Songs with hand or hands in the title is nothing new. There’s “Hands” from Jewel. Styx’s “Too Much Time On My Hands”, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” from one-hit wonders Georgia Satellites, The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and so many more make up this list. New to the crop is Tom Mullen’s “Invisible Hand”. Not a traditional song in the sense of romanticism or friendship, “Invisible Hand” plays to the tune of Mullen’s studies into the world of economics. A reference to Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith, “Invisible Hand” is the notion that in a free society, the government will not be the ones to help the less fortunate, it’s the invisible forces that keep the system going and sticking to the golden rule of doing unto others as you would want done to yourself.
While many say, that’s easier said than done in a world full of Enron’s and Ponzi Schemes, Mullen does make it sound so inviting and so easy in his track. Mullen has been recording music for over 30 years, and played guitar and sang lead vocals for the band The Skeptics in the 1990s. During his time with the band, their alternative power pop songs charted on CMJ, and supported bands 10,000 Maniacs and The Tubes at regional performances. Mullen, a Buffalo, New York-native, last released an album in 2018 (Unfamiliar Ground). “Invisible Hand” is part of his next full-length album expected in early 2021.
Singing we help each other when we don’t mean to, Mullen’s words are easy to follow along, and sing along to. I found myself humming to the rhythm. His guitar playing, and the pitter-patter percussion, have a joy to them. As your listening, you’re thinking, wow, this guy is really singing about a free market society, and how the government should keep their mugs off. In a lot of ways, I felt like Mullen the Buddy Holly Woodie Guthrie. He’s so ‘nice’ when he sings. He has that instant likability to him. “Invisible Hand” sounds like it could be plucked from Holly’s toolshed, and the guitar arrangement carries a much heavier weight than I initially thought. Guitar enthusiasts will be impressed. I sure was. He skillfully plays the guitar and the riffs immerse the listener into a bubble of rockabilly, rock and roll and folk rock.
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