Eight years on from his critically acclaimed Magnificent Bastard album, Dallas roots-rocker Tommy Hale returns with new single, video and album.

The driving ‘Hideaway’ is the opening cut on Tommy’s forthcoming album All At Sea, out through Holiday Disaster Records on 12 April.

Once again, the album was recorded in England, at Wiltshire’s Mooncalf Studio with sometime members of London roots-rock band The Snakes (Simon George Moor, Johnny O’Sullivan and Dan Tilbury) along with guitarist Nick Beere, and was produced by Moor.

The band started the recording in November 2019 and were set to begin on a Monday morning. Tommy received a call on the Sunday evening informing him that his father had had a heart attack and was not expected to live. The recording sessions were abandoned. The following spring the pandemic began. Consequently, the album carries an unavoidable sense of loss, escape and finding solace in the quiet moments that came about because of the unprecedented circumstances.  

It would be easy to lazily bracket Hale’s oeuvre as ‘Americana’, but there’s quite a bit more going on here, with forays into power-pop, alt-rock and classic left-of-centre songwriting in the manner of, say, Randy Newman, Warren Zevon and Kevin Ayres, although Tommy would never be so bigheaded as to compare himself to any of those masters. What is certain, though, is that the clash of Texan and English cultures give them album an unique and vital energy.

“I went into making this album wanting to interpret other people’s songs alongside mine,” explains Tommy. “I’ve always enjoyed hearing a great Willie Nelson song that sounds like it came straight from his soul, only to find out another songwriter wrote it. The record contains two songs from friends of mine that I wanted to see if I could interpret – ‘Esperanza’ by Tex Smith and ‘Radio Towers’ by Greg Vanderpool. These songs always stood out to me as something I wanted to dive into. I also stepped back a bit on writing lyrics and Johnny O’Sullivan stepped forward. I think it added some depth and a different perspective that I couldn’t achieve on my own. I had grown a bit tired of my own thoughts.”

Tommy and his band will play three UK shows around the time of the album’s release:

11 Apr – The Beehive, Swindon

12 Apr – The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

13 Apr – Aces & Eights, Tufnell Park, London