bass, Tom Peterson on drums and Joe Behar on trumpet.
John Brzozas’ guitar work on “Breaking Stones” is haunting and provides a perfect counterpoint to the seriousness of the lyrics. The muted trumpet of Joe Behar on “Pretty Senorita” is the perfect touch for this South-of-the- border inflected tune. The rollicking “No Mas,No Mas”, a song about partying too much is probably my favorite track. “The Well” is a rocker about tempting fate too often with more excellent guitar work from Brzoza. For a quiet ballad try “Whisper in My Ear”.
September’s Show Ramblings
Current mood: breezy
Foe tea lights flicker on a few scattered tables coffee house style, once panelled walls & tin ceilings are now painted matte black and accent the charcoal sketched portraits in contrasted ornate gold frames. I sit on an old blue love seat positioned early in the night by me, with a comfortable view of the band. Another edition of Original Voices at the Vail has begun.
Tonight Tom Hood & the Trail Men are on our black box stage. Tom is someone I’ve known for years now through the open mike scene. He’s an islander in more ways than one, having lived on more than one island himself & written songs about all of the above. We originally met at one of my open mikes & since then we’ve both frequented each other’s open mikes & have met at all of the many crevices Long Island musicians inevitably see inbetween.
“No mas tequilla!” The voilinist & guitarist are trading solos & Tom is sporting a blue Hawaiin shirt & declaring “No mas tequilla!” Campy on paper, maybe – but the crowd is enjoying it thoroughly. The next song is a complete departure. Perhaps Tom Petty meets Cinnamon Girl. The ripping, screeching, yet dreamy guitar solos are a side show unto themselves. Hat’s off! 😉
Thanks so much to Tom Hood & the Trail Men for a GREAT show! Check them out at: www.thetrailmen.com
CD BABY Reviews
author: Lauron Lewis
For anyone who likes Western music and is a fan of fun lyrics and catchy tunes, this album is a must hear. Mr. Hood has a great voice and the back up band is very tight yet fluid. I loved it all!
author: Anne Sheridan
I truly enjoyed this CD. The title song has a catchy tone. Contigo is a beautiful love song. Every song on this CD is a hit with me. It has a nice mix.
FREE ARTIST NETWORK COMMENTS
Love the sound, can hear the influences, great job!
I liked Riding Into Town.
The Well rocks a little like Suzy Q. I like it. Driving rock.