Hooper, Tom

Tom Hooper the unexplored cosmos

released: April 23, 2002

With his new solo CD "The Unexplored Cosmos" released on April 23, 2002, Tom Hooper, (former Grapes of Wrath singer/songwriter) is taking his show on the road. Whether doing his own shows or opening up for other acts (recently Randy Bachman, 54 40 and Ron Sexsmith,) Tom performs his solo acoustic set to rave reviews.

"Tom had the crowd laughing and comfortable within moments of arriving on stage…. Easy going and harmonic guitar playing and harmonica melodies accompanied soulful vocals. He is vibrant and engaging as a performer, setting the listener at complete ease. His live vocals are also studio quality, which is a real treat!
— Naomi DeBruyn, Linnear Reflections, June 2002, (Opening for Randy Bachman, April 12th, 2002, Victoria.)

The first single off his new album "Cardboard Man" is currently receiving widespread airplay on the AC and CHR charts across Canada. With a career underscored by critical acclaim as well as commercial success, Hooper has to his credit top-10 hits and gold and platinum recordings. At 34, he has a remarkably lengthy and diverse recording career to his credit. It all began in bassist friendly giant's (Don Walchuck's) parents' basement in Kelowna. Along with brother Chris on drums, Tom (14 at the time) served as lead singer and guitarist for the punk band The Gentlemen of Horror.

After The Gentlemen Tom moved over to the bass and again with brother Chris joined up with friend Kevin Kane and formed the Grapes of Wrath in 1983. The Grapes went on to record and sell four albums and one e.p., two of which went platinum and one gold. Tom established himself as a platinum songwriter penning such top ten hits as "I Am Here" and" You May Be Right." The band split in '92.

In '93 Tom and brother Chris along with Grapes keyboardist Vince Jones soon formed Ginger. Though not as big commercially as the Grapes, Ginger produced two critically regarded albums and an e.p. before going their separate ways in '97.

1998 saw Tom and fellow former Grape man Kevin Kane set aside past differences and record another grapes album entitled "Field Trip." However their efforts became thwarted when their newly-formed record label Songcorp shocked the industry by going bankrupt just months after their formation. Tom meanwhile had been quietly playing solo acoustic shows around his home community on Salt Spring Island. "I had been playing music for so many years, but I'd never done my own solo show, and when I finally did it, I wondered why I didn't do this before. I love it."

It was the spring of 2001 that Tom decided to do the solo thing full time. In the fall of 2001 Tom signed with Toronto label Bullseye records and proceeded to record his first solo album "The Unexplored Cosmos" at Randy Bachman's studio The Barn and also in his own home studio The Trailer. Tom produced and played all the instruments except for some stellar drum tracks laid down by his brother Chris Hooper. Tom's acoustic set features songs that he wrote for the Grapes of Wrath, Ginger and his newest songs as well as his interpretations of favourite tunes from the past, Tom has as much fun as the audience and has been known to play marathon three-hour sets late into the night.

Grapes Of Wrath September Bowl of Green

Released: 01/01/1990

Label: EMI Canada

After relocating to Vancouver, the band recorded the full-length "September Bowl of Green", whose release was followed by critical acclaim, coast-to-coast tours, and an American release the following year.

Grapes Of Wrath Now and Again

Released: 09/19/1989

Label: Capitol/EMI Records

1 used cd available in very good condition

Supporting the album's US release the following year with extensive touring, the Grapes (now including keyboard player Vince Jones) were back in the States (Woodstock, specifically) at the beginning of 1989, recording "Now and Again" with producer Anton Fier (Golden Paliminoes, Victoria Williams). The album (and top-ten single "All the Things I Wasn't") saw the band's stature in Canada increasing as they moved from clubs to concert halls and, following releases throughout most of the world, touring Europe.

The Grapes Of Wrath: Kevin Kane (vocals, guitars); Tom Hooper (vocals, bass); Vincent Jones (Hammond organ, piano); Chris Hooper (drums, percussion).

Additional personnel: Pete Kleinow (steel guitar); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Louis Cortelezzi (oboe); Chuck Leavell (piano).

Recorded at Dreamland Studios, West Hurley, New York and Grog Kill Studios, Willow, New York.

All songs written by members of The Grapes Of Wrath.

Grapes Of Wrath I Am Here

label: Capitol

1 used cd available in very good condition

1991's "These Days", like its predecessor, went platinum in Canada (with hits like "I Am Here" and "You May Be Right"), with more sold out concerts across Canada and a second trip to Europe (where the band began to see its first chart action outside of Canada).

Grapes of Wrath "Field Trip (With Bonus EP)"

Label: Song Recordings Inc.
Released: 10/06/2000

Label: Magada International Not Currently Available

Hooman Ganjavi from Toronto, Canada I'm usually sceptical of comeback albums... in fact, I didn't even listen to this for months after I bought it. But after I got a bit tired of the old Grapes material, I gave this a try... and after a couple of spins, I was thoroughly impressed. Kane and Hooper are incredible songwriters (especially Kane). It's almost as if they never broke up... 'Field Trip' just seems like a logical follow-up to 'These Days'. It's a classic Grapes album with a mixture of harder rock (Black Eye) and softer acoustic (Kane's brilliant 'But Oh Well'). Hooper also shows off his songwriting prowess with infectious tunes like 'Sell the Goat' and 'Hitchhiker'. The bonus CD has some interesting material as well... the highlight being Kane's acoustic rendition of 'Misunderstanding'... reminiscent of the material on his solo albums (both of which are highly recommended). This album gets 4 stars only because 5 stars is reserved for the two perfect Grapes albums, 'Treehouse' and 'Now & Again'. Kane and Hooper... Canada's Lennon and McCartney?