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I met Thom McCarthy back in 2007. He worked for me at a bakery cafe for about two months. I was struck immediately by his enthusiasm for music, and his remarkably mature perspective at 20 years old. We would run into each other on and off for the next decade or so, but this is the first time I've had an in-depth conversation with him.
Thom and I chat about his upbringing in a former coal mining town, and how his ties to the outdoors and love of nature really informed his new record 'Marvin The Giant', as well as his past record under the name Rock Kaminsky, a character he created that has come back in time to warn us about the consequences of not caring for the planet.
As we continue to weather the hangover of a divisive and caustic year, where it seemed that the 'city vs rural' was the key dichotomy, my conversation with Thom was a needed respite and really eye-opening. He made me think about what it really is to come from a beat down part of the country, and how his embracing of nature and conservation is a key part of his upbringing in 'the hills', as he puts it. And he writes great songs about it. Go listen to those songs.