The worlds of indie rock iconoclast John Vanderslice and alt-country godfather Alejandro Escovedo rarely intersect, but in Tom Heyman, they most certainly do. The San Francisco based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has toured and recorded with artists of most every stripe, from Chuck Prophet and John Doe to cult favorites Girls and a whole lot more in between.
Heyman recorded his third solo record, That Cool Blue Feeling, in Portland, Oregon with Mike Coykendall (M. Ward) producing and Rusty Miller (Kelley Stoltz, Jason Lyttle) and himself covering the musical bases. The intention was to create a sound that combined the loose, late night, low down groove of JJ Cale with the bittersweet melancholia of late period Nick Lowe and the melodic storytelling of Heyman’s hero Gordon Lightfoot. The record was written mostly at night, after long shifts nights tending bar and is an examination of the loneliness and alienation of the nocturnal life, and the true cost of love.
Heyman started playing and recording in the late 1980s with the Philadelphia based band Go To Blazes. He wrote songs, played guitar, and the band released 5 full-length records and toured the US and Europe extensively before breaking up in 1997. After relocating to San Francisco in 1998, he began working as a sideman, eventually joining local favorites The Court and Spark, as well as Chuck Prophet’s band. All the while he was discovering his voice as a solo artist and bandleader. His second solo record Deliver Me was critically acclaimed, receiving 4 star reviews in both Mojo and Uncut magazine, and songs from the record were heard in the TV shows True Blood, Justified and Damages.
While he often works in a band context, Heyman primarily considers himself a folksinger whose job is to tell stories that draw the listener in to his world.