I’m a singer-songwriter. I grew up in the Midwest, and now I live in Nashville, TN. Here’s my story-

I love music, but there was one song I really didn’t care for as a kid – “I Like to Take My Time” by Mr. Rogers (yes, the one from the “Neighborhood”). Nothing against Mr. Rogers. Actually, I thought he was great. He even taught me how to snap. However, my brother used that song to tease me (bound to happen when you grow up with 6 siblings). He’d sing it if I was taking a little longer to get something done. I didn’t enjoy it. My mom would remind me that the song says “I like to take my time…to do it right”, but that didn’t matter much at the time.

Now that I’m not quite as vulnerable to my brother’s teasing, I’m actually thinking about making it my theme song. As funny as it might sound, Mr. Rogers’ message is found in a lot of my songwriting- taking time to notice what’s going on around you, taking time to think about what’s important in life, taking time to enjoy what you have, taking time to “do it right.”

It’s been my motto since becoming a full time musician six years ago.

I started out playing coffee shops, bars, churches, etc. in the Midwest, slowly building my repertoire. I did some recording on my own, but wanting to “do it right”, I saved up enough to work with a producer in Nashville (Mitch Dane). I’ve since released four full length projects- “Second Story”, “A Person and a Heart”, “With, To, From”, and “Living Room”.

Trying to get to the essence of my work as a songwriter, I also started doing house concerts a couple years ago. You connect with your audience a lot more when you’re singing in front of their fireplace and sleeping on their couch! The idea took off, and I’ve since played in hundreds of homes all over the country including one extended coast to coast tour of 100 concerts in 100 days.

There have been other highlights- a chance to perform on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, something I won’t soon forget. But even those opportunities, the ones that seem too come out of the blue, are usually the result of something you’ve been slowly and carefully building over time. I think it’s a pretty good philosophy. It’s kind of like learning how to snap. You work at it and work at it, and then suddenly…

I’m so grateful for the loyal and supportive people I’ve met along the way thus far. People who listen to and appreciate the songs, but also people who’ve given a lot back to me. As a musician, I’m pretty sure this is “doing it right.”

In conclusion, Mr. Rogers was brilliant, and I’m bigger than my brother now.

Tom McBride

To rustle up inspiration for his award-winning third album Morning in Glen Burnie, Tom McBride dug deep into his record collection.

"I was trying to identify those songs that I loved as a child and still enjoy now," he explains. "I looked backwards a little bit and dug deeper into some older folk, pop, and country songs by artists like Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, and George Jones. I was challenging myself to simplify my writing, to really dig into more traditional forms and melodies."

"Put really simply," he sums up, "I just tried to write good songs."

With an eye on the classics, McBride wrote the songs that eventually became Morning in Glen Burnie, a modern album steeped in an old-school blend of Americana, blues, soul and pop/rock. Many of the songs were inspired by Nashville, the town where he launched his music career in the early 2000s. McBride recorded Morning in Glen Burnie closer to his hometown, though, setting up shop just outside of Boston. Another Beantown native, Kimon Kirk (Grant-Lee Phillips, Aimee Mann), signed on as producer.

"We recorded at Dimension Sound Studios with an excellent engineer, Dan Cardinal, and a band that included a full rhythm section, organ, and electric guitar," McBride says. "Many of the tracks on the album are either the second or third attempt of the song. We'd go over the forms together in the mixing room, talk about the vibe of the song together, and then we'd go play it. Just painless, and a lot of fun."

The result is a breezy, classic-sounding record that splits the difference between all of McBride's influences, from the country sway of the Mavericks to the crooning pop of Sam Cooke. It's the sound of a singer/songwriter working with a well-oiled band. It's already begun gathering its own buzz, too, with the Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Association awarding its prestigious gold prize to the album's first track, "But I Don't Care."

The Boston native has logged over 300 shows across the country over the past few years, has performed at CMJ, Folk Alliance & SXSW and his songs have been featured on AAA-radio stations across the country as well as within print and on-line magazines like American Songwriter, Spark Magazine, & Bootleg Magazine among many others. McBride has recently shared the stage with notable acts such as Dawes, William Elliot Whitmore, Futurebirds, Ellis Paul, Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, Ben Taylor, Charlie Mars among others.

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