Tomato Tomato

Call it what you want.

Lisa and John McLaggan agree to disagree, as to what ‘genre’ their duo actually is. You say Tomato and I say T-o-m-a-t-o…a jazz standard, became the inside joke, for this Chicago-New Brunswick, husband and wife unit. But we assure you they are far from calling the whole thing off.

These former St. FX music professors stumbled upon their instrumentation, leading a kids parade. They needed something portable so Lisa wore…well…junk. And it made sounds. Good sounds.

Fast forward 4 years and they’ve fine tuned the art up-cycled percussion. If you can whack it you can wear it; ultimate folk art.

If optimism had a sound it would be every rattle, click and thwack that comes from Lisa’s washboard.

She ticky-tacs her way through each number with rollicking speed and exuberance; leaving the audience wide eyed and smiling because the genre for Tomato Tomato really is joy. And not your garden variety either.

John and Lisa craft songs in their recording studio; perched in a tiny community on the bend of the Saint John River. Their trade combines their vast technical knowledge of music with the everyday ebb of life, family and community. Now there are three. Daughter Lucy (little cherry tomato), is not on stage yet but you can hear the rhythm of family in Tomato Tomato lyrics. Folk from folk just being folk. It’s honest and it’s gingham and clothes on the line tinged. It’s back country and upwoods. It’s patience and lemon pie.

Their harmony is air-tight; John’s folk style guitar playing anchoring Lisa’s kick drum syncopation.Through it all winds whimsical strings, washboards, tins, tappers and clackers that flutter about the melody like sandpipers on the Bay of Fundy.

Tomato Tomato has proudly entertained prestigious audiences in 2016 at The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival and Black Sheep Inn in Canada (among others) with dips into various US states.

Regional Winners for CBC National Searchlight Competition in 2013, nominated for 6 Music New Brunswick awards and winning 3; they’ve also been nominated for a Roots Trad ECMA in 2014. They were winners of the Live Life Arts & Culture Award for Saint John, NB.

With two acclaimed albums ( So it Goes / I Go Where You Go ) Tomato Tomato are dancing around the kitchen daily and carving out a place for their old tyme rootsy washboard infused folk on a stage near you.


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