Tom McBride’s new record, A Brief Head Spin (2011), is his third release, and his first solo full-length record. The musician, singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist has logged over 200 shows over the past few years, has been featured at CMJ, Folk Alliance, Dewey Beach Music Fest, SXSW, his songs have been featured on AAA-radio stations across the country and featured in magazines American Songwriter, Spark Magazine, & Bootleg Magazine among many others. McBride has recently shared the stage with notable acts such as Dawes, William Elliot Whitmore, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Futurebirds, Charlie Mars, Ellis Paul, Ben Taylor & Dan Bern and his songwriting has received recognition within the Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Association.
The Boston native began his music career while living in Nashville and studying as an undergrad at the Blair School of Music conservatory. The grandson of Francesco Albanese, a famous Italian lyric-tenor from the 1940's, McBride studied voice for two years before transferring out and eventually getting his degree from Vanderbilt University. During that time, McBride found rapid success as a front-man, singer and songwriter for an alt-country band, resulting in him sharing the stage with recording acts like Guster, Phantom Planet, and Better Than Ezra as well as performing at Willie Nelson's Farm Aid as well as Nashville's famous Bluebird Café - all before his 22nd birthday. But McBride’s familiar story - talented, young, artist transfers out of music school – takes a detour when McBride moved out of Nashville to Washington DC and quit his pursuit of music as a vocation. “I had a growing regional audience, and we were playing the Exit/Inn and Bluebird Café in Nashville and I just took it all for granted and stopped pushing myself to write and perform. I was young, didn’t have any artistic vision shaped and most notably, I didn’t believe at the time that music was all that important to me. I of course found out how wrong I was about that."
McBride and his band relocated to the Mid-Atlantic, got jobs and Tom found himself playing intermittent “open mics” and writing songs during spare time on the weekends. In short, life got in the way, as it’s wont to do, and five years of the daily grind ensued until a personal tragedy re-prioritized his life. “I was in the process of releasing my first solo EP, which felt like a Herculean task just to organize for and to peel through hundreds of song ideas, when my father passed away, and that pretty much was the kick in the ass. I had a lot of self-doubt for a few years about performing music and writing, and it was eliminated overnight. It was that permanent reminder of your own mortality that got me over the hump really."
McBride quickly followed up his staunchly DIY debut, 2008's Headed For, with an emotionally cathartic full-band effort, Like a Lion, in 2009 under the billing Tom McBride & The Whig Party, which became the release that put Tom on the radar outside the DC scene, winning regional song-writing awards and garnering attention for the bands live performances. A Brief Head Spin, his 2011 LP release, and first full-length solo album, now comes full circle as McBride’s definitive statement for now, as of where he came from and where he goes from here. For the first time, McBride had access to a professional studio to record a wholly solo effort and enlisted production help from long-time friend Sean Greenhalgh of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah as well as Grammy-award winning engineer Stuart Sikes behind the board, best known for his work with Cat Power’s The Greatest and Jack White & Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose.