Tom Kimmel’s May 2011 Newsletter

In this issue…

1. Greetings!
2. News: Ireland calling! + Waymores album update
3. Drawing Board: How I’ll spend my summer vacation
4. Special Feature: NPR features my favorite non-profit
5. Food for Thought: Kindergarten wisdom
6. TK Poem of the Month: “Love Is a Meatloaf Sandwich”
7. Recommended: The art of Alabama painter Michael Banks

1. Greetings!

I’m home in Nashville today, where it’s a decidedly summer-like 90 degrees. Spring in the south means we get a few clear, warm days, then it rains cats and dogs and cools off for a bit. This is my favorite season in Tennessee. It’s incredibly lush, the new yellow-green in the hills leafing out into a deeper, almost psychedelic hue.

For some of my fellow southerners, however, this spring is a nightmare. I’m sure most of you are aware of the present flood in Memphis–and up and down the Mississippi–and last month’s horrific tornados in Alabama and across the south.

To all of you who have emailed or facebook-messaged me to ask about my family and friends in Alabama: THANK YOU! Thank God, everyone is safe, and no relative or friend has lost a family member or their home. But for a thousand others, that is sadly not the case.

If you have even $5 to spare, please consider a *donation to help them:

United Way of West Alabama

American Red Cross/Mid Alabama Region

Thank you–from the bottom of my Crimson heart.

*As I write this Kate Campbell and Pierce Pettis and I (the New Agrarians)—are putting together an Alabama tornado relief benefit in Nashville, to be held in the near future. I’ll keep you posted.

2. News

A. Ireland calling!

Just talked to the powers-that-be and I’ve got 4 open seats on my tour bus for the trip to Ireland that I’ll be leading in late August/early September. If a “un-touristy” backroads musical exploration of Ireland’s spectacular west coast sounds inviting, join me and my merry band of friends and fans for an unforgettable experience. This will be my 7th visit to Ireland, and I’m thrilled at the chance to share this trip.

For the whole story click here.

(…or visit my website at

B. Waymores album and fundraising

i. Album progress

Don (Henry), Sally (Barris) and I finished recording our album in December, but various unforeseen, unavoidable (and sometimes maddening) delays have pushed back mixing for months. As I write this, however–knock wood–the table is now set to mix with four-time Grammy winner Ray Kennedy. Ray’s much in demand these days, but I talked with him this morning, and he says we’ve cleared all obstacles.

ii. Funding Waymores work and dreams

Having the finished product also means it’s time we raise some real dollars in order to fund the next phase of our work. We’re proud that we’ve managed thus far to record an entire album and tour for two years on sweat equity and what’s in our pockets… but now it’s time to mix, master, manufacture, promote and generally introduce our music to the rest of the country and beyond.

As you may know, the traditional model for making and promoting records has crumbled, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how artists will forge careers in the years to come. For now, however, it seems that a band of supporters passing the proverbial hat can give a project a chance.

I just did a little figuring, and if each of our fans (mine, Don’s, Sally’s, and the trio’s) contributed just a little the sum would entirely cover the cost of mixing, mastering, designing the album cover, manufacturing the first run of CDs–as well as going a long way toward funding a press and promotion campaign.”

If you’re interested in chipping in, please visit our Kapipal page.

BTW, we’ve come up with some fun ways to share the music with contributors. Each level of contribution has its perks, from an advance download of the new album (for a contribution) to a private house concert (for a 00 gift).  For more info on levels of contributions and their perks, email

And if you’ve not yet had a chance to hear the Waymores, you’ve got a real treat coming—if I say so myself!

3. Drawing Board: How I’ll spend my summer vacation

I’m going to have some chunks of time at home this summer, and here’s hwo I plan to fill the lonely hours.

A. TK solo album, songbook, demos, writing

I’m looking forward to getting on with ALL of these endeavors. I love playing on the road, but it’s hard to change gears bouncing in and out of home base. Longer stretches at homes will make it easier to connect the dots.

B. OK, I’ll also be doing some serious catching up on put-off home repairs and house-painting

4. Special Feature:  NPR features my favorite non-profit.

The little chapel my family attends supports an incredible organization that was recently featured on NPR’s  of “All Things Considered.”   Listen and/or watch now

(The link to all aspects of this feature:

5. Food for Thought:

My wife Robin tutors kids of all ages. This afternoon one of her students shared an exercise that a teacher at Ensworth School in Nashville had given her kindergarten class. The teacher began each sentence in the exercise… and her kindergarteners completed it. Here are some of the gems:

Better late than late late.
–Eb James

The early bird gets there first.
–Brady Mosely

Children should be seen and not taken.
–Oliver Pilkington

A woman’s place is on the beach.
–Anna Belle Needham

Never bite the hand that moves fast, but you can bite the hand that moves slow.
–Hudson Sheer

Ask me no questions and I’ll buy you a toy.
–Hampton Coleman

6. Poem of the Month

Last month I introduced the feature “Poem of the Month.” Here’s #2.

“Love Is A Meatloaf Sandwich”

Love is a meatloaf sandwich
when she gets up to make it
at five in the morning
while you finish packing,
and holds your tea at the station
while you can’t get your ticket
out of the stupid machine.

The girl nearby says
she couldn’t get hers out either,
so you’d better go inside, and you do,
except no one’s at the counter.
“Tap the glass,” someone says,
and the grumpy guy comes from the back
as you hear the whistle blow.
He’s so unbelievably slow!
You know that’s your train
—you can’t miss it
or you’ll miss your flight—
but when you hurry out
your bags are on the platform,
and she is chatting with someone
like it’s no big deal.

And so it is no big deal.
You haul your things aboard,
and she hands you your tea at the door,
and your meatloaf sandwich,
and kisses you. And though
you can’t hug very well
because your hands are full, it’s ok.
But now you’re in the people’s way.
You should move.
“See?” she says.
And you do.

for Kate Wallace
January 2011

Click For more TK poetry! (or visit & click Poetry)

7. Recommended: The extraordinary art of Michael Banks

I spent Mother’s Day weekend with my mother and family in Tupelo, Mississippi, and my sisters and I enjoyed the annual art festival there. There was lots of stuff I wanted to take home, but one artist in particular knocked me out. His name is Michael Banks, and he’s a folk artist from Guntersville, Alabama. His paintings deeply affected me, and I want the world to see it too:

And this short video pretty much says it all!


Michael’s known as an “Outside Artist”–a term used to descibe a group of artists known for being productive despite struggles with mental illness or addiction. I tell you this: Michael is a striking man with a powerful personal presence and a big heart. That much was apparent in our short encounter.

–Check out the photo of me and Michael here.




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