Multi-instrumentalist Tom Portman has long been one of Galway’s most consistent and prolific performers – and yet it’s been seven years since his last recorded release. But that changed with the release of ‘Train to Nowhere’, Tom’s fifth studio album in November. With ‘Eb & Flow’, his sixth studio album coming out on the 16th of December it sets in motion a busy period of new music for Tom, as he recently embarked on a partnership with two sister record labels in the Netherlands, OOB Records and Friendly Folk Records.
Train to Nowhere’ is a new, raw, stripped back rootsy country blues album from Tom Portman. It couples deft songwriting with intricate guitar and dobro playing that is the hallmark of Tom’s work. Portman is joined on this album by maestro Maciej (Magic) Zaworonek’s poetic harmonica lines. The title track ‘Train to Nowhere’ was penned by Australian song writer Kevin Lymn, to a Dobro melody Tom was playing as they busked & drifted their way around the south of France many years ago. Tom’s songs on this album feature his wry humor, but also contain the subtle depth that one expects from a songwriter of Portman’s standing.
The album also includes cover versions of Tom’s songwriting heroes Hank Williams, Tim O’Brien and Eric Bibb. Eb & Flow in contrast is a collection of improvisations he recorded on National and Weissenborn Guitars in his old house overlooking Lough Corrib in the village of Menlo just 3 miles from Galway on the West of Ireland. “Despite being so close to the city it is a nature paradise with the lake and forest being on my doorstep. Just like the house in Menlo these pieces are like a sanctuary to retreat to. A time to breathe, unwind and let the spirit Eb & Flow.”
Tom Portman’s Train to Nowhere is available from the Friendly Folk Records bandcamp page and Eb & Flow is available from the OOB records band camp page. See tomportmanmusic.com for more details.