Tom and Sarah Wilson

Tom and Sarah Wilson

BandPopFolk

Lyrically profound and irreverent, harkening renegade folk, tinpan alley, outlaw country, Johnny and June, Bob Dylan and desire, harmonic sophistocation, broken harmonicas, violins and violence, two voices in aching boldness and vulnerability.

Biography

When Thomas Wilson and Sarah Stewart-Kroeker met and fell in love in the summer of 2004, they had little idea that they would form an alt-folk duo, let alone be releasing an album only years later. Not that they weren’t both already accomplished musicians: Sarah having studied violin since the age of five; and Thomas, a guitarist who had been learning the songs of Hawksley Workman, Tom Waits and Bob Dylan at a voracious rate. He had written a few songs, but it wasn’t until he moved from his hometown Winnipeg to Hamilton in the fall of 2005 that his song-writing became compulsive. The urge to perform these songs could not be repressed, and adding Sarah’s vocals and violin provided the songs with a musical depth unmatched by the lone singer-songwriter. The duo’s quirky storytelling lyrics and their musical sound, inspired from genres ranging from hot jazz to outlaw country to folk revival, proves to be a captivating combination to local audiences.
By the time Tom and Sarah were married in 2006, the bulk of songs had become unmanageable: an album would be necessary to give the songs form and coherence. As the duo began recording this past winter, two themes became obvious, those of love and sin, hence the title, Love Songs and Sinner Ballads. These themes are related, says Tom, “Most of my love songs are about vulnerability, how true love can be sustained even through our faults and failures”. To further increase the sonic diversity of their recording they recruited Sarah’s sister, Miriam Stewart-Kroeker on cello, Paul Panchezak on percussion, Andrew Eckart on stand-up bass and experienced jazz musician Bart Nameth on piano. Trip Print Press in Toronto was enlisted to design and produce the CD jacket, using salvaged printing equipment pre-dating the digital age, a mentality that resonates with Tom and Sarah’s acoustic, old-time sympathies.

Discography

LP: Love Songs and Sinner Ballads