Tommy Alexander
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Tommy Alexander

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Portland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Tommy Alexander and the Quiet Lion EP"

In a world where nothing is done without first calculating the mean-old cost/benefit, there is a dude named Tommy Alexander who just does it for the love of it. This former college baseball player turned guitar-playing vagabond has started something of a gypsy record label, gathering the best and most interesting that Burlington, Vermont has to offer. It's as he once said to me, "We focus on poetry and music and our inspiration, and from there we just let it all flow through us."

And so Alexander's second album, Quiet Lion EP, takes it a step beyond the funk-recordings of Dylan's bootleg tapes; in fact, this record is quite the opposite. Alexander shines in this new world where masterful digital music production and online distribution can be done with ease. Tommy Alexander has taken his guerrilla brand of Jenke Records to the streets. He's waging an insurgency of both spirit and grit, playing his own music independent from major labels and in front of as many caffeinated freaks as the Vermont coffee scene has to offer. He's even been known to take his traveling gig as far as California and New York.

The downright truth about Alexander and Jenke Records is that it is an expression of rebellion in a society that is trapped within institutional conformities and down-the-road retirement plans. One listen of Alexander's new EP, and you'll see that what we're dealing with is a modern day Jack Kerouac, whose penchant is for an on-the-road experience and whose mission is to capture what comes from the soul. Filled with an introspective and strikingly truthful style of songwriting, his music can be downright mind-bending -- especially for those of us who have grown used to Pandora's corporate jukebox and the cultural clichés that run with it.

Then there is Grace Flynn, Alexander's singing partner on Quiet Lion EP. Listening to the record, they capture an authentic feel, like you're sitting in one of Alexander's poetry-filled coffee shop gigs yourself. It's like this duet just walked on stage after huffing a few Marlboros and slamming a few beers, and bring a clarity in style and sound that stays through the EP.

Flynn gives a sort of calming balance to Alexander's deep vocals, where you get the feeling that this dude has lived through it. There is just something so soothing and sincere in hearing the truth from these dueling 20-somethings that it strikes you as different. Though different may only be their claim to a bit of definition for this young and lost generation.

So check out the record and take the ride. You're not likely to hear poetry as well-crafted raw from your classic iTunes purchase. You have to dive deep down into the depths of this resurrected beat culture that is normally too drowned out from the corporatized brands and labels to allow anything this sincere and nuanced to be felt.

As Alexander softly suggests from his new EP, Quiet Lion, " can sit still with the quiet child and untangle all that is wrong and right." - Huffington Post

"Tommy Alexander : Basement Soul"

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Calif., Alexander said he first heard about Burlington through a friend of a friend. A musician to his core, he was looking for somewhere new, to grow as a person and as an artist. He decided to give Burlington a shot, and in 2009 arrived with his guitar, song ideas and not much money. He joined the street musician culture that flourishes on Church Street, and as he tells it, things just sort of developed from there.

In a culture where we’re constantly pushed to follow some sort of prescribed path, through education and then a career, it seems strange to imagine someone just starting up somewhere new with nothing but musical talent and extraversion. But then again, Alexander isn’t really one for the traditional way of doing things.

For example, the success of Jenke Arts space doesn’t translate into a paycheck. The space hosts any artists who want to teach classes, anything from Brazilian Capoeira dancing to open mic nights. Alexander and Mantone charge ten bucks an hour. After that, whoever is running the class or event keeps all the profit. As Alexander explains, they’re only trying to get enough to cover rent and upkeep. The principal currency at Jenke arts is good karma.

It’s easy to smirk when hearing diatribes about how good karma will make everything okay, but for Alexander, it really has been a powerful force. His success with Jenke and in his own musical career, which spans more than seven albums, if you count his non-solo work, is a result of good friendships and connections. He’s adamant about how nothing he’s done has truly been solo — wherever an achievement goes, the road is paved with the help of others.

When Jenke started, Alexander got his hands on some recording equipment for a great price through a friend, and in return offered up a recording studio space on the cheap for local musicians. Nowadays, that aspect has been mostly phased out, but he points out that he fields emails almost every day from people looking to record. He sends them in the direction of friends he has in the area who are working on similar projects.

Alexander has done quite a bit of recording on his own since arriving in Burlington. He layers tommy-alexandersmoldering, contemplative lyrics over his guitar, frequently calling in on friends with other instruments. He’s also half of the duo Quiet Lion, which started in 2011 when he met Alanna Grace Flynn at a house party. He’s not proud of his earlier efforts, which he feels were “immature,” but things changed with his latest album, Basement Soul.

While Alexander has always sought to communicate emotions and moods in his music, he feels he’s finally started to get things right with this album, which he recorded over the course of the past winter in the Jenke studio. With a heavy, contemplative tone that recalls Bon Iver and vocals that were influenced by Bob Dylan, he plucks his guitar and blends it with emotive lyrics that strike a theme of wanderlust.

So while the main part of Alexander’s story seems to be about good vibes and the importance of friendship, there’s also the element of journeying. He’s content with his progress, developing both himself and Jenke Arts in his time here in Burlington. But he’s not settling. Soon, he’ll be touring across the country before settling in Portland, Ore., the next step of the journey. He’s still be involved with Jenke, he assures, and at this point the space has become a lot like how Alexander sees his music — “sustainable and expressive, honest and upfront.” ‡ - Thread Magazine

"Tommy Alexander in the Studio NBC Portland, ME"

In 2011, Vermont-based musician Tommy Alexander started his own artist collective, Jenke Records, to give free services to artists. Now three years later, Alexander's so-called "anti-label" has produced twenty albums, and seven of his own records. This summer, he released his second full-length studio album. Basement Soul, which is currently accessible online; it will also be available on CD on August 5th.

Tommy Alexander performs the song "Kentucky" off his album Basement Soul. 207

The collective itself has produced nearly 2 dozen albums for artists who likely wouldn't have otherwise had the means to put out a record. And they also create art and offer some 100 classes a month in various activities from art to yoga.

Tommy Alexander is playing in Portland on Thursday, July 17th. He gave us a preview right here on 207. - NBC

"Tommy Alexander, Basement Soul"

For a guy who's been a central figure in seven or so records with various projects since 2011, and who's helped birth countless other recordings through his collective/label Jenke Arts, it's surprising that Tommy Alexander's new record, Basement Soul, marks only his second full-length solo effort. The 12-track album, recorded at Ryan Power's Stu Stu Studio, has a distinctly more produced and polished sound than Alexander's previous solo works — Bogart the Ghost, a 2012 full-length album, and the 2011 debut EP Maybe One Day. While those earlier recordings were largely driven by Alexander's vocal and instrumental musings, Alexander's latest feels focused and fleshed out. You can tell he took his time.

The opener, "Joshua Tree," is a finger-picking, bluesy folk tune that matches Alexander's warbled voice to wandering lyrics. It's a classic "on the road" track that positions him traveling highways and byways alone and allowing the landscape to reflect his own thoughts back to him. Alexander sings, "So I packed my bags and I headed west / with something strange burning in my chest / Do you relate to the crow that flies? / Bringing songs from above and a sun that shines / Life is a trip when you're running down a highway of dreams / With nothing for miles but the Joshua trees."

Basement Soul is as intimate and earnest as Alexander's earlier work. But it's also more experimental, signaling that he has found his footing and is now willing to take a few risks. Two tracks stand out stylistically. "Catalina" injects a bit of summertime reggae into the otherwise rustic, weekend-at-the-cabin mix. The ominous and surprising appearance of a singing saw — courtesy of Johnnie Day Durand — in "Dreams to Dance" makes it a slightly spooky number that forgoes the comforting vibe of the rest of the album. Still, these choices show that Alexander is a thoughtful practitioner of his craft who knows what works but isn't afraid to infuse it with something new.

While his strong vocals and light guitar touch permeate the entire album, Alexander also has a little help from his friends — nine of them, to be exact. Many of his pals contribute multiple instruments and none disappoints. "Nobody's Cryin'" has a particularly lovely stretch of Tucker Hanson's longing violin. Other contributors include bassist John Rogone, drummer Simon Plumpton, pianist Randal Pierce and multi-instrumentalist Eric Segalstad, among others.

The ensemble effort suits the collective ethos that Alexander and company practice at Jenke Arts. With Alexander's honest vocals and a talented crew weaving its own sounds throughout the album, Basement Soul is yet another solid piece in the Jenke catalog, as well as Alexander's own body of work.

Basement Soul by Tommy Alexander is available at and Pure Pop. Alexander plays a release party at Signal Kitchen on Tuesday, August 5. - Seven Days News Paper


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Tommy Alexander (born October 31, 1985) is a singer-songwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He has released material under his own name and as a part of folk duo Quiet Lion. Since 2012, he has released two full-length albums and four EPs through various musical projects. 

Tommy has been fortunate to share the stage with acts such as ; Kevin Devine, Rising Appalachia, Milo Greene, JOHNNYSWIM, Night Beds,Spirit Family Reunion, Jenny O, to Hip Hop  legends 'People Under the Stairs'. 


 "With a heavy, contemplative tone that recalls Bon Iver and vocals that were influenced by Bob Dylan, he plucks his guitar and blends it with emotive lyrics that strike a theme of wanderlust."


- Thread Magazine!/concert/quiet-lion/21020597-37385474 

Band Members