In April of 1986, Pittsburgh based guitarist Joe Grushecky, formerly of the Iron City Houserockers, asked guitarist and songwriter Bill Toms to join a new band he was forming. The core players, Joe, bassist Art Nardini, and drummer Joffo Simmons had been together for a few years in a band called Joey G. and the Brick Alley Band, following the breakup of the original Iron City Houserockers. Having previously played with Joffo in the early 80's rock band The Shades, Bill made the decision to join some of Pittsburgh's most powerful performers.
Joe Grushecky, Bill Toms, Art Nardini, and Joffo Simmons began what was to become, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers. Veteran percussionist Bernie Herr joined a year later as did former Shades keyboardist Joe Pelesky. In 1999, former Iron City Houserocker harmonica player Marc Reisman signed on and returned to The Houserockers.
During nearly 20 years of playing together The Houserockers have recorded six studio CD's and one live CD. Included in the catalog was 1995's "American Babylon", which was produced by Bruce Springsteen. Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers have the distinction as being "The Best Bar Band" in America. Having said that, it is no wonder why they are frequently booked in various clubs all over Europe.
Having always been a songwriter, in 1996 Bill began work on what was to be an acoustic CD. After bringing in a few friends to fill the record out, "Bill Toms and Hard Rain" was born. Together they released "Paradise Avenue" in 1997, as well as, two additional studio CD's; 1999's "My Own Eyes" and 2001's "This Old World".
In 2002 Bill released a limited edition solo E.P., titled "One Lonesome Moment". The CD is scheduled for re-issue, with bonus tracks, in 2006.
In October 2005 Bill Toms and Hard Rain will release their new studio CD titled "The West End Kid". Following the CD release, Hard Rain will perform, open select shows for The Houserockers and Bill will continue to play solo acoustic shows to promote the CD.
The members of Hard Rain are all seasoned vet's. Most are fellow Houserocker bandmates. They are:
Joffo Simmons - Drums
Art Nardini - Bass
Tom Breiding - Guitar, Vocals
Joe Pelesky - Keys, Vocals
Phil Brontz - Saxophone
Bernie Herr - Percussion
With Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers:
"Rock and Real" - Rounder Records, 1989
"Swimming With the Sharks" - Rounder Records, 1991
"End of the Century" - Razor and Tie, 1992
"American Babylon" - Razor and Tie, 1995
"Coming Home" - Big Star, 1997
"Down the Road Apiece, Live" - Schoolhouse Records, 1999
"True Companion" - Schoolhouse Records, 2003
With Bill Toms and Hard Rain:
"Paradise Avenue" - Schoolhouse Records, 1997
"My Own Eyes" - Moondog Records, 1999
"This Old World" - Moondog/Schoolhouse Records, 2001
Bill Toms; Solo:
"One Lonesome Moment" - Out of the Rain Records, 2002
For additional information or bookings contact Brian Higgins Management.
firstname.lastname@example.org 732-988-3081 www.billtoms.com
Check out the artist's website:
1. Another Round for the West End Kid
2. This is Nowhere
3. I Was in Love with You
4. I Don't Live there Anymore
5. Satan's On My Shouder (Jesus ain't Nowhere in sight)
6. I'll Take My Pride
7. She Takes Me Home
8. In the Paradise
9. I'm Walking With an Angel Tonight