Whiskey Kill
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Whiskey Kill

South Berwick, Maine, United States | SELF

South Berwick, Maine, United States | SELF
Band Americana Country


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Whiskey Kill @ The Press Room

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Whiskey Kill @ Blue Mermaid Island Grill

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Whiskey Kill @ The Brickhouse

None, Maine, USA

None, Maine, USA

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



Portsmouth Herald, January 8, 2011
Whiskey Kill Product of Musical Evolution
By Jeanné McCartin
January 08, 2011 2:00 AM

Tom Ferry has rowed us through musical waters for more than a decade, finally transporting us to quieter waters. Not still. Not calm. Certainly no less energetic. But it's a new body of water, with an easier ride that suits Ferry just fine.
He's made his way from rock — loud rock — to rockabilly with his new band, Whiskey Kill, which brings him back to an old shore.
Ferry laughs a lot while talking about his transition. For example, there's those clothes he wore in the earlier years — makes a man laugh, maybe even cry.
"I probably had a GI Joe T-shirt on for Market Square Day. Who wears that at 35?" he says. "Today, give me a country shirt with pearlized buttons. I want to look sharp."

As for the earlier sound, well he's a little hard on himself.
"Twelve-13 years ago, we just wanted to play loud. We knew we couldn't play all that well, so we figured if we cranked it up, they'd like it," he says, laughing. "I would scream into the mic and people loved me. I was probably thinner and cuter then, too. Anyway, it's what I thought you did."

Truth is, he's worked with some of the Seacoast's most popular — and as he notes — with some of its best musicians. His instrument of choice is either keys or rhythm guitar. He's also a vocalist and writer.

Ferry, now of South Berwick, Maine, moved from Concord to play with Tim Deal. At first, the band was 69 Franklin. Then came Craving, with three of 69 Franklin's former members, another major Seacoast band. Next came Smoke Up jOhnny with John Morse — also a respected band. When that disbanded in between 2003 and 2004, he moved on to perform with The Molenes with Dave Hunter, again a notable group.

It was while working Smoke Up jOhnny that an old love came calling.
"A friend was playing 'Whiskey Bottle' by Uncle Tupelo, and I absolutely fell in love with alternative country. That was about 2001," says Ferry.
The Molenes are an alternative country band, so playing with them satisfied the need. "But I was always yearning to play my own music, too."
So, with a stockpile of songs in hand, Whiskey Kill was born.
"I really had the bug, even when I was in Smoke Up jOhnny. I started listening to Johnny Cash, reaching back to Jerry Lee Lewis, Hank Williams — all that great old country," he says. "I grew up like a lot of people with my Dad listening to it. At that time, I liked it, but it wasn't fashionable to like what your Dad liked. But when I got older something sparked hearing the old country. ...; I wanted to play it."

Whiskey Kill's lineup includes Bruce Hilton on pedal steel; Derek Swenson, drums; Jose Solorzano, bass guitar; Tristan Oman, electric guitar; and Ferry on rhythm and lead vocals. Their work is "in the vein of" Carl Perkins, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, Tom Petty and some great old rockers like Chuck Berry.
"Oh, and of course, the masters: Hank Williams, Johnny Paycheck — oh boy, oh man do I love him."

The band formed the summer of 2010.
"We're so new we don't even have our demo done," Ferry says. "We're recording it this weekend." But they have been playing out, opening for others, meshing as a band, refining their show.The music appeals to a broad age demographic, which helps considering his writing, Ferry says."I'm 46 now. I don't particularly want to play or write music just for 20-somethings anymore."

As for the music itself, the major change is "less is more, right?" he says.
"When I write music right now, I don't care if it sounds like old country or a gospel tune; I'm keeping something alive. It's simple music, written by a simple man.
"I'm not striving to play that power chord or that awesome guitar lick anymore. I — and the players I bond with — play tasteful lines, honest, tasteful lines, really. When Bruce Hilton plays, he's dynamic. It's not over-the-top playing. Same with Tristan; he's a very lean stripped-down, soulful guitar player."

And things "ain't as loud" as they used to be. "God, no." When someone starts to crank up the volume during rehearsal, Ferry included, one of the other band members pulls him in and things quiet down.
Most of the tunes are written with Ferry's partner, Elissa Williamson. The subjects vary broadly. There's tunes about old cars, driving around looking at homes in the south and about being a better person. There's a tune about Willie Nelson, and others based on news items or social issues.
"We write a lot about our life together, being happy, and sometimes I still write a sad song. I love a sad song," says Ferry.
- Portsmouth Herald


The band is currently working on its debut CD. Three songs from the new album are available for streaming, and the single, "Leave My Willie Alone" is currently offered for free download on Reverbnation.



These days, the Americana genre encompasses everything from solo bluegrass artists to hard-hitting southern rock bands. While this gives performers unlimited freedom, it is important to Whiskey Kill to honor its traditional American roots. The influence of classic rockabilly, blues, gospel, and rock-n-roll music are evident in the set. Whiskey Kill is very much a New England band, and its original music is drawn from the stories told and personal experiences in a small, seacoast community. Not surprisingly, these songs echo the themes found in the music of great artists such as Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, Wanda Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Hank Williams.

Thomas Ferry-Guitar, vocals
Jose Solorzano-Upright/Electric Bass
Derek Swanson-Drums
Sean Yadisernia–Electric Guitar/Mandolin
Bruce Hilton- Pedal Steel Guitar