Tom Kimmel’s January 2011 Newsletter


1. Greetings!
2. News: Positive Music Awards, Waymores album
3. Special: Tour Ireland with Tom in 2011!
4. Drawing Board: TK solo album, TK songbook, TK book
5. Food for Thought: The Buddha, Plato, T. S. Eliot
6. Perspective: Saving a life
7. Recommended: Great reading, listening, viewing… and a cool gadget
8. Note from Shauna: TK house concerts & song coaching

1. Greetings!

2011… Sounds like science fiction! I remember taking a date to see the film “2001, a Space Odyssey”–OK, my mother drove us–but still, here we are. And if you watch the news–and I do, selectively–it looks pretty weird out there.

Heck it IS weird–and seems like it’s getting weirder, no? But what are we gonna do? My New Year’s Resolution is to dispense with the whining, roll up my sleeves and proceed with an attitude adjustment, renewed sense of humor and re-booted sense of purpose. (Wow, I said it.)

So greetings everyone–from a hotel room in sunny Orlando, FL. Been playing some shows in this neck of woods this past week… whilst back home in Nashville everybody’s freezing their hineys and doing their best to negotiate the aftermath of a freak blizzard. My wife thinks I’m criminally lucky to be in the sunshine, but I imagine I’ll be getting my comeuppance next month when I’m touring Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan, where cold has a whole other meaning. Then Florida will seem like… science fiction!

2. News: Positive Music Awards, Waymores album at the mix stage

A. Positive Music Awards and Orlando Retreat

My song “No One Gets to Heaven” (co-written with my Danish friend Klaus Caprani) is nominated for a Positive (“Posi”) Music Award… in the “Most Uniting” category.

The Awards is sponsored by Empower Music and Arts, a cool organization dedicated to building community and making the world a better place. And doing it. I’m very honored to be nominated and welcomed.

I’ll be performing at the awards show Sunday night, and I’ll let you know how things turn out. (This is my fourth nomination, no wins… yet!)

B. Waymores album: recording all done! Mixing underway!

Recording’s all finished on the Waymores’ debut album, and it’s in the capable hands of Grammy-winning producer-engineer Ray Kennedy. Can’t wait to hear it when Ray’s done!

Once it’s mastered and ready to go we’ll be shopping and sharing it selectively as we look for necessary support and move toward a well-planned release. Needless to say, we’re very excited.

By the way, we recorded the entire album over the past year in my Tree House studio in Nashville. Deciding early on that we should be allowed enough rope to hang ourselves, we produced, engineered, played all instruments and generally ran amuck! But it was a lot of fun, and that long train has finally left the station. I’ll keep you posted.

3. Special Feature: TOUR IRELAND with me late summer 2011!

I am THRILLED to be co-leading a backroads tour in Ireland of Counties Cork, Clare and Kerry starting late August 2011… with Irish “tour master” Tom Pigott, owner and operator of Enchanted Way Tours.

Our band of twenty friends and fans will be traveling through one of the most beautiful places on earth. By day we’ll be visiting castle and abbey ruins, stone circles and fishing villages–all the while driving in a private luxury coach beside breathtaking coastal scenery. And by night we’ll be dining on excellent Irish pub fare and enjoying some of Ireland’s very best musicians and songwriters.

If you’re interested, click here to learn more.

You can even download a pdf of the whole tour packet. Ireland Tour PDF

To join me or inquire further, please email Vicki Belinoski at:

My friend Vicki is coordinating the tour from the US side, and she will be answering everyone’’s questions and staying in close touch. Space is limited, and these tours fill up fast. Hope you’ll join us!

(Note that we are happy to help you book cheapest, most convenient travel to and from Ireland.)

4. Drawing Board: TK album, songbook and book of poems and prose

A. TK solo album next up
Now that Waymores recording is done I’ll be starting my next solo project asap. I’ve got a few songs I’ll definitely be recording, including “Clear Blue Sky” and “We Got It Right This Time” (both written with Johnsmith), and “No One Gets to Heaven (If Anybody Else Is Left Behind)” (written with Klaus Caprani)–and I have quite a few others to choose from. I can’t wait to get started.

B. TK Songbook
I had an excellent meeting over the holidays with long-time cohort Shauna Jamison, and she’s given me a laundry list of to-do items that I MUST check off in order to get the songbook done and out. Now I just need the time to do it. (It’s gonna happen in 2011, I swear.)

C. Next TK book of poems and (this time) prose)
As I write this I am remembering the last, long home stretch of work that pulled my first book together. It was, as they say, a far piece. Nevertheless, I’ve been accumulating poems, stories and essays, and the energy is gathering for another book.

5. Food for Thought: Wisdom for a new year

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.”
Gautama Siddhartha (563-483 BC)

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
–Plato (428-348 BC)

“The end is where we start from.”
–T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

6. Perspective: You can save a life, and it’s easy.

A few newsletters back I called attention to “Be The Match Foundation,” an organization that connects donors with those in need of a bone marrow transplant. At that time my talented young friend Joshua Ragsdale was suffering with a form of leukemia, and his remaining hope for renewed health was a marrow transplant.

Amazingly, a donor was found and Joshua and his family traveled to a Maryland hospital for the procedure. At the last minute, however, the donor backed out. Sadly, Joshua passed away a few weeks later.

Donating marrow is not nearly as difficult or challenging as you might imagine. In some cases, only a blood donation is required. And the process of joining the registry is a piece of cake: you sign on, you’re mailed a packet with a couple of cotton swabs which you brush against the inside of your cheek and return in a postpaid envelope. Easy! Then you’re in the registry–and if you should ever be a match for someone like Joshua, voila! You give them a fighting chance.

7. Recommended: essential book, great album, terrific film, cool gadget

A. Recently I was enthralled by author Bill McKibben on Letterman, and now I’m reading his “Eaarth”–an absolute must-read book on climate change. It’s informative, accessible, empowering and entertaining.

Though I accepted the notion of global warming some time ago and have been dismayed by governments’ slow response to climate change, I didn’t really understand the phenomenon… until I read this book.

An essential piece of writing, at bookstores everywhere.

B. If you’ve been following me for awhile you may have seen my recommendation of Mandy Harvey’s debut jazz vocal album in my December 2009 newsletter. I first saw Mandy perform with a jazz trio in Ft. Collins, Colorado–and she blew me away. But I was stunned after the show when I was told that Ms. Harvey is almost completely deaf! While majoring in voice at Colorado State University she suffered an auto-immune disorder that severely damaged her auditory nerves. And yet she has persevered in a way that most of us cannot imagine, recording two absolutely wonderful albums with Mark Sloniker, her excellent producer.

Now a new album, “After You’ve Gone,” has been released, and it’s a pure joy. Both “After You’ve Gone” and “Smile” (her debut) can be found at her website:

C. Terrific film: The Fighter
If you haven’t seen The Fighter, you’ve probably seen the trailer on television. Sports Illustrated calls it the best fight film ever, but it’s much more than a fight film. Based on a true story, the cast’s performances are extraordinary. Christian Bale, Amy Adams (as you’ve never seen her) and Mark Wahlberg–I’m sure we’ll be seeing Oscar nominations.

D. Awesome gadget for the road: Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200
When I’m traveling I’m often looking for a WiFi hotspot where I can hastily weed through piles of email and answer as many as I can. Important messages are often left buried under new layers of email snow, never to be read–or to be discovered in a future archeological dig.

No more! Thanks to the Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 portable 3G hotspot. And while most carriers require a lengthy, expensive service contract, Virgin Mobile requires no contract, and their monthly plan for *unlimited data is only $40–and no hidden charges.

You simply buy the tiny unit (about the size and weight of pack of gum)–for $150 online or $140 at any WalMart–and sign up at the Virgin Mobile website. You can set it up the account for automatic renewal, or you can renew month-to-month–which means you can stop and restart service any time you like.

Yes it’s 3G, not the faster new 4G technology–but it’s plenty fast for email and most internet browsing. If you’re interested in portable always-available WiFi, check it out:

(They should hire me to do an ad! “Here’s Tom Kimmel for the Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200! When I’m on the road….”)

*Just after I posted this newsletter Virgin Mobile modified their “unlimited data” plan, imposing a 5GB limit. I find this to be completely sufficient for my needs. 5GB allows about 250 hours of web browsing. However the plan now is $40/month or 5GB of data, whichever comes first.

8. Notes from Shauna: TK Songwriting coaching… and House Concerts


Tom is available to teach/coach/mentor songwriters in one-on-one sessions (in person or long distance via phone, iChat or Skype).

For more information click here or contact us for rates.

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 Dallas Baptist University. 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


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.

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