Born a sixth-generation central Illinois resident, singer-songwriter-musician Tom Irwin, uses his long-standing local roots as a sound base for a worldwide view of a life in the music arts. The 50-something, guitar playing guy, called “a modern day troubadour” by John Stirratt of the Grammy-award winning rock band, Wilco, spent a lifetime making a living making music in the Midwest with occasional forays into the rest of the country. When Stirratt played a gig at the Castle in Bloomington, Illinois with Chicago rockers Candy Golde (Bun E. Carlos, Nick Tremulis and Rick Rizzo), Irwin’s group the Hayburners opened the show and caught the ear of the acclaimed bassist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and arranger. It took a few years of scheduling to get it all together, but the outcome of the collaboration is All That Love, the latest music collection from Irwin and one that “catches the vibe these songs needed,” according to Stirratt.
The song selection on the record bridges a lifetime of writing with some tunes recently penned, a few others that were written over thirty years ago and whatever else John and Tom agreed to from the hundreds of original compositions in the prolific songwriter’s back catalog. Stirratt enlisted members of his other band The Autumn Defense, including New York City’s Greg Wieczorek, aka, G. Wiz, on drums (Norah Jones) and Chicago-based musician and owner of Lakland Music, John Pirruccello on 12-string guitar and pedal steel. The multi-talented Scott Ligon (NRBQ, the Flat Five) played an assortment of instruments including piano, organ, accordion, bass and guitar. Theresa O’Hare added flute to the title cut and Paul Von Mertens (Brian Wilson, Poi Dog Pondering) blew sax on the song, A Maybe Moon. Irwin’s hometown band, the Hayburners covered the sounds for three songs on the record with Stirratt playing bass, acoustic guitar, odd sounds and background harmonies as needed. The recording took place at Wall to Wall studios in Chicago, a downtown studio staple for 40 years that was recently demolished to make way for luxury condos.
Glide is proud to premiere “Welcome to Loneliness” off of All That Love (below), a charming song of creative wistfulness that showcases Irwin’s quiet strength and penchant for lending his “live to tell” experiences to tape. Irwin offers a voice of hope and reason that sounds unique in its foundation and delivery, making him a unique vocal presence speaking with a folksy directness that is involuntarily magnetic.