Crooked Eye Tommy represents the talents of Tommy Marsh, fronting his band of talented blues musicians and producing tunes that, although rooted in traditional blues, are fresh and new. A favorite in the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas, Crooked Eye Tommy is holding a CD Release Party and Concert on Friday, August 7th at the Plaza Playhouse Theater in Carpinteria. They will be following this up with a performance at the 1st Annual Ojai Blues Festival on August 15th.
Crooked Eye Tommy’s debut CD, Butterflies and Snakes, features Tommy Marsh on guitar and vocals along with his brother Paddy Marsh, also on guitars and vocals. A stellar rhythm section of Glade Rasmussen on bass and Tony Cicero on drums keeps the music moving, while Jimmy Calire rounds out the group on sax, piano and Hammond B3 organ. The CD has several standout songs, including the namesake track, Crooked Eye Tommy. In this somewhat autobiographical tune, Tommy Marsh sings about being born with two lazy eyes and how people can be cruel without even thinking about it. Some nice acoustic slide guitar work gives a great blues feel to the song.
Another excellent song, I Stole the Blues, gets right to the heart of the blues, both musically and lyrically. ‘I stole the blues, now it’s time to give it back’ is at the soul of the song and it gives a voice to what everyone else has been implying for years. In and of itself, blues has always built on past music and in this one sentence Crooked Eye Tommy shows how he respects its musical legacy.
Somebody’s Got to Pay is a shuffling blues featuring some good music but also throwing in some biting social commentary. Mad and Disgusted is pure and simple boogie blues, with some great piano work and and good old time feel. Another great musical piece is Over and Over, a slow blues tour de force with great instrumentation and backing vocals along with a simple message from its lyrics.
Crooked Eye Tommy shows what can happen when talented musicians get together. The CD, with all of the songs written by Tommy or Paddy Marsh, shows the place that originality has in keeping the blues alive. Also known for their dynamic live shows, Crooked Eye Tommy shows with their debut CD that the blues is not only alive and well, but showing a fresh face while respecting the traditions of the blues.
Crooked Eye Tommy
CD Release Party and Debut Concert
Plaza Playhouse Theater
4916 Carpinteria Avenue
1st Annual Ojai Blues Festival
Ojai Arts Center
113 S. Montgomery Street
Saturday, August 15, showtime is 4p.m.
Tickets $25.00 available here