"An admirable talent" (Rob Adams in The Herald)
“Tom Clelland is a talent” (Living Tradition)
"Excellent storytelling and country/folksy finger picking" (The List)
“The Van Gogh of songwriting, Tom Clelland, painted pictures of death, mayhem, beauty, love and a measure of tongue-in-cheek humour.”
(Glasgow Festival of Songwriting.)
Reviews of "Little Stories"
"13 songs written and played with pleasure and insight... production and arrangements are managed with impressive subtlety by Davie Scott. Already a contender for most modest album of the year." (Bryan Burnett in the Herald)
Tom Clelland - Album- “Little Stories”(Shoeshine Records, 2002)
“ A wonderfully warm debut album of acoustic-led songs … split between tales of his own country, with stories of East Lothian ghosts (“The Devil and the Hangman”) and wanting to be somewhere else in February (“Getaway”), and tales of further afield - Northern California, Denver, San Francisco - anywhere that allows Clelland to tell one more involving story …… more often than not he hits the spot - never more so on the closing track “Let it Snow,” which quickly catapults him into that rare class of performer who can bring a lump to the throat on first listen. Repeated listens of the track, and indeed the whole album, bring further rewards still. Perfect for the time of year. (Americana UK website)
Little Stories" "Whether we call it country, country'n'Scottish or whatever, this is enjoyable heartfelt music I'm glad I caught up with" (Record Buyer)
“His shrewd and intelligent observations of home life are admirable. The guesting John McCusker helps the magic of his writing disperse like leaves in the wind …. A fine set of stories. the welcome mat will be forever out” “ (Get Rhythm magazine)
Reviews of "Life Goes On"
"Lanark-based Tom Clelland's late flowering career as a singer-songwriter continues with a second album featuring 12 carefully crafted songs that showcase his shy, gentle, sometimes almost spoken word style of singing and his able, though never showy finger picking guitar style...
"The wide-eyed opener, Bands, has a JJ Cale feel. The carefree title track recalls John Hartford's gentle on My Mind and the darker Sky Like a Hammer with its suitably lowering string section is in the British picking tradition of Jansch, McTell and Chapman. Each song, however has Clelland's own stamp of quiet authority too."
(Rob Adams in the Herald)
"The strength of this record is the atmosphere that is created - like well turned wood there is attention to the craft: ‘Sky Like a Hammer’ has guitar chords that are played as though there is velvet on the fingers, and even the mandolin on ‘Blisters and Cracks’ is reined in from its normal yapping brashness. ... ‘A Day Like This’ has pedal steel soft as merino wool - you can’t help thinking of Arran sweaters - the songs are blanket warm. The celebratory ‘Stay Young’ almost manages to get you up out of the chair with its jaunty plucking, the hushed reverent tones fitting perfectly with the anti-war sentiment of ‘The Wind, She Changed’ or the elegiac ‘Stormclouds at a Distance’.
"Imagine winter, hunched up by the fire, wind howling - this’d keep you warm."
( UK Americana Website)
"A beguiling approach that nods towards Austin rather than Nashville in its relaxed
storytelling. This album will make you smile.”
(Scotland on Sunday )