Born in Georgia, raised in Texas, and currently writing songs in Nashville, TN, Tom Galloway combines roots of Americana, classic country and rock to form a unique blend of expression and storytelling. Developing his craft for years, strong hooks, captivating lyrics, and compelling music have been his mission.
You lived in TX from ages 3–15. Which TX artists most influenced your sound?
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s catalogue was my gateway into the classic country world. These days I’ve also grown to love the works of Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard, James McMurtry to name a few other TX songwriters. When we moved there when I was young, my father was really fascinated by the Texas culture, especially the music, so I was always hearing great records in the house.
You attended the University of Georgia after your family moved back to your home state. What were your favorite music spots at the college?
I frequently got lost in what was called the “barmuda triangle”, which consisted of The Georgia Theatre, Nowhere Bar, and The Georgia Bar. The Georgia Theatre was definitely my favorite place to play and see music.
Would you say the music of Woodstock era still greatly influences rock music today?
I wish it was more relevant today. That time period seemed like a true cultural enlightenment, and the music that came from that time really resonates with me. There was a sense of purity and exploration when it came to songwriting. That spirit is still pops up today with modern music but you have to seek it out.
Are there any guitars or other instruments from that era that you use?
One of my main electric guitars is a 60s re-issue Epiphone Sheraton John Lee Hooker blues model. I also have a 60s re-issue Gibson SG.
Frontman for Mama’s Love, Maradeen, Stampede. What is it like going from rock band to solo artist?
I love playing in bands. The songs that I hear when creating new music usually comes in a full band sound. I’ll play writers rounds and solo shows, but a full band with the right vibes can be a powerful thing. I’ll bring in completed song demos, but they always improve when filtered through the solo band. Overall, there is more freedom and creative control as a solo artist, but the trade off is having the full responsibility to keep it moving forward, because if you don’t care and fully commit yourself, no one else will.
What inspired you and Daniel Allen to write “If You Never Will”?
We just sat down one day and decided we wanted to write a song about a love gone wrong.
Take us from that inspiration from co-writing to editing to finally getting the song to the studio to record. What changed in the song, from inception to album?
We originally wrote the song as almost a country ballad, much slower. I revisited the song a few days later and heard this more upbeat version in my head, thinking about The Eagles first self-titled album as inspiration. Once we got to the studio, still on The Eagles kick, I wanted some lush harmonies for the choruses. The producer, Dan Davis, had great harmonic ideas and we also brought our friend Cy Simonton from the band, CBDB, to hit the high harmonies.
Your producer, Dan Davis, worked with you in the studio and was also on background vox. What brought the two of you together?
I met him at The Basement in Nashville, I was looking for a place to record and he said he worked at Southern Ground and could help me out. Good vibes from the beginning and I could sense he knew music well and that we shared a common philosophy on songwriting and the production process.
How did you choose Southern Ground Nashville to record the new songs?
Originally Southern Ground was a church built in the early 1900s, and it has been through several transformations. I’m a fan of Zac Brown and everything he’s accomplished. Legendary artists have recorded there over the years, and most importantly the atmosphere, recording equipment, and staff are all top-notch.
Do you create the storyboards for your music videos?
Middle TN Films: Jordan & Olivia Al-Sadi put the video together. We talked through some concepts together. They were wonderful to work with and very generous with their time and enthusiasm.
Who designs the artwork for your songs?
The photography was from Middle TN Films, as well, shot on set after we finished the video.
Americana. For new fans, what are the unique elements of Americana songwriting?
I guess Americana would be considered roots-oriented music, which is pretty vague and can range from acoustic folk to alternative country/rock. I don’t sit down and tell myself I’m going to write an Americana song, although several tend to fall in this category. I let the song dictate itself, if it ends up fitting in the Americana genre that’s great. There’s a song on the upcoming EP that could be considered progressive rock, there’s another song on the record that could be consider soul/R&B, and I think there is strength in diversity.
Your favorite places to write?
My family has a cabin up in North Georgia in the mountains next to a river. I love to go up there for some solitude and songwriting whenever I can.
How has your sound evolved since your 2018 album “Cross Currents”?
I think the sound has gotten sonically bigger, and I’d like to think my songwriting has improved, although I still love the first record.
What can fans expect to hear on your upcoming album “Rearview”?
We’ve got six new original tunes, some more special guests throughout the tracks, and a diverse sound, yet all the songs tend to flow well into each other. It’s hard to describe so you should follow me on Spotify and you’ll be able to listen to the full release later this year.
As Nashville rebuilds, where can fans catch you in town? How can they help artists affected by the tornado?
There is such strength in this community, especially in the face of disaster such as the recent tornado destruction. The volunteering and donations in this town have reached new heights due to this recent tragedy. There have been some big benefit concerts already that have raised a great deal of relief money. Both Fender and Gibson have been replacing guitars and gear that were destroyed by the tornado. I’ll be playing several shows around Nashville this spring, all dates are on my website, and I hope to see yall out there!