Tom Laverack
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Tom Laverack

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"Honest Tune Review"

It is a rare occurrence when an artist’s compositions frame a film project. But, that is just what has happened to former Just Desserts frontman Tom Laverack and his introspective marvel, Cave Drawings on Sojourn Records.

Three of Cave Drawings' songs, "Precious Little," "No Shame," and "Running Out of Road," were used for Larry Fessenden's feature, The Last Winter. "Precious Little," produced by Mark Ambrosino, stretches the vast, colorful musical landscape of Laverack's mind with sharp, insightful, poetic lyricism. Bolstered by strong sidemen such as Jeff Langston (Antony and the Johnsons) and Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega), Laverack finds the freedom and the flow in the breezy opening track, "Coney Island Heart." Slowing down with reflection, Laverack's tools of description become the soft spoken prose of "Kickin' Around." And, powering Cave Drawings' rhythmic counterpoint, Ambrosino finds the catchy, simmering soulful stretches brewing inside of "Childhood Friend."

A deeply satisfying listen, Tom Laverack's Cave Drawings rewards with each sublimely successive playing.
Cave Drawings will be released January 22 on Sojourn Records.
-Bill Whiting - Honest Tune Online

"No Depression Review"

With twenty years gone by since his debut album, Tom Laverack has honed his writing and performing into a perfectly matched set. His voice and songs meet one another on varied turf and go gallivanting about the hillsides. World-weariness runs through the the entire set in a way that a man two decades younger couldn't have fully comprehended. "Not much changes from place to place but the scenery," Laverack sings in "Dead Dog". The soulful, horn-bolstered "Running Out Of Road" delivers on its title with a certainty tempered by a still-unquenched thirst for life. "Foolish Enough To Think" weds pop smarts to a rough-and-tumble groove and leathery vocals. The title song, rich with allegory, hypnotizes along the course of its folkish structure, punctuated with Joni Mitchell-like chordal turns and thoughtfully compelling drumming.

"CMJ Review"

Backed by an understated and cleverly arranged ensemble, singer-songwriter/ guitarist Tom Laverack offers lyrical gems about everything from alcoholism (Alcohol) to
homogenized rock radio (Last Rock and Roll Band).

For fans of Mark Eitzel, Bruce
Replacements. - CMJ

"Roots Highway Review"

It (Gift Horse) is a simple and thoughtful record… It is a collection of long melancholic
songs played with an exquisite sense of balance between keyboards (used here instead
of a piano) and stringed instruments. It is not, as one might think, an obvious,
traditional lament in the "roots" vein… because Laverack is nearly always only himself.
If someone really wanted to make a comparison, I would suggest the name of
Bob Dylan (the more mature Dylan of the 80's) whose spirit flutters here and there in
the more animated episodes of the album, "Killing Time" (superb) or "Five O' Clock
Shadow", both of which display electric instruments used more sparingly elsewhere.
However it is not in the quantity of watts used where one should look for the most profound
meaning of Laverack's music, but in the moderate pop spirit of the delicious"Crossin' Kansas", in the "cinematic" blues of "Where Are You?", and most of all, in
the sad melodies of "Bodiless, Hot Dog Vendor or Wallet" which can be considered sublime exercises of introspection, able to give voice to an entire universe of abandoned
people. If you are in syntony with the idea of another rock writer who entrusts his own soul to the neck of a guitar, then "Gift Horse", is your record.
-Gianfranco Callieri - Roots Highway

"Robert Christgau Review"

...the best of the writing-notably a detox diptych and an acrid call to arms and alms-kept me listening for the sprawling masterpiece I had somehow missed. It wasn't there.
But I never got tired of the good stuff. B - Village Voice

"Ear Buzz Review"

With pop/rock moods and poetry, along with a vocal style that conjurs Petty and Dylan,
Tom Laverack's 14-track CD, "Gift Horse", is a look into the mouth of an artist
who is masterful at painting musical tapestries of typically dark adult life. The record
starts with "Smile On You", a reality punching confession of the common effort,
'starting out but wishing that you were through, trying to hide that you haven't a clue.
.you'll never concede that your pretty little dream will not come true'. Brutal and honest.
Track 2, "Hold Out", is a simple subtle inspiring tune of dedication, 'if i fall down
i'll try to get back up and i'll catch you rain in this paper cup, and you can call my
name, and i will come'. Track 9, "Five o'clock Shadow", is a NYC ode that touches on
Lou Reed influence about city street observations, 'i saw these cops holding onto a
woman who was crying out and in pain, she fell to the sidewalk with a cops foot on
her so that she couldn't run away'. The sweetest melody and sentiment on a record
of sometimes brutal discouragement, is found in "Ragdoll". Picking up with the same
tone of dedication as "hold out", Laverack sings, 'i could be your rag doll and be
there where you are'. The guitar work approaches a pedal steel and adds understated
instrumental beauty to the song. Laverack leaves a final imprint of futility in
"Hot Dog Vendor" as the protagonist accomplishes little in an effort to not become a
hot dog vendor. But, the record overall touches a relative core of universal insecurity
in its language. The music serves to prop up a world that Laverack seems to revere
and deject at the same time - and end up with glimpses of love and resolve in what
are unconditional dedicated songs of partnership. Superb.
-Don Kimenker -

"NY Press Review"

In goes Just Desserts' stark raving, uh, stark
"Almost shook you up"/"Flashing Blue"
(Bar/None). Singer-songwriter Tom
LaverackÃ?s jagged folk-rock cuts to the bone straight through the most opportune
vein, not unlike the song of American Music Club's Mark Eitzel. Recorded live, with
Laverack on guitar/vocals and band mate Larry Fesenden on sax/vocals, "Almost
Shook You Up" chillingly depicts a numbed-beyond-belief protagonist whose wife
has split, whose daughter has vamoosed ("Said she'd rather be anywhere than in
this morgue you call a home"), and whose mom just died-and still he's blank.
Disturbingly real. So too "Flashing Blue," taken from Sentimental War (I'm ISO it)
wherein Laverack and Fessenden trade ragged lines about the jittery
dead-endedness of detox hell, accompanied-but never overwhelmed-by
mood-manipulating organ, bass, guitars, and drums. Gripping stuff. - NY Press


Cave Drawings - Sojourn Records - June, 2008
Gift Horse - MayYing Music - 2005
Out of the Blue - Megalith Records - 2000
Give Up The Ghost - Earhorn Disks - 1997
Almost Shook You Up - Barnone Records - 1991
Sentimental War - Earhorn Disks - 1987



Tom Laverack's newest release, Cave Drawings, four years in the making, showcases the best of Laverack's songwriting, bolstered by Mark
Ambrosino's refined production and including great performances from a stellar band, including Marc Shulman (Suzanne Vega), Jeff Langston
(Antony and the Johnsons) and Mark Ambrosino (Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder). Cave Drawings offers an emotionally and musically diverse
range for the listener, while tapping into the classic 50's and 60's style of production. It is folk-rock with a soulful delivery.

Having drawn comparisons to an array of distinguished singer-songwriters
- from Paul Westerberg to Bruce Springsteen - Bob Dylan to Tom Waits - Laverack shows his preoccupation with the darker sides of life, while
retaining a quiet belief in the sacredness of our connections. NY Press proclaimed: "Laverack's jagged folk-rock cuts to the bone straight through
the most opportune vein. Gripping stuff."
Three songs from Cave Drawings are used in the upcoming film The Last Winter, written and directed by Larry Fessenden (Habit, Wendigo)
and produced by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte (Thirteen, Laurel Canyon) due to be released in September 2007. The track 'Running Out of Road' was written
for the film and is featured during the ending credits.

Tom Laverack has been writing and performing music since the age sixteen, living a majority of his adult life in New York City. Laverack and long time musical collaborator, Larry Fessenden, started the band Just Desserts in the mid-eighties
and released their first album Sentimental War (Earhorn Disks) in 1987. Recorded with Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr), Sentimental War is a concept album and acoustic-driven folk-rock tour-de-force, drawing comparisons to Tom Waits, John Prine, Elvis Costello, The Clash, and The Violent Femmes. The album received rave reviews and extensive college radio airplay.

Just Desserts also released the paired down EP, Cold Hearts and Whiskey from which BarNone records issued a limited-release '45' featuring the song Almost Shook You Up. In 1997, Just Desserts released their second full-length album Give Up The Ghost (Earhorn Disks), garnering high praise and extensive college and AAA radio airplay. David
Avery of CMJ wrote: "Backed by an understated and cleverly arranged ensemble, singer-songwriter/ guitarist Tom Laverack offers lyrical gems about everything from alcoholism ("Alcohol") to homogenized rock radio ("Last Rock and
Roll Band"). For fans of Mark Eitzel, Bruce Springsteen, Replacements."

In addition to their collaboration as Just Desserts, Fessenden has featured Laverack's solo recordings in all of his feature films, beginning with No Telling in 1991, a film Laverack also scored. Laverack contributed two songs to Fessenden's second feature film, Habit, a release that went on to earn Fessenden an Independent Spirit Someone To Watch Award, and composed the song Hold Out (from the CD Gift Horse) for Fessenden's film Wendigo, which earned the director further accolades and awards, including winning the 2001 Woodstock Film Festival.

Prior to Cave Drawings, Laverack released two additional full-length solo CDs - Out of the Blue (Megalith Records), produced by Daniel Egger, released in 1999 featuring a variety of home recordings (excerpts from earlier recordings that
had never been released) - and Gift Horse (MayYing Music) produced by Gideon Egger, released in November 2005 and distributed by Hayden's Ferry/Rustic Records featuring an eclectic collection of songs highlighting Laverack's unique
brand of songwriting.

Laverack has played at numerous venues in New York City, from CBGB's to LaMama, and from the Mercury Lounge to the Living Room. He has had the privilege of playing on bills with Freedie Johnston, The Tom-Tom Club, The Mekons and Philip Glass as well as many other gifted performers.

Laverack, along with Ambrosino, are founding partners of the independent label, Sojourn Records. Sojourn Records is an innovative label highlighting the importance of partnering with artists, leveraging technology, and assisting great
artists to connect with great audiences.