Yesterday I had the great pleasure of sitting down with the always entertaining 60’s king of bubblegum pop Tommy Roe. He also brought along his current conspirator in crime, Rick Levy.

tommy-and-band.jpgTommy Roe is a rarity in the music world. I have interviewed many musicians from the 60’s and 70’s that are still actively playing, almost inevitably they play because they have to. Tommy is different, he plays because he wants to. It was last year that he ‘sort of’ came out of retirement and played three concerts. This year he is booked for nine, and I am sure that more will be added. This is a very far cry from the grind that other musicians from the era face. Several years ago I met Barry Whitwam of Hermans Hermits. His story disturbed me, 200 gigs a year, and as Barry put it “Every day I play the same drum line that I did 40 years ago”.

The problem is easy to understand, the audience want to listen to the hits and maybe are not so keen on exploring new worlds.

Tommy Roe has decided to break the mold. Fear not, he will be playing Shiella, Dizzy, Sweet Pea, and all the rest of the tunes that his fans know and love, but he will also be introducing some brand new material. These new songs are destined for CD release later this year. The CD likely will be titled Devils Soul Pile.

I have to admit when I first heard the title I was somewhat luke warm to it. It did not seem to be the punchy upbeat title that I would have expected. But there again, the track Devils Soul Pile was not quite what I expected. This is a very well crafted song destined for great things. There is also a wonderful story behind it, I do hope that he tells the story in the liner notes when the CD is released.

If you missed the live interview you can catch the recording here. You can listen to Devils Soul pile plus two other brand new compositions, Water Under My Burning Bridge and It’s For You I Am Me which is one of the prettiest duets I have heard in a long time. There is also a journey back to the 60’s with Kick Me Charlie.

The music is wonderful, but even better is listening to Tommy Roe talk about it.

Simon Barrett


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