Big Shommy Love (aka Tom Carroll) was raised in a very tough Catholic neighborhood outside Philadelphia, PA. Where witticism and ball-breaking were the order of the day and friendships and respect were won and based on a person's ability to take a joke. With such an acerbic background it is no wonder that Shommy (who garnered said moniker because of a horrid speech impediment that dogged him through most of his childhood, turning him instantly from "Tommy Carroll" to "Shommy Sharroll") grew up to reflect that same kind of abusive humor in his music.

A young Tom Carroll couldn't say his own name without the dreaded lisp announcing its prominence. The older kids had a field day and the nickname "Shom" stuck. Shom and his crew ran with it: they used any and every opportunity to hone their comedy skills by making fun of anyone within earshot who lived in a better (or worse) situation. Over the years Shommy found a way to combine his love of music with his penchants for mom jokes and crude humor. The formula was a success and Shommy decided to take it to the masses. Shom picked up the guitar while in high school and started playing small, local gigs. Comedy met music and Shom never really looked back.

He began by playing all the obligatory guitar standards required for any bar troubador to carry in his arsenal: Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," Don McLean's "American Pie" and the standard fare of cover songs that no one ever wants to hear until they are good and drunk and ready to sing along. For the most part Shommy played it straight, but, waiting in the wings, was the undeniable schoolboy whose irreverant sense of humor was ready to come through at any given moment.

One night while running through his usual bland play-list Shommy encountered the inevitable heckler. One follically-challenged patron was talking loudly through Shommy's entire set. Not one to just let something so brazen go, Shommy unloaded on the guy. In the middle of the John Mellencamp song "Small Town" Shommy improvised some new lyrics to call attention to his nemesis's depleted pate and let loose the first of many brutal song parodies. The problem was: baldy wasn't really feeling Shommy's new-found inspiration as much as Shommy himself was. But it was too late. A star was born. The rest of the bar's clientele laughed themselves silly over Shommy's attacks and in one fell swoop Shommy found his path. He quickly scrapped his catalogue of traditional cover songs and began working on his own stuff, with some of his best friends from childhood contributing and collaborating. shommy and his boys brought the same sense of humor to music that they had grown up with in their tight neighborhood community.

After 7 years of college and the usual Generation X patterns of drifting in and out of relationships and jobs reality set in and Shommy realized he needed a job. But he never lost sight of his one true passion: comedy. After an ugly end to a bad relationship Shom decided to try and make a career out of comedy and headed west. He spent a lot of time on the road playing every open mic night that would have him. While honing his skills he also built a name for himself with constant gigging. He also took a day job to help support himself and when his superiors recognized his talent and began booking him to play at and host various company events. It was at one of these events that Shom let it all out while the president and CEO of the company was there. Shom let them all have it. No one was safe and after his performance most of his fellow employees thought he would be fired the following Monday. When Monday came and Shom heard that the bosses were looking for him he was sure that he was done. Instead of being fired he was promoted to a very lucrative position. His attitude and unrepentant love of a good joke earned him the respect of the company and they, in turn, allowed Shommy to be himself and play more company functions.

Shommy took all the experience he had in the working world and put it into his music. With a new wife, a new family and a new outlook on life he went back to what got him through in the first place: his sense of humor. He has just finished his debut album (now available on Itunes). Big Shommy's debut features the “Facebook Song” and "Whammy Chick" as well as eight other hysterical tunes. He is currently playing live in support of his first album while putting the finishing touches on its follow-up. And while the Big Shommy Love experience is captured on these recordings, it is nothing compared to the experience of Shommy in his element: the live setting.

T Carroll

http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/TCarroll
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