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Sequoia Street is a project started in 2015 by Tom Van der Sman. During the recording of his first demo Tom (Guitar & Vocals) was skillfully assisted by:

Silvio Sawicki (Electrical Guitar)
Zsolt Varszegi (Drum & Bass)
Ann Delnoy (Violin)
Bart Claus (Piano)

The goal of Sequoia Street is to bring to it's audience high quality (indie) singer/songwriter songs. Each of the songs has it's own intricate storyline.

Tom's first demo (Awakening) contains a song originally written instrumentally by 'Harry Sacksioni' during the 60's. As Harry Sacksioni has been a great inspiration to Tom, this was done in his honour with Harry's consent. The song Tom selected to reproduce was 'Metasequoia'. He wrote a fitting text for it which gave it a fresh and perhaps an even more unique character.

In 2007 Tom was selected for Limbomania. After this he was selected again in 2008 to perform with fellow singer/songwriters in Leuven. Tom also performed together with Jee Kast (for which Tom did background music for his poems, also recorded afterwards in the studio (J.K. is also very much known for his performances for Belgium's got talent)). Tom also was inspired by the music and the artists behind some great Belgian projects like for example 'De Held', 'Isbells', ... to name only a few.

First time Airplay + short interview with Sequoia Street on Radio Gelderland (Holland - 30/11/2015) in the radio show of Frank Van dijk (in honour of Harry Sacksioni).

Tom can be contacted by e-mail for bookings or for more information: t_van_der_sman@hotmail.com

Follow me online: www.facebook.com/sequoiastreet


Artist: Sequoia Street

Album: Awakening EP

Reviewed by: Justin Kreitzer

Sequoia Street is the recording and performing moniker of singer-songwriter and guitarist Tom Van der Sman. The Belgium based musician recently released his solo project’s debut EP titled, Awakening. Leading up to its release, Tom was selected in 2007 to take part in the Limbomania songwriter showcase and again in 2008 and more recently he has also performed and recorded alongside Jee Kast (most known for his televised performances on Belgium's Got Talent) for which Tom created the background music for Kast’s poems. On his debut EP, Van der Sman handles all of the vocal duties and plays acoustic guitar and was assisted in the studio by bassist/drummer and one-man-rhythm-section Zsolt Varszegi and electric guitarist Silvio Sawicki along with violinist Ann Delnoy and pianist Bart Claus.

The title track, “Awakening” leads off the three-song EP placing the spotlight firmly on Van der Sman’s fancy fretwork as his nimble acoustic guitar playing unfurls like a ball of yarn, adding in new layers of texture and tone along the way. Alongside a tumbling rhythm and twinkling electric guitar runs, his catchy, classic rock-inspired vocal melodies give the song a heady, psychedelic touch. Van der Sman effortlessly blends together prog-leaning classic rock and acoustic-based folk with touches of Jazz, New Age, indie rock and off-kilter pop for a very unique style all of his own. “Silent Fog” follows with an intriguing duel between a whistled melody and Delnoy’s hauntingly beautiful violin that creeps in and out of focus throughout the song, evoking the song’s title perfectly.

Closing out the EP is the standout track and centerpiece of the entire EP, “Metasequoia”, for which the music was originally written in the 60’s by Van der Sman’s biggest and most obvious musical influence - Dutch-born guitar virtuoso and composer Harry Sacksioni. With Sacksioni’s permission, Van der Sman composed lyrics to accompany the originally instrumental track and has uniquely transformed it into a dark, prog-rock influenced folk tune with chilling violin and cascading guitar arpeggios that blend together to recall Led Zeppelin at their most psychedelic. Toms’ inspired lyrics are vividly poetic, laced with fantasy-inspired themes and sound like they were both written and sung in the 60’s; a testament to the care Van der Sman took in paying homage to his musical idol and also a shining showcase for his own strong songwriting and performing skills as well.

The aptly-titled Awakening, Tom Van der Sman’s debut solo recording, shows a lot of promise as both a writer and as a performer and should open the eyes and ears of anyone willing to listen. Additionally, Van der Sman should soon put that promise to the test as he is already working on writing and recording his proper full length due to be released later this year or early next year.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by: Justin Kreitzer


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