Tom Monahan - PRESS
Maybe it's his odd born-in-the-USA, grew-up-in-Cheshire background, but Tom Monahan brings something strange to the singer-songwriter MO - grown-up, graceful but hard, as if he thought about being a punk but then things got complicated maybe so he had a lot more to say. And then there's the Gil Scott Heron side of him - unless I'm wrong about that - and definitely a lurking desire to get Miles Davis into the backing band if only he'd come back from the dead.
Phil Sutcliffe - Mojo Magazine
Whether solo or within a band he is as honest as his lyrics and music, you can’t help but believe each work sung and ever harder to resist is when you are drawn in to his beautifully crafted lyrics, guaranteed to melt both your heart and your soul.
California-born singer songwriter Monahan is a well-travelled troubadour. The latest album was recorded in a cabin in UTAH with his brother Mike. It's very rootsy, stripped down collection of self-penned songs that explore human frailities, whether it be in a relationship issues such as Running Away, personal beliefs (Driven Faith) or modern day greed (Gotta Have It). Loosely speaking this is Americana music, but with a powerful sometimes driving rock edge typified by expert guitar picking and rough-hewn vocals. Though based in America, Tom has a close UK connection and has worked extensively on this side of the Atlantic. With albums like this (WANDERLUST), he has the potential to build a solid UK following.
Alan Cackett – Maverick Magazine
'HUSH' from Wanderlust (JOESPHOSBORNEMUSIC) California born, now based in the North West od England, Tom Monahan skillfully marries an acoustic singer songwriter style with soul, funk and Americana influences. 'HUSH' is a special cut from his second album, Wanderlust.
Sean McGhee – Rock N Reel Magazine
It's an album that feels like the open road, eating up the miles and letting the world try to explain it's self. Tom Monahan has a knack of turning life's experiences into three and four minutes vingettes without making the whole process feel superficial. It asks the questions of both writer and listener.
Neil King – Fatea Magazine
The Anglo-American singer songwriter Tom Monahan has crafted an exquisite album of classic balladry and Americans with amodern twist, featuring his intricate guitar work and appealing voice. From touches of Marc Bolan and Donovan to more modern influences such as Eels and Beck.
Grahame Rhodes - Music Review Chester Chronicle
Veteran of a number of bands over a number of years, Monahan describes himself as 'presently on my own performing', and seems to have beamed us an album directly from the 80's. The melodies are very INXS, and classic period U2, and the heavily reverbed electric guitar soundscapes likewise. There's little acoustic to be found on this album, though it is there if you hunt, and had I been asked to listen blind, I'd have placed it in 1989. It's a well-produced album, but for me was memorable more for its period piece sound than the songs.
Sam Wise - Acoustic Magazine
I Would describe his style as sharp, direct and honest sometimes reminding me of Jeffery Faucault mixed with Wilcos Jeff tweedy. Sometimes coy in persona which only endears you more to him. I first met up with Tom when he guested on my radio show and right from the offset I knew we would be friends. You see Tom has that amazing quality to you the listener to put you at ease right away. He is every bit the professional sporting a custom made Acoustic guitar which looks as if Salvador Dali had a hand in drawing up the blueprints.
Station Wagon Williams – Calon fm
Dawson’s Music Competition - "Cavern King, Tom proved he was a natural musician, the atmosphere was electric when he was playing”.
Damian Burke, Managing Director of Dawson’s Music
Tom Blew us away with his performance, he was the last performer of the night, we couldn't believe he just flew in from the UK - A worthy winner taking away KKLZ cash prize! and recording of his performance live on the station.
96.3 KKLZ - Las Vegas
Tom sounds very much like Ryan Adams, style of songwriting and song delivery.
Steve Blackstone - MONFM
Tom Monahan - First Album (JOESPHOSBORNEMUSIC) is a much-travelled Californian with a long and varied artistic history and he's now based in the UK. His album spans acoustic singer songwriter, white soul and rock but there's a funky band in there.
Rock N Reel Magazine
DRIFT – Art, Music, Photography and Film – A blend of experimental atmospheres based on Monahan’s nomadic lifestyle, allowing the listener to float in a dream like narrative with words, imagery, a collage of sounds and music that is transcendental, where themes are perfectly intertwined – ethereal spaced out sounds which resonate, float, glow and drift.
A LIve Radio Recording of Tom Monahan's Interview on MONFM 2013
Listen on Mixcloud MONFM
Another video for your viewing and listening pleasure this weekend and this time it’s from singer/ songwriter Tom Monahan and ‘Could It Be You’, the lead single from an EP of the same name. Released to iTunes this past week, it’s the third EP from Tom and his co-writer brother Mike, who also have five studio albums to their name and a combined sixty years in the industry.
“The songs on Could It Be You are all about life, love, death, loss, justice, faith, doubt, family and friendship. The usual stuff,” said Mike. “Mortality has been an issue on my mind ever since the loss of Tom’s wife and most recently my own wife and soul mate Mitzi to cancer. That weighed on me for 4 years and there’s been a lot of convincing to get my brother Tom on board, but in the end I thought he enjoyed it as much as I did and we really captured the true essence of each song. It takes you to the very heart of the matter, and even though it could have been a full-blown album we thought this would be a good start”.
Raw and heartbreaking, the single ‘Could It Be You’ uses traditional country sounds as a grounding point, while Tom’s gritty vocals guide the gentle arrangement with quirky phrasing and resigned emotion. The production quality, too, harks back to a simpler time in country music with less Music Row polish and more soulful, storytelling props. You can check out the lyric video http://youtu.be/DA1H3v3wtJA
Vickye Fisher - Country Music Association (CMA)
“Could It Be You” - Mike Monahan - submission to our “Nashville T.V. Show” Your writing talent is very obvious. Your knowledge and craftsmanship exhibited in this piece make it obvious that you really know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your material and that you truly understand just what constitutes commercially viable music.That alone puts you miles in front of most contemporary writers.
Tom Monahan is an artist who proudly describes himself as Anglo-American, born to an American father from the Appalachian mountains and a mother from the Wirral, here in the UK. His father was in the forces resulting in the family moving from country to country as Tom grew up, this early exposure to a variety of influences has clearly woven its way into the music that the singer- songwriter has made in the years that have followed.
Currently based in the North-West of England he is a regular performer at live venues around that area, including an appearance at the world- famous ‘Cavern’ club in Liverpool.
This week sees the release of a new four-track EP ‘Could It Be You’ from Monahan, co-produced with is brother Mike, both in Las Vegas and here in the UK. The material featured was also written by Mike in his cabin in Utah, and reflects deeply personal themes shared by both of the brothers, to sum it up Mike states ‘the songs on ‘Could It Be You’ are all about life, love, death, loss, justice, faith, doubt, family and friendship...the usual stuff‘. Having not collaborated for four years or so it then became a challenge to pin down his brother Tom to sing and record the collection of tracks, not helped by his constant touring schedule.
Tom explains the situation and how the brothers ensured that the record could be heard, ‘with the accumulated wear-and-tear of touring and the uncertainties of a record industry, the new EP very nearly didn’t happen at all. I wasn’t sure for a while that I would do any more recording. I had done a fair amount, and the business is in a shambles. But I thought well, hey maybe it would be good to put another one out, tender songs for these harsh times in a complete new genre of music like country. We used to laugh about it when we where kids Dad playing that old Hank Williams stuff whilst he cooked us pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast. Now I would have to say its him laughing at us, but proud as well.”
Title track ‘Could It Be You’ opens the EP in fine style, displaying that Monahan has fully embraced Country music on a touching slow shuffle. Relaxed acoustic guitar strumming and warm fiddle provide a wonderfully traditional sounding backing to a track exploring the theme of moving on with life and the emotional difficulties of doing so. As a singer Monahan has a highly appealing lived-in
tone to his expressive vocals, allowing the sentiment of his songs to truly be felt by the listener. ‘She’s My Friend’ recounts what sounds like it can only be based on true life events shared by both Tom and his brother Mike. A mid-tempo ode to true love, cleverly understated in the lyrics which almost playfully play down the relationship but repeated listens reveal the truth. The track has an engagingly unpolished sound, another way in which the EP manages to successfully connect with its audience.
As a reflection on young love and the length of time the heart holds on a to a truly special love ‘Such A Long Time Ago’ is a gorgeous effort. Set to a waltz-like melody, featuring delightful fiddle playing and an incredibly pleasing spoken portion of its second verse, the track is the jewel in the crown of the EP. Reminders of simpler times and indeed simpler (yet more durable) emotions, in what are increasingly more cynical days, are few and far between in modern music so thank goodness for songs such as this. A live recording of edgier track ‘No Shame’ rounds off a greatly rewarding listening experience. Describing a love that both confuses and compels the singer, the conflict of emotions is expertly conveyed by the agitation you can almost feel in the very deliberate guitar picking/strumming and also the angry tone to Monahan’s vocals.
Listening to ‘Could It Be You’ serves as a welcome reminder of why music is so important. Deep emotional themes served up more succinctly and poignantly in Country songs than an hour’s worth of conversation could ever achieve. Kudos to Mike Monahan for penning such strong material and for convincing his brother Tom to get on board and record these tracks. Wonderful for us that they decided to dip their toes in the Country waters and produce an incredibly accomplished début in the genre. Tom Monahan is a singer that you can really believe in and you sense has a strong emotional connection with his music, which makes it all the more captivating for the audience on an enthralling EP.
Wayne Cooper - newcountryuk.com
Joseph Osborne Music has announced the release of Tom Monahan's new studio EP titled Could It Be You which was made available on November 21, 2014 on ITUNES. Tom and his co-writer brother Mike have earned respect from there peers and a far-flung, passionately-devoted fan-base.
Could It Be You, described by Tom's brother Mike as “Songs that dig deep into mine and Tom's past and brings out the worst and best of times maybe even a little dark”. Could It Be You is the brothers first real attempt at alternative country with dark Americana. The EP's backing cast varies with different musicians at sessions separated by weeks of time, the two constant is Tom's disarmingly warm, inviting voice and Mike's brilliant lyrical melancholy, the album contains observations on spirituality, love and the ever present hope that the beauty of life can overcome the world’s harshness.
"The songs on Could It Be You are all about life, love, death, loss, justice, faith, doubt, family and friendship. The usual stuff," said Mike. "Mortality has been an issue on my mind ever since the loss of Tom's wife and most recently my own wife and soul mate Mitzi to cancer, that weighed on me for 4 years and there's been a lot of convincing to get my brother Tom on board but in the end I thought he enjoyed it as much as I did and we really captured the true essence of each song and it takes you to the very heart of the matter, even though it could have been a full blown album we thought this would be a good start”.
Mike has not only written all the songs on Could It Be You for the first time, he sings, plays guitar and has produced it with his brother Tom. The project originally launched in Mike's home studio and written at the cabin in Utah, where he recorded the basic tracks direct-to-digital (for the first time ever) and then Flying to the UK to record Tom's vocal delivery and guitar in his studio whilst Tom finished performing two dates in Dublin, Ireland. It resulted in capturing a seamless alternative country, folk, Americana with old time balladry, delving into the singers and songwriter's recurring themes of the challenges, pitfalls and rewards of marriage and family pitted against grimmer, outward-looking explorations of such crushing loss, relationships and lifestyle and a blind, headlong surrender to modernization at all costs.
Tom‟s performances, whether solo or within a band is as honest as his lyrics and music, you can‟t help but believe each word sung and even harder to resist is when you are drawn into beautifully crafted lyrics, guaranteed to melt both your heart and your soul. His passionate delivery and charmingly engaging, between-song banter compels you to fall under his spell. He commands the stage with ease and communicates his urban parables to a dedicated and growing following. Tom and Mike Monahan has the potential to be one of the most engaging of the current crop of singer/songwriters, with a sound that is worthy of anyone‟s attention. He is currently planning performances at venues throughout UK and USA, with a tour planned later in the Spring of 2015.
Tara Joan - thedailycountry.com