Tom Kimmel’s Fall 2016 News


1. Greetings!

“Oh the days dwindle down to a precious few…” Wait! That’s a line from that classic September Song, and this is yet November. Still, the shadows are lengthening, 2016 is slowly winding down, and it’s Thanksgiving Week.

So speaking personally, I’m grateful that ANYBODY still wants to listen to my songs, hear me sing them, hear my poems and spoken word pieces or attend my writing workshops. I’m deeply and profoundly grateful. More than I can tell you.

Welcome! Now, briefly, the News…


With Johnsmith in Big Sur, November 2016

2. News
Raft Idaho with me next August!.. Ireland tours sold out.. Songwriting retreats…

a. Raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with me in Idaho next August! 

Speaking of lucky, I have the fabulous opportunity to host a special musical raft trip in scenic Idaho late next summer. Up to twenty friends and fans will join me to raft the storied Middle Fork of the Salmon River—one of the most spectacular unspoiled wild areas anywhere. I have run magical rivers in France, Nepal, Bhutan, Mexico, Costa Rica and the States, but this will be my long-awaited chance to travel the Middle Fork.

What we’re talking about here is a laid back six-day float-and-camp out trip with seasoned, expert guides, large rafts—and BTW our guides do the paddling—on what National Geographic calls one of the three most beautiful raft trips in the world.


Twilight on the Middle Fork photo courtesy MFRE

I couldn’t be more excited!

Rafting, hiking or chilling during the day, enjoying great meals, making music or just hanging in the evenings. My cup of tea.

We’ll be guided, well-fed and cared for by Middle Fork River Expeditions, a top-notch outfit that’s been running these trips for many years. (They also provide most of the gear we’ll need.)

If this sounds appealing, plan to join me August 24-29, 2017.

—We now have a page on the trip at my website. To visit, click HERE.

—To contact me directly, please email me at: rafting(at)

—And to check out the raft company website, click HERE.

photo: Dana Cooper

Ireland Backroad photo: Dana Cooper

b. 2017 Ireland tours sold out!

And I wish I could add yet another tour next year…. I’m so grateful for these opportunities—and that the word of mouth on the tours is so positive.

I will again be hosting back-to-back tours in June-July of 2018, and I’ll make that information available as soon as I get the green light.

If you’re interested in a 2018 Ireland tour with me please email us at  ireland(at)  and we’ll let you know as soon as we can begin taking reservations.

c. Songwriting retreats where I’ll be teaching…

Note: I’ll be adding new class and retreat dates in next newsletter. Here’s what’s inked for 2018 teaching as of this writing…

Esalen Song Class

Esalen Song Class Nov 2016 photo: Daniel Bianchetta/Big Sur Photo

i. emPower Music & Arts Totally Cool Song School (Monday, February 27, 2017)… following the Empower Music & Arts’ annual Posi Music Festival (Feb 23-26, 2017)

I always enjoy this one. For more info click HERE.

ii. Cape Cod Songwriters Retreat (March 6-9, 2017)

Last year I had a wonderful time at this retreat, and I’m pleased to be asked back as an instructor by my talented retreat host, David Roth.

Dave tells me there’s a still a little room at the inn and at a nearby site. To view the event’s Facebook page for more info, click HERE.

Note: The other instructors will be Kate CampbellSloan Wainwright and David Roth. I will add that the Lands End Inn is a wonderful location for this gathering.

For more info, click HERE.

iii. Alabama Folk School (March 17-19, 2017)

I’m happy to be teaching for the first time in my home state! Join me, Waymores partner Sally Barris and other fine teachers.

More info to come. Mark your calendars. And for more on Alabama Folk School, click HERE.

3. TK Poem of the Month: “Love Is a Meatloaf Sandwich”

Spent a day off in California week before last with old friends Kate Wallace and Douglas Clegg in Santa Barbara, and I was reminded of this one inspired by Kate.

Love Is a Meatloaf Sandwich

Love is a meatloaf sandwich
when she rises 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 machine.

The girl there says
she couldn’t make it work either,
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 the whistle blows.
He’s incredibly slow!
And now your train’s in sight
—you can’t miss it
or you’ll miss your flight—
but when you hurry out
your bags are on the platform,
and she’s chatting with someone
like it’s all alright.

And so it is alright.
You haul your things aboard,
and she hands you your tea at the door,
and your meatloaf sandwich,
and kisses you. And though
your hands are full
and you can’t hug very well, it’s okay.
But now you’re in the people’s way.
You should move.
“See?” she says.
And you do.

for Kate (2011)

The talented & generous Kate Wallace

The talented & generous Kate Wallace






4. November Food for Thought

–In the wake of election season, I must share the words of Langston Hughes, excerpted from his poem “Let America Be America Again.”

“O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath —

America will be!”

—Langston Hughes, African American poet & social activist (1902-1967)

5. Recommended: The absolute best rolling briefcase for travelers!

swissgear-1It’s been quite a while since I recommended a gizmo, appliance or *yard tool. More likely I suggest a book, album or film. However…. once in a while I can heartily endorse… a product!

I just returned from my last road trip of the year, and once again my rolling briefcase came through with flying colors. I’ve never had a piece of luggage that’s held up to the beating this one gets, and after several years of constant use it still looks and behaves like a new bag.

Thanks to my Waymores partners Sally Barris and Don Henry, I joined the ranks of happy Wenger SwissGear travelers, and I’m happy to note that my case is still available, essentially unchanged. Now they call it…

…“the Swissgear Patriot Rolling 2-Piece Business Set.”

—I bought mine at a Target store in Nashville, but they don’t seem to carry it online. To check it out at Amazon, click HERE. (But of course buy locally when you can.)

swissgear-2This thing has a removable laptop case and several nifty compartments, including a compartment where I put backup socks, underwear and other essentials… in event of lost luggage. (FYI my suitcase was lost on each of my last two cross country flights.) There’s a compartment for folders (like for my songs-in-progress) and books. The front section is for the usual office stuff like pens, pencils, notepads, phone, whatever. AND there’s a small zippered compartment for passport, boarding passes, wallet, etc.

And get this, the darn thing only costs around $135. For someone like me who travels all… the… time, it’s the best investment ever.

—Consider this your “Tom Kimmel Seal of Approval.”

*I got a crazy amount of positive mail when I recommended the Toro Ultra Blower Leaf Vac!


photo: Steve Oatway

6. New Feature: Looking for Booking

I introduced this nifty feature in a recent newsletter, and as a result I’ve booked several fine shows. Since most of my concerts and workshops these days are booked the old-fashioned way anyway—personal connections with fans or friends—I’ll continue to mention dates I’m looking to fill.

In January…

I am tentately planning to guest-teach with Johnsmith at Big Sur January 23-26 or 27. In order to make that work I’ll need to book shows or workshops before and/or after our workshop. That means I’m looking to fill some or all of these dates…

—January 20, 21 and *22, 2017
—Janurary *27, 28 and 29…

…*Must be driving distance to and from Big Sur on Sunday Jan 22 and Friday Jan 27.

In February… 

Right now I’m looking for a couple of dates in Florida before (or during) the annual emPower Posi Music Fest in Tampa, which is Feb 23-26, 2017.

Specifically, I’d love  to find a couple of sweet Florida shows or workshops on…

—February 16-20, 2017 (any or all nights)
—February 25 and/or *26, 2017

…*A Sunday, Feb 26 show would have to be near enough to Tampa for me to drive there after concert (b/c I teach the next morning).

And in March… I’m looking for shows or workshops for these days:

—Friday, March 3 (within driving distance of Columbia, MD)
—**Sunday, March 5
—Fri, March 10, Saturday March 11, **Sunday March 12

…*within driving distance of Provincetown, MA

If you have ideas or would like to ask about hosting a house concert and/or songwriting workshop… or spoken word event… please email us at booking(at)

Thank you!

7. Booking & Tour Schedule

Interested in booking Tom Kimmel for a concert, lecture or workshop? Or in booking one of Tom’s excellent trios, the Waymores, the New Agrarians or the Sherpas? Visit Tom’s booking page HERE.

To view Tom’s current tour schedule, click HERE.

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