Friends of Tom incorporate an interesting mix of instrumentation using mandolin, dobro, harmonica, stand up bass, guitar and powerful soulful vocals with an occasional yodel for the WOW factor that distinguishes them from their peers. Their debut CD, FoBluCo, mixes up folk, blues, and country into their unique Americana mix. Or as the CD notes secondarily defines it all: "A sound blending the following ingredients: a pinch of back-woods, a smidgen of back-porch, a dash of delta, with sprinkles of twang." And that sounds about right, as this music is miles away from the main road and it's cosmopolitan music. Guitarist-mandolin-ist Chris Younger wrote seven of these twelve songs (Rob Fedorczyk wrote all the rest, excluding one traditional tune), with Liz Younger providing the vocals and Jim Thompson keeping the groove on standup bass. The best part about this recording is the way the group inserts plenty of great acoustic instrumentation. The Dobro on "Broken Memory Blues", "East Coast Woman", and "Bear Bones" stands out, as does the mandolin on "Tell Me Now", "Just Because", and "Grateful Ed". Those who don't create firm walls between musical styles (country on this side, rock on that side, for instance) will likely appreciate the way Friends of Tom have created a friendly atmosphere for multiple forms to coexist happily together Some songs are humorous, as with "East Coast Woman" where a time challenged woman can't seem to understand the problem of running a "couple of minutes" late. "The Men in My Life" is geared toward musicians where her guitar collection seems to fit the bill more than her last series of relationships, and "Broken Memory Blues" take a tongue and cheek approach to those forgetful moments. "Grateful Ed" tells the tale of a fabulized mandolin player. "Would It Be Me", which is country-rock with touches of Mexican flavor in places and some perfectly placed banjo, approaches the question, "If you could spend a day with anyone, who would it be?" Heartfelt moments are touched on with songs of loss on "Wait For You" and "Never Said Goodbye". Chris Younger takes a ride on vocals on the love song duet, "Tell Me Now", and Fedorczyk takes a solo vocal turn with his own composition, "So Well", and his rough-edged, Dylan-y singing on it is a nice change of pace. "Bear Bones" is a nice easy going blues about living the simple life, and "Just Because" is a war cry for some decency, and morality in this world. The only cover on the CD, "House of the Rising Sun", is given an energetic boost from the Animals version, incorporating crafty musicianship with soulful vocals, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is business as usual to hear foot stomping and hoots from the audience as "Friends of Tom" kicks their shows into high gear. Come on, take a listen and get the groove.