Tom McBride knows a thing or two about the phrase “there and back again.” Hailing from Boston, Tom docked in Nashville once before, in the early 2000s, only to leave and return to his hometown in the east. But now, drawn back by that thing that Nashville does – that getting-under-your-skin thing where you can’t shake the place even if you tried – he’s here again, playing songs, writing words, gracing local haunts and touring, having shared the stage with Dawes, William Elliot Whitmore, Kingsley Flood, Futurebirds, Charlie Mars, Ellis Paul, & Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed among others.
His new record, Morning in Glen Burnie, is greatly inspired by his once-again home, and influenced by roots, blues and other southern sounds, fused together with a pop/rock sensibility. Check out the video for the title track below – after his Nashville Five, naturally.
By Tom McBride
This is my second dance with Nashville. The first time I asked her out, I was a stumblin’ and mumblin’, chain smokin’ mess of sorts, crashing into bars while hoping she’d take me home on foolish charm alone. I returned for a second dance with a bit more perspective this time around. Wiser in age perhaps, but probably equally as foolish.
Gold Rush: Gold Rush had vampires before vampires were back in. At least I thought they were vampires. It’s dark. Beaten to hell pool tables. No attempt to be hip. Just an old, smokey bar in Nashville. I dig it.
Imogene + Willie: The restored gas station feels a bit like walking onto a movie set, with a balanced aesthetic of vintage, southern wear. Piles of denim sit neatly stacked near the tailors working on sewing machines. It’s really just a cool little store to walk around in and a destination of sorts. But for the uninitiated, beware of beautiful sales girls convincing you that, no, those jeans don’t look as tight as they feel
The Wild Cow: One of the best vegetarian restaurants I’ve ever been to. I first stumbled into this place after meeting a friend at Ugly Mug’s and had The Philly. Pretty much blew my mind and temporarily replaced that craving I’ve had for years for a greasy, street vendor Philly Cheese steak. It took me a few occasions to have it firmly enter the brain, but I’ve learned now not to make the trip on Tuesday’s.
Roberts Western World: Really the only bar down on Broadway I enjoy hanging out in and I have no problem parking myself in the back for a full evening if the moment calls for it. Cowboy boots and faded black and white photos line the walls with terrible amateur paintings for sale further up top. It’s a shoebox of a bar but a classic one at that. Its the honky-tonk where tourist music fans get to say they experienced “Nashville” while some of the best musicians in town play classic, country standards.
BookMan/BookWoman: I tend to fall in line with Nassim Taleb’s contention that “read books are far less valuable than unread ones” and while the unread books on the shelves do in fact look at me menacingly, I still find the need to expand that library. Which is why I continue to get lost in this Hillsboro Village bookstore. It’s a tidy little store that you really can hide away in and pick up new or used classics.