Let’s not mince words: Tom Hamilton is one of the best guitarists in Philadelphia today. It’s hard to imagine the jam rock scene being what it is without him, between his boundary-pushing formative band Brothers Past, to his collaborations with The Disco Biscuits, to his current main squeeze American Babies – who this week make their return visit to the Key Studio Sessions. (Check out their 2011 appearance here.)
But beyond his acrobatic solos and precision riffage as a performer within one tight-knit scene, Hamilton’s ear and knack for arrangement span other scenes, ranging from indie-psychedelic (he recorded an early Kurt Vile demo in 2002) to folk (Joe D’Amico of Mason Porter is also a Brothers Past alum, and Hamilton produced their record Thunder In The Valley).
American Babies released its third full length, Knives and Teeth, and it’s the group’s most tuneful collection to date. Hot off a three-month tour, they played a polished performance of five of its songs in their Key Session, which you can stream and download below. Check it out, and catch the Babies in concert on February 14th and 15th at Union Transfer with Railroad Earth; tickets and information on the shows can be found here and here.