"It is rocket science. Tommy has chosen themes
that show us just how marvelous and varied an instrument the steel guitar can
be...with the utmost of taste. A superb technical player. I'm not exaggerating
when I say that this one of the best produced efforts for C6th and E9th that
I've heard, and I've heard quite a few." Steel Guitar World Magazine
"From the chicken squawk guitar picking on "Rocket Science", the
opening track, there is no doubt about this boy's country roots. But on most of
the ten cuts he lays down some of the sweetest and zippiest Western Swing
instrumentals since the country-jazz workouts of Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti. This
is lovely music for guitar aficionados, honky tonkers, or anyone who wants to
kick up their heels on the dance floor...His chops are superior in every way.
In a slow mode, such as the heartache-inspired
"By Morning", his playing just makes you want to drift away into the
clouds. Most of his seven original tunes included are up tempo with a
"let's get down an' do it" philosophy. Hannum's superb playing
receives nimble and stellar support from a tight band."
In Review / Tribune Newspapers
"Plenty of hot session players from Nashville, as this effort from Ricky Van
Shelton's chief Pedal Steeler proves. Borrowing from the Speedy West/Hank
Garland school of country-jazz musicianship Hannum imbues the music with fiery
steel, dobro, and lapsteel breaks, all intermixed with equally ferocious solos
from guitarists Darin Favorite and Mike Blasucci."
"Dedicated to his quirky calling, in the best cowbop tradition matches hip
original instrumentals with recent hits... support this guy every chance you
get." Music Row
"Tommy Hannum (who's been Ricky Van Shelton's Steel guitarist for several years)
has a fine instrumental cassette available. The ten songs on "Not Rocket
Science" cover a lot of stylistic territory including pop/country ballads ("Girl All Alone"), big time
rockin' blues ("Bluesbacher"),
moderate tempo country ("Too Good To Be Blue"), up tempo country
("Rocket Science" and Lonesome Steel Blues") and some terrific
swing /jazz numbers ("Air Conditioned","Move", and
Favannum"). One of Tommy's main influences is Steel Guitar Hall of Fame
Member Buddy Charleton and judging from the fine playing on "Move" and
"Favannum", fellow Hall of Famer Buddie Emmons as well. In addition to
playing pedal steel on this project Tommy also played lap steel, dobro and
acoustic guitar. And he wrote/co-wrote seven of the ten songs. My three favorites
on this cassette are the swing /jazz numbers. "Air Conditioned"
features some fine playing from Tommy and some cool trumpet work from Rod McGaha.
Rod's muted solo is a hip/mellow contrast to the brighter sound of the pedal
steel. "Move' features a great solo from Tommy. He effectively blends nifty
swooping chords, super single string runs and tasty muted harmonics. Willy
Wainwright adds some nice fiddle that gives a cool western swing flavor to a bop
classic. "Favannum" some more fine pedal work from Tommy. His solo
features some neat voicings and cool chord "hits". Once again Rod
McGaha's muted trumpet work adds a very classy touch."