TK Midsummer News

In this issue…

1. Greetings!

2. News:  Last Call for Ireland, tweeting, Waymores mixing

3. Drawing Board:  Songbook and more, dreaming big

4. Perspective:  Spotify and the revolution sweeping the music world

5. Summer Food for Thought:  Garrison Keillor on the bikini and more  

6. TK Poem of the Month: My Theory

7. Recommended: Cliff Goldmacher’s new website for songwriters

8. Note from Shauna: TK house concerts & song coaching

1. Greetings!

You know, being a touring musician doesn’t just mean staying up late. Sometimes it means getting up early–and staying up late.

This morning, in fact, was a sunrise day, as the Waymores have a day trip gig in Illinois. We’ve somehow gotten all our gear into Sally’s Toyota Yaris–the Barris Yaris, Don calls it–and we’re zooming north at 80mph, Sally (we are discovering) being the Danica Patrick of Yaris drivers.

I have my McDonald’s *Senior Discount coffee in hand, and Sally just put in a CD of some traditional Scottish music that sounds for all the world like the singer has the hiccups. Hey there’s the sun! Welcome everybody.

     *The kid at McDonald’s said, “That’s $2.57 with the Senior Discount.”

      I said, “I don’t think I qualify for the Senior Discount. I’m only 57.”

      “Oh yeah,” she said. “You qualify.”

2. News: Last Call for Ireland, Tweeting, Waymores album

A. All aboard for Ireland

I’m so excited about taking my group and pals and fans to Ireland at the end of next month. I thought we were sold out with a gang of 22, BUT we’ve moved to a slightly larger, nicer tour bus, and thus there is room for 2 (count ’em) more of us.

So if you’ve been on the fence about joining my merry band on our deluxe backroads un-touristy, musical tour of Counties Cork, Clare & Kerry, there’s room for you and your sweetheart—or you and your dad, your mother, or pal, or boss. (OK maybe not your boss.)

For more info, click HERE.

B. TK tweets!

I’m tweeting. Sort of. Or at least I’m set up for it. Check it out HERE (LINK OK I just tweeted that I have a new newsletter coming for my tiny but elite, fast-growing group of followers—and I promise that future tweets will be entertaining.

BTW if you missed my short wacky essay on Twitter in last month’s newsletter, click HERE.

C. Waymores album update

I’m beginning to feel like the boy who cried wolf, but the Waymores debut album is like the space shuttle waiting for the weather to break so it can come in for a landing. We’ve been waiting for our pal Ray Kennedy (4 Grammies) to finish up projects with some high profile clients, but our time, Ray says, is nigh. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of the Waymores, we’re working fools. Check out our fledgling website and sign on for our short, humorous (I am told) e-newsletters, tweets etc. It’s a wonderful, fun band, and it’s an honor for me to work with talents like Don Henry and Sally Barris.

3. Drawing Board: Dreaming big (Songbook & more)

A. Songbook

Really, the drawing board is about nothing but the Songbook right now. Thanks to Chas Williams—author of the outstanding book, The Nashville Number System—I have the last component of the book in hand, plus Chas has helped pinpoint the last round of required tweaks and edits.

You can be sure I’ll be keeping you posted. In the meantime, if you’re a writer or player, I highly recommend Chas’s book, which is not in its 7th printing:

B. Next album, book

I’m quite anxious to dig into my next solo album. And record a large backlog of demos. And begin assembling and rewriting for another book.

Time, time, time—studio time, writing time, study and practice time—it’s so precious… and so hard to come by.

4. Perspective: Spotify

Did you hear it? Spotify landed in the U.S. last week (after years of immense popularity in Europe), and if the cultural repercussion had made a sound, it would have been a sonic blast heard coast to coast.

If you’re not familiar with Spotify, you will be soon, for it will likely re-order popular music on every level, in every genre: for listeners (naturally), but also for writers, players, publishers, labels… everyone who makes, markets or appreciates popular music.

Here’s the million-dollar question:

Would you still buy albums if you could listen to virtually any song by any artist… anytime, anywhere? Well that is the service Spotify provides. And it’s legal, and it’s free at your computer… or as cheap as $5/month to skip the ads… or $10/month to stream from your smart phone or iPad.

Plus since smart phones are rapidly becoming portable jukeboxes that stream to sound systems in our cars and houses, Spotify will basically enable us to play almost everything, everywhere.

And here’s the thing—if it’s not Spotify, it’ll be something else. And soon.

CDs will soon become souvenirs for artists to sell and sign at shows, appreciated mainly by collectors and audiophiles who either want a greater connection with their favorite artists or the superior sound quality CDs offer.

I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing for artists like me and my peers, but it doesn’t matter because that’s the way it is—and the way it’s going to be for virtually everyone. And very soon.

Check it out. SPOTIFY

5. Summer Food for Thought

A girl in a bikini is like having a loaded pistol on your coffee table—there’s nothing wrong with them, but it’s hard to stop thinking about it.

—Garrison Keillor

I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.  My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.  It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips. 

—Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. 

—Russel Baker

6. TK Poem of the Month

These past months I have been watching with fascination the great movement toward freedom across the Middle East. In our own country, too, and in Europe, is there not a collective agitation for greater freedom and personal choice? And a heightened sense of rage against the machine? Surely there’s a great conflict, a pressure building—externally, internally, here there and everywhere.

My Theory

I have a theory.

Essentially it’s this:

Life is a series of overreactions.

Think about it.

When we’re hungry we overeat.

When we fall in love we go too fast.

When we run away we run too far.

When we’re weak we’re victim.

When we fight back we become the aggressor.

When the house in the country

proves difficult to manage,

we move to a condo in town.

When we find it confining

we build the dream home in a suburb.

Soon enough we long to see the stars

and retire to a cabin in the mountains

where we enjoy the view

but feel isolated, and so on until

we are interrupted by death

or blessed by financial hardship.

Likewise does the slave not yearn for freedom?

Does he not scheme and fight for it,

celebrate its attainment till its familiarity

engenders in him a dark longing for new experience?

It draws him in, sends him onward

—but in the opposite direction, and crisply,

because there is no slow turning,

real or imagined, in this universe.

7. Recommend: Cliff Goldmacher’s The Educated Songwriter

My talented friend Cliff Goldmacher wears many hats—and wears them well. (I’ve recommended he not wear the pink one with the flowers again, but that’s his call.)

His latest venture is a service for songwriters called The Educated Songwriter. It’s chock full of useful and inspiring info and ideas for writers—including an insider’s measured take on how the crazy music business works.

Check it out:

BTW Cliff has co-produced several of my albums and we have collaborated on songs, including Young and Naïve, which was co-written and recorded by jazz chanteuse Heather Rigdon and is featured on the Putumayo Records collection, Jazz Around the World.

8. Note from Shauna: TK House Concerts & Song Coaching


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, see Tom’s info page online… or email me (Shauna Jamison) for rates at

Testimonials abound that Tom’s not only a great writer, he’s a great teacher for writers.


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 me at

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