Nashville's Tom Galloway Salvages Gold With New Album 'Wreckage' June 1, 2022 21:04

Photo by Middle TN Films

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Tom Galloway has been grinding his way through the world of music since his teenage years. After leading various groups through his time as a high school student, Galloway founded the jam/rock band Mama's Love during his college years in Athens, Georgia. Quickly becoming one of the Southeast's most popular touring acts at that time, it was immediately clear that he was on to something special. The band remained active and toured regularly all the way up through 2014, when Galloway and his bandmates began pursuing other musical endeavors. 

After relocation to Nashville, he would join up with former Mama's Love bandmate Whit Murray's band Maradeen. Shortly thereafter, Galloway would also begin focusing on his solo career as a singer/songwriter. After releasing his debut EP Cross Currents in August of 2018, Galloway followed with his sophomore EP, Rearview, in October of 2020. While so many were familiar with Galloway's work playing electric guitar and singing in Mama's Love and Maradeen, these releases allowed him to showcase a completely different, more personal side of his songwriting. 

As you will read in the Q&A below, there was a collection of songs that Mama's Love started recording back in 2014 which had never seen the light of day. While many of these tunes had become fan favorites in the band's later years, even Galloway himself had almost forgotten about them. This material was extremely personal and held a special place in his heart. They were rediscovered back in 2020, and thanks to the help of Nashville-based producer Dan Davis, they're now available on all major streaming platforms as of Friday, May 27th.

Just a few days ago, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Galloway and hear all about the story of Wreckage. I learned that this release is truly as important as any other collection of music he has released, and after listening to these tracks, I can totally see why. Check out the Q&A below to learn a little bit more, and make sure to give this album a full spin as soon as you can find the time. 

Tell me about the lineup you assembled for this project. What's your history with these guys?

Tom: The original group in the studio was the Mama’s Love lineup from 2013-14: Bill Baker, Ross Bogan, Richard Chamberlain, & Doyle Williams. This was set to be the fourth Mama’s Love record but was left unfinished. Most of these songs were the new favorites of our live shows around that time. This group was full-time on the road for years. We had ourselves a time all up and down the east coast and frequented the west in a treacherous converted red shuttle bus we named Bunny Wheeler. 

The Nashville sessions included Dan Davis behind the board, with guitar overdubs from Stephen Taylor (Tom Galloway Band), Whit Murray (Maradeen, Mama’s Love), and Daniel Donato (Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country). Davis also recorded and sang background vocals with Cy Simonton (CBDB), Willow Scrivner (Willow & Wood), and percussion from John Rodrigue.  If you are familiar with all these guitarists, it’s really cool to try and guess who is playing where. The mix of all these guys makes for a dynamic listening experience for sure.   

What's the backstory on these seven tracks? Is this all previously unreleased material?

Tom: A lot of these songs were written during a transition in my life when things were uncertain. The lyrics deal a lot with isolation and searching for love and meaning. The opener, "Land of the Midnight Sun," and the single "Missouri," were written on the same day. We always paired these songs together as openers for our live shows, so it felt natural to have them back to back at the beginning of the album. "Levees of the Heartland" deals with dropping emotional barriers to the power of love. "Hey Little Angel" was brought to the table by keyboardist, Ross Bogan, and it was always a rowdy song to play live. After hearing Angel again I had to call him up and ask if I could release it. "Times of Trouble" touches on broken dreams mixed with unhealthy distractions. "Stone Farm" is a story of desolation, a farmer haunted by lost love praying for redemption. "Broken Blues" is a heartbreaker and an ode to the healing power of music. 

Tell me about the recording process for Wreckage.

Tom: We started the record in ‘14 with songs I’d been writing since ‘12, and now 10 years later, here we are. In the process of moving to Nashville and getting involved in different projects, the foggy idea of releasing these songs kept getting pushed and for a while, I had forgotten about them entirely. But when I recovered the basic tracks in 2020, I was reminded of how important these tunes are to me. The true hero in this is my good friend and producer, Dan Davis, who was able to take these raw scattered tracks and transform them into worthy releasable songs. I don’t think either of us knew what we were getting into trying to piece this all together. We had several guitar overdub sessions in Nashville, and we recut all the lead vocals, harmonies, and percussion, while Bogan sent us some fresh overdubs from Charleston. Slowly but surely, we got the tracks to a place where we felt comfortable releasing. It wasn’t easy, and I’m truly grateful for the time and energy spent by Dan and everyone else on this project, and it feels good to say we salvaged the gold from the wreckage.     

What do you hope people take away from this recording and these songs?

Tom: I realized halfway through the re-recording process that putting this out was really more for me than anything else. And as we struggled to get this right, the more I needed these songs to come out. Because it’s not just seven old songs being released, it’s a part of my life I can now revisit through this music; a collision of the musical family of my past with the musical family of my present. It’s really cool to listen through and hear the different parts from everyone. The album melts into an amazing sentimental and satisfying piece of personal history and I’m grateful to everyone that made it happen.

Stream Wreckage in its entirety via Spotify here: