2. News: FA Waymores report, TK song released in France, TK poem in Ivy League journal
3. Drawing Board: Updates: Waymores album, solo plans etc
4. Perspective: Top 10 Things I’ve Learned from the Road!
5. Food for Thought: Ann Patchett on authors and readers
6. Recommended: 3 exceptionally fine albums
7. Note from Shauna: TK house concerts & song coaching
Ah, Spring is in the air. That air is still cold at night, yes, but… I have seen the sky, and it is blue!
A. Waymores a hit at FA
The Waymores (Don Henry, Sally Barris & me) were a hit at last month’s Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis. Got the buzz going, and we had fun doing it. Plus I had the best fried catfish I’ve eaten in my life (honest!) at Westy’s on Main Street downtown. You got to try it.
BTW, for a free Waymores song download–a tasty Don Henry tune called “On Kinds of Kinds”–visit: www.waymores.net
To book the Waymores: firstname.lastname@example.org
B. New TK cover out in France
French Canadian pop star Roch Voisine features an English-and-French version of my old song *”Bon Vivant” (co-written with Jennifer Kimball) on his new album, “Americana II,” which is (at present) available only as an import at: www.rochvoisine.com
(There’ll be a wider release in the near future. Can’t wait to hear it myself!)
*”Bon Vivant” was originally recorded for my (now out-of-print) album “Circle Back Home” (Polydor, 1990).
C. TK poem to appear in Yale University publication
The poem “Downsizing” (from my book “The Sweetest and the Meanest”) will be included in the Spring edition of “Reflections,” the journal of Yale Divinity School. Thank you Ray Waddell, the journal’s editor (and former Religion Editor of “The Tennesseean”).
Note: I’m posted the poem on my website’s poetry page at… http://tomkimmel.com/poetry/
3. Drawing Board:
A. Waymores album
We’ve got parts of seven tracks recorded, and we’re cruising full steam ahead–the goal being 12 songs for the album.
B. New Agrarians
We’ll be reassembling in a few weeks to do more writing.
C. Solo album
I’ll begin it as soon as the Waymores record is done
On hold for the moment. I’ll let you know when there’s a real publication date.
4. Perspective: Top 10 Things I’ve Learned from the Road!
On a long drive the mind has time to meander, and it’s amazing how (once it’s been worn down by its worries) it’ll entertain itself like a kitten with a paper sack.
Here’s what mine came up with last weekend as I drove between shows in New England.
TOP 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM THE ROAD
10. Winter is a good time to play in Florida.
9. The Kansas City airport is a hundred miles from Kansas City, and the Denver airport is actually in Nebraska.
8. Fly Southwest: book ahead, pay for early check-in, carry on your guitar, and bring your own sandwich.
7. Avoid the rooms by the indoor pool, the ice machine and the elevator.
6. “Urinal farthest from the door… has the least pee on the floor.”
5. Unless you’re a masochist, avoid your GPS’s “dominatrix” voice setting.
4. The Highway Patrol officer is not interested in your story.
3. Check in, put a towel over the television and go to sleep.
2. Truck stops have the best gizmos, but never take a shower at one.
1. There are good people everywhere, and they’ll help you out if you give them a chance.
5. Food for Thought
“Once the novel is out there, the author is beside the point. The reader and the book have their own relationship now, and should be left alone to work things out for themselves.”
“My Life in Sales” (from Atlantic Monthly, 2008)
Note: this quote is from a terrific article about the author’s experience of touring to promote books. You can read it online at:
6. Recommended: 3 fine albums
A. Thad Cockrell’s “To Be Loved”
(Note: I posted the following review of this album at Amazon.)
‘To Be Loved’ is the kind of record that puts things in perspective. Knowing a little bit about the artist–a preacher’s son who grew up in a home where secular music was forbidden… and a graduate of Liberty University (founded by Jerry Falwell)–I can’t imagine what realms of the soul he visited to write the songs on this exquisite recording. All I know is that it takes me places very few other contemporary artists can. “Pride (Won’t Get Us Where We’re Going),” “Beauty Has A Name,” “Rejoicing,” “Oh To Be Loved”–any one of these treasures is worth the price of admission here. And collectively, it’s as compelling a project as I’ve heard in a long time.
B. Diana Jones’s “Better Times Will Come”
My dear friend Diana Jones is not much of a well kept secret anymore, but if you haven’t heard her, now’s the time to jump in. On my recent road trips I’ve been reveling in “Better Times Will Come.”
Simply put, it’s a soulful, bare bones, poetic, unapolgetic, red dirt gem. No wonder she’s getting the big national press and the British are ga-ga over her. She simply deserves it, and to my ear this is her best work yet.
C. Mandy Harvey’s “Smile”
After a recent show I played in Ft. Collins, Colorado, my gig’s promoter Steve Brockway took me to hear a jazz trio led by Mark Sloniker, a world-class piano player I’ve known for some years. With Mark as leader, the trio’s musicianship was outstanding, but what really bowled me over was the singer, a young woman named Mandy Harvey.
Ms. Harvey sang with her eyes closed, making soft gestures with her hands, standing by the piano just at Mark’s shoulder, facing the side of the room. Her phrasing, her emphasis, her tone… all felt just right. This woman, I could tell, had the gift.
Imagine my amazement when I learned at the break that she is almost completely deaf! Yes, her gesturing was sign language directed to her young fiance across the room!
I was told that she’d been a voice major at Colorado State until an autoimmune disorder destroyed her auditory nerves in 2006, and that her professors had gently encouraged her to find a new field of study. Ms. Harvey, however, was determined not to give up on her dreams, and with the help of a very special teacher she has somehow persevered. She performs regularly and has recorded “Smile,” an album of standards (impeccably produced by Mark Sloniker).
I can’t recommend this album highly enough. It’s a great pleasure to listen to, but more than that, it’s a testament to the magnificence and resilience of the human spirit. (I dare you to listen to the title track without shedding it tear.)
To listen (and to purchase) “Smile”:
7. Notes from Shauna:
A. INTERESTED IN TOM’S SUPPORT WITH YOUR SONGWRITING?
Tom is available to teach/coach/mentor songwriters in one-on-one sessions (in person or long distance via phone, iChat or Skype).
Feedback from Tom’s students and peers is consistently outstanding. He’s not only a great writer; he’s a great teacher for writers.
“Your insights and thoughts on songwriting have really opened doors for me, and your encouragement continues to mean so much.”
–Aisling Kavanaugh, IMRO Workshop, Dublin, Ireland
“Thank you for the excellent job you did for us at DBU…. Our students did not want it to end… and later asked if we could have you back for a week!”
–Terry Fansler, Ph.D., Director of Studies in Music Business, Dallas Baptist University
B. INTERESTED IN HAVING TOM PLAY A CONCERT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM?
A “HOUSE CONCERT” is a unique way to hear Tom’s music in an intimate, personal setting. If you’d like to learn more about creating a night you and your friends will never forget, email Shauna Jamison.