Rumors of Amelia

by Tom Nothnagle

This second and most lyrical compilation of his original guitar solos evokes an image of Tom as the quintessential millennial troubadour, wrought as he was, each foot asunder.

Recorded in his brother’s studio trailer with limited takes in two sessions, this beautifully composed album hides a harried entrepreneurial saga of an early and ultimately short-lived business selling music online: an Iowa City ‘90s version of CD Baby. Doughboy Records needed a couple of demo albums for their startup. As the designated A&R guy with a recording engineer brother, Tom was the convenient choice for providing the first. Given the circumstances, it’s surprising how cohesively, beautifully and lyrically the album plays—as if planned as an epic poem.

The title track also hides a quest about a particular piece of music teenaged Tom fell in love with from a Narciso Yepes recording. The vinyl EP melted on the dashboard of his ’63 Fairlane and despite searching scores, humming it to others, racking his brain, he couldn’t recapture exactly how it went. It wasn’t until fifteen years later while as a student of Benjamin Verdery’s who assigned Tom a Miguel Llobet piece, “El Testament d’Amelia” (now easily Googled), that it was found. In the meantime, Tom created his own version of Amelia, quite different from what he remembered from his first inflamed lust.

Guitars: Mattingly Nylon Six-String; Lowden Steel-String; Guild F-512 Twelve-String
Recording Engineer: Peter Nothnagle
Genre: Easy Listening: Adult contemporary
Release: 1997