November 19 – Cleveland – Barking Spider Tavern There have been countless musical artists that have been influenced by Bruce Springsteen, but few that do include The Boss in their list of influences can actually boast having worked with the man. Pittsburgh singer, songwriter and guitarist Bill Toms can do just that, as Toms’ former band (of which he was lead guitarist for two decades), Joe Grushecky & The Houserockers, had Springsteen produce their signature American Babylon album. But Toms, who has been honing his songwriting craft in the past decade and has released a handful of solo albums, has evolved to become one of the best orators in the music business today. He connects to an audience and embraces the American traditions of rhythm and blues, soul, folk, and rock and roll like few others; and his performances have become legendary in sheer power and passion, and his gifts of music and storytelling, paired with his creative compulsion for songs that burrow deep into the soul, have connected with his fan base again and again. Now, with a rocking collection of new songs, Memphis, due out September 27, Toms is ready to continue advancing his solo career. Memphis, Toms’ seventh studio album, was produced by Nashville veteran Will Kimbrough, and while the album title and Kimbrough’s southern touch might suggest more twang, Kimbrough’s steady guidance instead embellished upon Toms’ heartland roots more than ever before, adding depth and touches of Memphis blues to Toms’ signature sound. “The characters that speak through this collection of songs are predominately voices of the southern United States, and reflect its history,” said Toms. “Having Will Kimbrough produce it made so much sense. He’s such a talented artist, and since he happens to be from Alabama and reside in Nashville, he gave me a great perspective. I believe Memphis is my most ambitious project to date.” Of course, Toms is a veteran of the Midwest touring scene as well as all over the U.S. and Europe. He will be at the Barking Spider Tavern in Cleveland on November 19.