Thom McCarthy On the Hill Session at Kettle Pot Tracks

Thom McCarthy On the Hill

I happened to cross paths with this talented and interesting fella about two years ago…he was opening a show in Philly with one of our favorites (Adrien Reju: check for her On the Hill Session from a little while back).

His gently self-deprecating stage banter kept the audience laughing, and his songs let us know that he is for real.
Thom and I chatted briefly after that show, and occasionally in the interim betwixt then and when we hosted him at our place…then, as now, as always, he is thoughtful, funny, and wicked smaht.

Enjoy Mr. Thom McCarthy’s music, and if you have a chance to meet him personally, take it.

Thom McCarthy On the HillSo… When/why/how/where did this version of Thom McCarthy get started? That is to say, can you give us a comfortably-abridged bio?

I’m from a poor, unincorporated coal mining village called Locust Gap, PA. I have a giant family. I can’t really remember life without music. Grew up listening to Hank WIlliams, George Jones, and oldies rockabilly on the radio. My mother is a fantastic singer and she used to keep electronic keyboards around which I would bang on and she’d be singing like a canary all the time. I would impersonate Elvis and Michael Jackson as a kid and my family and friends would laugh and clap, so that’s probably where it all started. My pops got me a guitar which I begged him for when I was about twelve or thirteen, and I picked the basics up pretty quick and started a little punk band. I played a ton of embarrassing music in high school, but I had great music teachers who pushed me in the right direction. Once I found out about Django Reinhardt, Pixinguinha, Fats Waller, Tom Waits, Van Dyke Parks, and a bunch of others, that’s when I really started to hone my sound.

Thom McCarthy On the Hill

Why did you choose these songs for On the Hill?

I picked the songs that felt right in the room I was in. I usually don’t methodically plan my set-lists, because I believe the environment is a huge factor.

Thom McCarthy On the Hill

What else is going on in your world? What’s next? I just finished recording an album under the name Rocky Kaminski. It’s a fairly dark rockabilly project and it’s mostly about pollution, capitalism, and potential life on other planets. I took my mom’s maiden name (there’s a TL:DR story behind that), and my father’s real last name is Kaminski so that’s where I got the name. Next I’ll be releasing my first full-length album under my own name, which a few of these tunes will be featured on. Thom McCarthy On the Hill

Where can we see and hear more of you?

You can hear me (in limited capacity) at, and the full Rocky Kaminski album at

Thom McCarthy On the Hill

Thom McCarthy — Time (Live at PhilaMOCA) from Michael Batchelor on Vimeo.   Thom McCarthy On the Hill

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