Tom Eisenbraun

Tom Eisenbraun

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Nick Drake came to me once in a dream. It was present day, he was still alive, and the reason he had disappeared in the 70s was because of a horribly withered left hand. There were also two of him. Upon waking, I realized that the music he was playing with his withered hand was actually my own...

Biography

Perpetually a bedroom musician and without a means of recording for the first 7 of my 12 years of playing, I've had to figure out how best to make a lot of noise come out of two hands and one box with six strings. Sam Beam changed everything right when I began to learn how to listen, and then not long after, Nick Drake's Pink Moon changed everything again. I learned that dynamics lead to subtlety leads to providing listeners with a reason to listen.

Along the way, different artists have impacted not only the way I listen to music, but how I've begun to hear what it is that I'm trying to sound like inside my own head. M. Ward and Sam Beam taught me how to cover a song. Andrew Bird showed me how to use a looping pedal to create an orchestra. Will Oldham showed me what it looks like to not be afraid to step outside of boundaries to make something that shouldn't sound like you into your own.

I owe my alternate tunings first to Jimmy Page, then to Nick Drake for showing me how to be still and play it gently, precisely. J Tillman has shown me the importance of honesty, and how sparse can be beautiful--it's a matter of making sure that everything present in the recording is purposed.

That said, I have my favorites, but I don't let myself sound like them for any longer than is necessary. As per tradition, I've taken small bits and pieces from every musician I love, and have brought these pieces into music that is becoming more and more distinctly mine. I have a lot of hard truth and hard joy to sing about, and love is wrapped up in that, but I have a healthy distaste for cliché, and an even stronger aversion to recycling anyone else's revelations. The music I make has become distinctly mine through years of learning how to voice myself through my fingers.

There comes a point at which either your fingers start to sound like your soul or you should find a new place to voice yourself. At this point, I no longer have the choice of giving up.

Discography

I have not released a formal single, EP, or LP, but I'm constantly getting closer. I'm a home recordist and a perfectionist, so this could be longer than I think.

Set List

I've got a very solid 30 to 45 minutes of material, mostly acoustic, mostly unaccompanied, but I'm working on fixing that. The cover songs I might play are highly reworked favorites of mine (see "One Big Holiday" and "Do Wah Diddy"). The rest depends on how I'm feeling about the current status of the 10-or-so song cycle I've been working on. I'm into telling a story, and that's what these songs are for.