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Biography

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Admiral Freebee is Tom Van Laere, a 29-year old singer-songwriter from Brasschaat, Antwerp.

Tom began his career as quite a reasonable tennis player. One day while standing in front of the mirror he turned his racket around: “Guitar!” He withdrew into the oeuvre of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Hank Williams and taught himself to play the guitar and the piano.

Belgium got its first extensive taste of Admiral Freebee (the name comes from the masterly ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac) during Humo’s Rock Rally 2000, the most important rock competition in the Low Countries. Backed by a bass player and a drummer, The Admiral won the silver medal and the price awarded by the public.

In 2003 his untitled debut album appeared, a record that effortlessly met the high expectations. In the 12 songs Van Laere shows that he can just as easily come up with a moving country/pop ballad (see for instance the phenomenal single ‘Rags ‘n’ Run’) as a stadium rocker (‘Ever Present’), and that he can just as effortlessly melt the two together into one song (‘There’s a Road (Noorderlaan)’) without turning it into a gimmick.

When performing live, Admiral Freebee is versatility itself. Whether he performs solo and acoustically or with a well-oiled rock machine, the audience can only do one thing: listen, see and be silent. And then shout out in admiration.

Enough history. March 2005: Admiral Freebee’s second CD is available in the shops. It is called ‘Songs’ and it includes 13 of them. ‘Songs’ continues from where his debut album ended. It goes much further, but judge it for yourself. ‘Songs’ then, although ‘Singles’ would have been a possibility too. You get two singles now - ‘Oh Darkness’ and ‘Carry On’ – the others will follow.

His latest album, Wild Dreams of New Beginnings, has been released to positive critical acclaim in November 2006.

A few facts:

‘Songs’ was recorded live over the course of five days in The Village Recorder in Los Angeles. John Hanlon (famous for his work with Neil Young & Crazy Horse) sat at the mixing board. The sparing overdubs – backings and solos – took place in the Shangri-La Studio a bit further down the road. The Admiral recieved the nickname 'The Talent'; whenever he's ready to record, they record!

Studio lineup :

* Guitar/vocals/’Songs’: Tom Van Laere
* Guitar: Jesse Tobias (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Morrissey, Alanis Morissette, Twilight Singers)
* Bass: Ric Markmann (Chris Cornell)
* Drums and backing vocals: Dean Butterworth (Morrissey, Ben Harper)
* Backing vocals: Tommy Funderburk (Toto)
* Production and technique: John Hanlon (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)

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