The Local 913: Bill Toms & Hard Rain
Pittsburgh institution Bill Toms has been performing for over three decades, including playing lead guitar in Joe Grushecky and The House Rockers. Through it all, Toms has proven himself a Pittsburgh native through and through, right down to where he works.
“I work in a steel mill now. I’m an inspector. I’ve been nested in Clairton Coachworks for 6 years. I’m there every day. My father was a construction worker; I had uncles who were steel mill workers. We’re pretty deeply, not on purpose, but it’s just what we are and what I do.”
Toms, who has been drawn to soul music all his life, has teamed up again with producer Will Kimbrough for his new album Good For My Soul. It’s the third record they’ve worked on together.
“There is a narrative that runs through all three of these records. That is finding the promise land of American music. I always gravitate towards Memphis, even though I don’t live in Memphis. I always think the music of my America, the characters that run through my songs, that’s where they’re best explained with that sound of Memphis. This is sort of the end of that road.”