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Tom Heyman
Alternative Folk

Former Go to Blazes frontman Tom Heyman has earned favorable comparisons to Johnny Cash, with a similarly deep, clipped baritone and songs filled with sin and misadventure. When speaking of Boarding House Rules, however, Heyman would seem to have more in common with Joe Henry, whose dark and dry tales (particularly of the early '90s) rank among the best alt-country ever recorded. Heyman sings in varying forms about drinking, its medicinal effects at numbing an agonized life ("Eggs and Whiskey"), and its power to destroy ("Sixteen Blocks to Go"). Heyman has no doubt at some time in his life worked some kind (or series) of night jobs, as the nocturn plays a strong role in his unrepentant songs: a drunken factory worker, a gravedigger who hides in his job's solitude, a man who drives all night to see a lover he knows he won't be true to. Also like Henry (and unlike Cash for the most part), Heyman's characters (the drunk, the addict, the arrogant) find no redemption, no escape, their lives go on unaffected. John Duffy

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