The video for Tommy Baldwin‘s “Inner Me” is the latest from the forthcoming release “Phases” on Broken Bottle Records with dUg Pinnick of King’s X/ KXM both producing and playing bass, along with Baldwin’s longtime drummer, Elijah Pollard.
This song is really special to me because it speaks for everyone. I like messages in music that are right in the middle for everybody where there is no chosen side and there’s only the truth. Recording this video was super fun as well. We all got our own personality and our color, so that explains the three different colors. And as you can see in this music video, when they’re all combined, it makes such a really cool effect and beautiful representation of how everybody works together. On one of the shots, we had dUg stand on top of this gigantic road case with wheels that couldn’t stop, so we had to put sandbags on it and hold it while he was in front of the squiggly wall. He was rocking out on this case and it was scary to watch and pray he didn’t fall. Lots of special and cool moments when recording this music video that I will never forget with Director Allison Roberto and Director of cinematography Sébastien Paquet, along with Brandon Robbins, who is the light designer, and rest of the hands helping with filming and taking care of everything else we needed to accomplish this: Thomas Hawthorn, Steve Getman, Kai Patterson, and also the brilliant video editor behind the curtain, William Felch (AKA Wombat).
Also, I am honored, blessed, and privilege to help represent Ernie Ball guitars as the next generation of rock ‘n’ roll and blues rock music.
I am in the brotherhood of guitar created by legendary famous photographer Robert M Knight. I got into the group when I was 15, but now I have found a deep love in their instruments; specifically, the Cutlass model, which I can’t wait to get my hands on my own customized Gold Cutlass being created as we speak!
Tommy Baldwin befriended dUg Pinnick at NAMM several years ago, which led to him participating in Pinnick’s Jimi Hendrix tribute album, touring with Pinnick and Corey Glover from Living Colour as well as this year’s Experience Hendrix tour with Joe Satriani and Kenny Aronoff.
“dUg is like my father figure, mentor, and best friend. He’s the biggest blessing (other than my beautiful fiancé and kids) that I could’ve ever hoped and prayed for to this day.”
“”dUg Pinnick is playing bass in the videos and on the record as well. He also produced it. My drummer, Elijah Pollard is playing drums on the recordings and in the videos. We met in high school when I was 15 and he was 16. I gave him a demo I had done off GarageBand with 8 or 9 songs on it and he loved it, so I asked him if he wanted to play the songs live at places around town. He played in the jazz band and we ended up forming the Tommy Baldwin Trio. Since then, we’ve never stopped playing together. Elijah is also the reason why I knew who dUg was.”
“I’ve always absolutely loved music. When I was a baby, my mom and dad always had smooth jazz radio on in my room. Indianapolis was known for having a big jazz/blues scene and support in the 90’s, so it was aaaalways on.
When I was about 8 years old, I went to a friend’s house and he had this First Act miniature red guitar, and his brother had smashed part of it and it had 3 damn strings. I picked it up and just instantly fell in love of the feel and the sounds I could make out of it that I could hear in my head. I kept playing it and playing it at his house that same night and he let me take it home and have it. So since then I’ve loved it, but when I got REAL serious with it when I was 10 and my parents saw that I really loved it, so the Christmas before, Santa brought a guitar…. then something went wrong with it and my dad said “Well, we’ll just have to take it back to Sam Ash” and I said “I thought Santa brought it!?”
Anyways, they saw I loved to play and kept going, so in November of 2006, they got me an Epiphone SG that looked just like Angus Young’s, but they surprised me with it by just getting me in the car to go somewhere and we pulled up to Guitar Center and I started screaming of happiness and excitement because I knew what was about to happen. I got it and it was amazing. Then, a month later on December 19th of 2006, my dad passed away of a heart attack. It was the most devastating thing that has ever happened in my, and both sides of my families’ lives. We had to move and lost the majority of our things because the movers mixed stuff we were supposed to keep to throw away. Long story short, my dad passing away made me grow up in a day. I became man of the house and had a hole in my heart but had to be strong and music and my family truly saved my life, and still does to this day. THIS is why I love the blues and forever will.
When I was about 12 years old, still playing guitar and learning and was really into metal like Metallica, Coheed and Cambria, Disturbed, Linkin Park (they were my first concert ever.) and all those guys. But one day, I pull up a video on YouTube and it’s Stevie Ray Vaughan playing “Voodoo Child“… and I literally stopped everything, and said THAT’S how I want to play guitar and sing! Then I learned the blues and dove head first, as deep as I could swim in it. I fell so in love with it, but still love the rock side as well.
After months of really teaching myself off of hearing the songs and looking up YouTube videos, my mom reached out to a great friend of ours (who is no longer here) and she connected me with a guy named Sir James Simmons. He played with a group that were family of my parents. He said he wasn’t a teacher at first, but eventually he came over to the house and we had a blast getting to really know each other through music. We just jammed and we would stop and I’d say “What was that!?!” and we’d laugh and he’d show me and teach me. Also, he taught me stylization. I think that was almost the most important. It’s not about the licks, it’s how you do them and where to place them and pull them out at the right times. He’s the king of how he sounds. I’ve never heard anyone sound how he does. It’s the same notes, but how you make it your own. and he really taught me that, along with these bad ass rock, funk, blues, jazz licks that all work together. That’s why I love music.
When I was 14, I started to perform with my mom I learned all her songs
and we did a jazz duo and, and James had kept teaching me.
How He Met dUg Pinnick
“My favorite guitar player, Eric Gales and Elijah’s favorite drummer, Thomas Pridgen had a band called PGP, and dUg was on bass. I had never even heard of KINGS X. So when I went out to NAMM in 2015, I saw Eric and Tomo Fujita do a jam at the Eminence speaker company booth and got there early and everything just so I’d be up front. When they were done, Eric went and sold CDs at a stand at the very back.”
Going from the best spot to the worst made him think he’d never get to meet him, “because I really didn’t want to bother him and be that guy.” As Tommy started walking away, he saw Dug and went over to tell him he “loved his bass playing and his voice and how inspiring it truly was.” The two just immediately connected when dUg said, ‘Well, I’m lookin for some food, you hungry?!’ Then he heard me play and sing at the Tech 21 booth and that’s when it all started with us playing together and we’ve been best friends ever since.”
dUg has referred to Tommy as his “Musical Soulmate” and the two have been involved with playing, writing, recording, and jamming for years in various shows, jams, events and projects.
“Meeting dUg has been a huge blessing to all of our lives as a person, mentor, father figure, best friend, teacher, and music Encyclopedia. He showed me how to sing and use my voice.”
He first had me play on the Jimi Hendrix tribute record he did, then he took me out on tour with him and Corey Glover (Living Colour) as a double headline. I sold merch for him and Corey and then on the encore of every single night I got up and played “Voodoo Child” with the both of them. It was amazing and surreal.”
After the tour ended, Tommy went back to LA with dUg, who asked him if he had any original music. This was the beginning of the “Phases” recording at Pinnick’s home studio. The music was recorded from the time Baldwin was 18 to 20 years old throughout different “phases” of his life. It took 5 years from start to finish to complete this record. “It’s been an amazing journey so far, but as everyone’s been telling me, it’s only just getting started.”
Baldwin’s new record label and publishing company is Broken Bottle Records, where he will have his upcoming releases, videos, and other projects.
Tommy Baldwin Phases
iTunes: (iTunes Store App)
Spotify (Hyperfollow, when it releases):