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Driven To My Knees
Artist: Tom Feldmann   
Label: Magnolia Recording Co.
Time:  10 Tracks 40:03 Minutes
So you haven’t heard the term “AlternAmericana” before?  Well, that’s the best summary description to describe the music of Tom Feldmann on his latest release, Driven To My Knees on Magnolia Recording Co. records.
Americana in that the instruments featured on the album are traditional Americana instruments – steel string acoustic and twangy electric guitars (Tom), bass and upright bass (Stevey Murray, Paul Liebenow), mandolin and banjo (Brian Fessler), pedal steel guitar (Brian O’Neil), Rhodes and Wurly electric pianos and B3 (Scott Legere) and a simple trap kit (Peter Ellridge, Dave Downey) – and that the production on the instrumentation is a refreshing recollection of country and cowboy music of the 50’s and 60’s like the Sons of the Pioneers.  Most hints toward this come in the form of distant spring reverbed guitars, drums that sound like they are wafting out from the neighbor’s stereo 5 houses down the street and bass guitar that is balanced with the rest of the band, not pounding your license plate into oblivion.  Alternative in that Tom appears fairly young and is playing music that most of his age-group peers would quickly pass by.  Truly alternative instead of the middle-of-the-road that passes for alternative music these days.
Tom’s lyrics are unashamedly Christian.  They are sung in a rapid vibrato that is quite up front in the mix, and over backing tracks that are almost at cross-purposes, plodding along many times at dirge speeds.  The slow speed adds to the floppy but homey feeling in the instrumentation.  Naomi Feldman joins in vocally on two songs.
At times the backing instrumentation is too distant to pick up on the beautiful subtlety in the slap of the snare drum, the cry of the pedal steel and the bump ta boom of the upright bass.
Packaging is an inventive use of simple black and white printing on a dual fold-out card case with snap in center section for the CD – no fumbling with insert booklets.
Surf to Tom’s website at to hear some mid-quality .mp3 files of 3 songs of this CD for a hear-it-for-yourself description of this CD.
Scott Lake
February 18, 2005


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