I always like a new Toke song. He is one of the singer/songwriters that always has something new and fresh. His repertoire is deep, and his on stage performance is always worthy of praise.

Toke asked me listen to a new tune, one that the record label wanted to wrap a video around. I loved the song, and I know Toke well enough that he would be loaded for bear if someone messed with the video aspect. The early cuts looked good, but the finished product is even better than my wife’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (and that is saying a lot).


Tokyo Rosenthal is a name well known in the Americana music world, his albums chart, and do very well, it is time that Toke broke the barriers and becomes a household name. What I Used To Be might well be the tool to do just that:

Without doubt I like the song and video a great deal. The amazing pedal steel guitar player is Allyn Love. This is a man who honed his craft in Nashville and played with many of todays top Country artists, including Brad Paisley. Also deserving mention are Chris Stamey on bass. Chris is an interesting guy splitting his time between being an active musician and also a record producer. This puts him in a position where ‘He can see the wood for the trees’. Rounding out the players is drummer Will Rigby (dB’s).

Tokyo Rosenthal always does a great job in the studio, but his real strength is performing live. To launch What Did I Used To Be he is headed to Austin, TX and SXSW and will be playing there March 16-18. So if you are in the area, go pick up a Toke gig. Following SXSW he has very busy North East tour from Virginia to New Hampshire scheduled, and this summer is planning yet another tour in Europe, very likely to be centered in Ireland.

While I mean no disrespect to YouTube, to really enjoy this song I recommend that you get a real copy. As of this writing it is available from cdbaby only, but other outlets will be added very soon.

Toke stuff is available wherever better music is sold, and there is also a web site with links to his other CD’s.


Simon Barrett


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