|BILL TOMS AND HARD RAIN
When the Phil Brontz article was published, Bill Toms and Hard Rain were in the studio
working on a mysterious project. They were so optimistic from the get go about the writing,
the recording sessions and the project itself. I love Hard Rain and couldn't wait to hear
the new CD. Bill Toms is a great songwriter and the group of men in that band are just a
strong force to be reckoned with in simple words.
It was during the time after I left my long-time marriage and in between the months when
I moved to the foothills of the mountains that I received the envelope from Bill Toms in the
mail containing the CD. My son and I were staying with my mom who had liver cancer from
those 4 glasses of wine she drank in her lifetime. Life wasn't exactly a bowl of cherries all
things considered. I remember feeling just energized when I opened the envelope. My little
boy loves Hard Rain too, so he was up for a ride in the car to listen. And listen we did.
I really liked "The West End Kid" from the first time I heard it. It became the official
soundrack for my divorce. Music has always been therapeutic to me. This CD was the
motherlode of emotional stability and hope that things would get better. I teased Bill Toms
that I probably couldn't control myself at a live show and might grab his microphone to sing
"I don't live there anymore.." I wasn't kidding. I was pretty serious!
i enjoy writing about Hard Rain. I am a fan. I wish Bill Toms all the heart felt luck in the
world since he is out there now in New York and places in between trying to promote his
music. That this CD broke into the charts, even if it's 100+, is awesome to me. It's a
great CD. It is so professionally polished and well written and my personal pick for CD of
the year 2005.
One giant Pittsbugh music icon poked fun of me on his website because I wrote in this
following article that "The West End Kid" and that man's yet unreleased CDs aren't CDs
meant for gathering dust on the city's radio station shelves. I stand behind what I wrote
then, perhaps even more strongly today than when I wrote it a few months ago. Stations in
other cities are playing Bill Toms and Hard Rain. Why NOT Pittsburgh? These are
hometown musicians who deserve better promotion and support from the industry and it's
just a shame they just don't get it. What they're writing, recording and producing are
great projects, not some half assed music that doesn't deserve to be played on commercial
So if some writer out here in the sticks can help get Hard Rain, Norman, Jimmy King, The
Silencers and other burgh bands on the radio, so be it. I'd listen more to commercial radio
if there were more songs like the ones on this CD and others being played.
I love Hard Rain, did I mention that? jt