“The greatest labor singer in the United States today” – Cecil Roberts, International President, United Mine Workers of America
Pittsburgh, PA — Many would say that country music, as well as the broader Americana genre, is the musical heart and soul of our nation, but singer/songwriter (and working rock guitarist) Tom Breiding has been creating a sub-genre of Americana for decades. A celebrated writer, Breiding focuses on the true heart and soul of America: our laborers and union members. Hailing from West Virginia, a state with a large populous of mine workers and laborers, Breiding has shared an intense artistic connection with union members and groups for the entirety of his career, most notably United Mine Workers of America. Breiding’s new collection of live-in-studio songs, titled Love Commits Me Here, is a musical biopic of some of the most significant events, both positive and negative, within the mining and unionized industries in our country.
Several in this special collection of songs highlight Breiding’s work as Artist-In-Residence for United Mine Workers of America. “Farmington #9” which opens the album, explains the 1968 Farmington Mine Disaster; a deadly explosion in a West Virginia Mine that trapped 78 workers and left 19 disappeared in its rubble. Breiding performed the song live on November 20, 2018, at the 50th anniversary of the event for family members of those who perished. Breiding’s calm ballad style provides a striking juxtaposition to his lyrics; melodious undertones give way to story lyrics that highlight some of the most harrowing times in America’s industrious development.
Breiding, a seasoned lyricist and storyteller, provides a unique perspective on women’s history in America as well. Other labor compositions on the album introduce more inconspicuous heroines from past and present such as Fannie Sellins whose brutal murder galvanized the Great Steel Strike of 1919 and Karen Gorrell, a West Virginia native who personally organized retirees to withstand the pressures of a corporate giant for six years until they were successful in restoring health care to more than a thousand retirees.
Breiding, however, does not limit himself to the mining industry when it comes to inspiration for his songs. Other themes on the 9-song LP address topics from the plight of immigrants to the WV flood of 2016 and the senseless violence and hatred that led to a mass killing in a Pittsburgh synagogue two blocks from the studio where the title cut “Love Commits Me Here” was recorded. Recorded at AmeriSon Studio and Daniel Marcus Music in Pittsburgh and produced by Daniel Marcus and Tom Breiding, the album provides a varied look into Breiding’s career as a labor writer, musician, and Artist in Residence with UMWA, all while highlighting the trials, tribulations, and successes of the industries to which he most relates and cares for.
Love Commits Me Here is set to release on January 7, 2020, and can be found wherever music is sold and streamed. For more information please visit www.tombreiding.com