Exactly thirty years before this long hot summer I was on the road opening shows for Heart.
As we played all the big outdoor sheds and a bunch of arenas, I’m guessing my band performed for over a half million people on the tour.
I was out there promoting my first album, “5 to 1,” for Mercury Records. It was produced by Bill Szymczyk (Eagles, B.B. King, J. Geils, Joe Walsh, Bob Seger, The Who and on and on). We tracked with my band at Criteria in Miami, a legendary room where many great albums were recorded, including records by the Derek & the Dominoes, Bee Gees, Eagles and Allman Brothers.
It was, of course, a thrill!
My first single, “That’s Freedom,” (which I co-wrote Jeanne Anne Chapman) scrambled up the Billboard rock chart to #17. (See video HERE.) I got some great national press, had a couple videos on MTV, and was even an in-house guest on MTV twice, a big deal at the time. (Downtown Julie Brown: “We’ve got Tom Kimmel with us in the studio today. So Tom, what’s it like being a rock and roller in Nashville?”).
Although we didn’t have the pop hit you need to drive sales and launch a career, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I’ll be forever grateful to all the people on my team at the time—especially my publisher and friend, the late Bo Goldsen, and Dick Wingate, who signed me to the label.
When a young artist has an opportunity to go for broke and all the stars align for a moment, it still takes a monumental push, including a supportive partner, family and friends— and I had all that and much more. Good God, thank you all again!
Looking back, dang, we swung for the fences.
So welcome everyone! Thank you for joining me on my long slow ride.
2. A smidge of News: Raft (& harmonize) with me in Idaho later this month (August 24-29)… Explore Ireland with me next summer… & a little personal news.
a. Raft the fabled Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 2 short weeks…
Two weeks from today my small group of fellow explorers will ease our rafts onto the
Salmon River for a musical river rafting adventure with Middle Fork River Expeditions.
There’s still room if you feel the pull to beat the heat and re-set your soul on a 5 day trip that National Geographic calls one of the three most beautiful raft trips in the world…
For all the info (including how to sign on), visit my webpage HERE.
b. We’re taking reservations now for both my 2018 Ireland tours.Both tours follow a path near the west coast (Atlantic Ocean).
On the first tour (July 27-July 6, 2018) we’ll explore Counties Donegal, Mayo and Clare (with maybe a stopover in Sligo or Galway).
And on the second tour (July 6-15, 2018) we’ll enjoy Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare.
For all the info, click HERE and HERE.
c. I’m taking some time off to write and record.
I love performing, but I’m cutting back a little so I can get a little home-work continuity going and finish a couple of projects. I’ll continue to book shows and workshops, but with more space between them… until I have a new album or book to bring along when I tour.
3. TK Poem of the Month
Jesus in the Trees
One day as Mama stared out the window
she said she could see Jesus in the trees.
We remembered Bubba saying
she saw Pa Pa
at the foot of her bed
just before she died
and thought mama might be close.
In the coming days
she dozed and gazed out serenely
announcing now and again
he was out there.
The rest of us would look
and sometimes tell her
we thought we could see him too,
but we didn’t.
One day Mama said
there was someone else
in the trees and she thought
it must be one of the apostles.
One of the apostles? we said.
And why did she think that?
Well, she said, he’s just not
as handsome as Jesus.
4. August Food for Thought
I recently caught up with an dear friend of my mother’s. Somehow talk turned to baseball. She mentioned that her son had been a great fielder but wasn’t much good at the plate. His coach, she said, once gave him a most excellent piece of advice, and I pray I won’t forget it anytime soon.
“Swing hard, just in case.”
5. Recommended: “Shaun the Sheep—The Movie”
I do not love ALL British humor, but I LOVE the work of Nick Park, English director, writer and animator. If you’ve seen any of his “Wallace and Grommit” creations you’re well aware of his claymation genius.
Somehow I’d missed his feature starring Shaun the Sheep… until the other night when I rented it (streamed it) What a delight!
From the reviews:
“Attention must be paid.”
“Anyone who doesn’t have a grand time watching “Shaun the Sheep Movie” is suffering from a fractured funny bone.”
—Wall Street Journal
Check it out!
6. Looking for Booking: Next fall & winter….
I’ve got a couple of short trips coming up—one to South Carolina and Georgia (in September), and one to Texas (in November). Would love to fill in a little around these 4 shows (see below). If you would like to host a house concert or have other ideas, we’ll entertain them. Thanks!
Contact Shauna Jamison by emailing her at booking(at)tomkimmel.com
7. Booking & Tour Schedule
To see Tom’s current tour schedule, click HERE.