In 2001, Tom Brosseau left his home in North Dakota for Los Angeles to become a musician.
In his songs, as in his real life, he is a sensitive plainsman adrift in the big city. His lyrics observe the ordinary phenomena of modern life from cell phone use to fast food culture to a casual stroll down Fountain Ave.
When I first moved to L.A., I was so lonesome — didn't have a home really, didn't quite know my people yet. But there's a stretch of the [Pacific Coast Highway] where you can just look out, and in the nighttime you can see a series of what are either ships or oil machinery way out there. And they're spaced in such a way that you could fool yourself into thinking that they were combines coming down the biggest piece of farmland that you ever did see.
Over the years, Brosseau and his high tenor voice have become a staple at Largo at the Coronet theater, performing on The Watkins Family Hour and collaborating with actor John C. Reilly — a fellow lover of folk music. (Brosseau has recently moved to Salt Lake City.)
Brosseau's latest album is “Treasures Untold," which he recorded live at a house show in Cologne, Germany. He plays a combination of original songs and traditional American folk songs.
Once upon a time, we all used to do concerts in our own homes. But we just have gotten used to playing in venues and everything being amplified. A piccolo being amplified, a harmonica — there's a mic for everything.
Tom Brosseau performs March 23 at The Sanctuary in Santa Monica, CA.