Tom Brosseau is a folksinger and songwriter from North Dakota. He comes from a working family with a musical background, though none have received formal training. His grandmother Lillian Uglem taught him the acoustic guitar while he was in grade school.
He has toured Japan, Canada, Portugal, Iceland, Australia; performed in bars, backyards, grand halls, subways, theaters, old folks homes; exchanged songs and poetry with many talented folks, including Susan Orlean, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Patrick Marber, Bonnie Raitt and the late Sam Hinton.
Mayor Mike Brown presented Brosseau the Key to the City of Grand Forks, North Dakota in 2007 for his album of original work entitled Grand Forks. The songs were based on the devastating Red River flood of 1997. Natalie Portman chose a track from Grand Forks,”Plaid-lined Jacket” as part of her continuing work with FINCA, an organization whose mission is to assist communities of impoverishment.
Since 2010, Brosseau has performed with Becky Stark and John C. Reilly in John Reilly & Friends, a band devoted to the current American folk music revival. In 2011, Reilly and Brosseau recorded a 7″ vinyl single entitled John & Tom that was produced by Jack White for Third Man Records.
Tom Brosseau has toured with John Doe, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, and his songs have been covered by such acts as Chris Thile (bluegrass), Mice Parade (shoe gaze), Silje Nes (experimental), Emily & Christy (pop).
While I was a radio DJ at KDVS in Davis, CA I was sent a copy of Tom’s “Live at Largo” record back in the early part of 2004 accompanied by a handwritten note providing some background on his upbringing in North Dakota and his musical influences. I loved that record and it truly helped to shape the early sounds of my time on the radio. Soon after Tom along with Angela Correa visited and played a show at the Delta of Venus, it was one of those perfect Davis nights. I think he and Angie were first of the hundreds of musicians that I hosted at my home and that was the start of our friendship. This record is an important milestone for the label, 10 years of releasing records by people I call friends and that I wholeheartedly believe in. I’m honored to work with Tom. His passion for his craft and the respect he has for the American folk songbook is unmatched in my world.
“Lonesome Valley” was included on that “Largo” record and I like to go back and give it a listen every now and then. Enjoy.