Tom Kimmel’s December News

1. Greetings!
2. News-in-Brief: Tom’s 2018 NC Songwriting Retreat + quick updates on 2018 Idaho Rafting + Ireland Touring
3. TK Poem of the Month: “And Back Again” (a love poem)
4. Seasonal Food for Thought: The wisdom of GIVING from Winston Churchill, Thomas á Kempis & Anne Frank
5. SPECIAL: Tom’s Holiday Gift-buying Guide for musical types, couples & normal people
6. Looking for Booking: VA-MD area in January (to fill out a long weekend of shows)…

1. Greetings!

Greetings Everyone! Thought I’d jump in here just ahead of  the holiday madness.

Holy smokes, it’s been a year of enormous change for me, including a marriage and a big relocation. And here we are, winding down 2017 and winding UP for the holidays.

So I’ve got tad of  “new” news, a couple of updates, a new love poem, a little holiday food for thought, a short gift-giving guide to help with your holiday shopping… and more. So here we go…

2. News-in-Brief: Tom’s NC Songwriting Retreat returns in 2018! + quick updates on 2018 Idaho Rafting + Ireland Touring…

a. Tom’s 4th Annual Doe Branch Ink Songwriting Retreat in June 2018

I have LOVED these North Carolina retreats and am very happy to announce my Doe Branch Ink Retreat for 2018.

I had to skip last years event—I was touring in Sweden—and boy did I miss it. So we’re back…

Bottom line: I have found great value in writing, learning & sharing in a retreat setting—especially with a limited number of participants—and this one is special to me.

In a nutshell…

What: Tom’s 4th Annual Doe Branch Ink Songwriting Retreat
When: *Sunday, June 3—Saturday, June 9, 2018
Where: Near Marshall, NC (about 40 minutes north of Asheville, NC)
Who: Doe Branch Ink sponsors an annual series of writing retreats in a lodge and cabins in the hills near Marshall, NC
What else?  Tom hosts, teaches, offers supportive critiques and writes with participants
**Cost: $850-$1400 per person, including all meals

*We’ll gather late afternoon on Sunday, June 3 and depart after breakfast on Saturday, June 9
**Cost varies according to lodging (shared room, single room, etc.)

More info at my website HERE… or at the Doe Branch Ink website HERE… And if you have questions, please write me at info(at)

b. Idaho Rafting in 2018
Next August I’ll again be hosting a group of kindred spirits on a rafting adventure in Idaho—this time on the Main Stem of the Salmon River. We’ll be floating through one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the country, and it’s hard to put into words just how special it is.

On my Idaho trip this past August we saw bighorn sheep, mule deer, eagles and ospreys, even a cinnamon black bear. The food (prepared by the staff) was excellent, we shared music along the way… and some nights I decided to sleep right out under the stars. 
At a glance…
What: Raft the Main Stem of the Salmon River with me
When: Wednesday, Aug 22-Monday, Aug 27, 2018
Where: We gather and depart from Stanley, Idaho
Who: Our tour company is the top-notch Middle Fork River Expeditions
Cost: *$1799 per adult
*Details at my rafting webpage is HERE … and the MFRE website is HERE.

c. Ireland 2018… & 2019 

These Ireland trps are highlights every year. It’s truly my home away from home, and I LOVE sharing tours with friends, fans & family.

The second of my 2 Ireland 2018 tours is sold out, but I’m told we may still have a couple of seats available on Tour #1 (to Donegal, Mayo & Clare).

If you’re interested or curious, please contact Vicki Belinoski with Inishfree Tours asap by emailing her at vbelinoski(at)

Also, if you’d like to be on our “first call” list for 2019, please email me at ireland(at)

FYI I don’t know my 2019 routes just yet, but they’ll explore Ireland’s wild and beautiful west coast and closely follow the Wild Atlantic Way that runs from Cork (southwest) to Donegal (northwest).
If you’d like to get an idea of how the tours generally work, you can check out my 2018 tours by clicking HERE and HERE.

3. TK Poem of the Month


And Back Again

I never tried to love you
—did not attempt to reason
with gravity, and wasn’t it
like falling down? The only thing to do?

No surface tension holding us
to justify or measure
some imagined ground of being
you and I were falling to?

I pray that’s how it was for you
—the way the world appeared one moment,
gone the next, and back again,
impossible, and close, and new.

4. Seasonal Food for Thought

As we move toward the holidays, a little wisdom about giving…

“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.”
—Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471), priest & author

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
—Anne Frank (1929-1945), diarist
 “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
—Winston Churchill (1874-1965), statesman & writer

5. Recommended: From Tom’s handy gift-buying guide for guitar/bass players & music lovers
—BTW, of course we prefer to buy from local mom-&-pop stores as we can. Amazon links provided for easy reference. For musical instruments I highly recommend Sweetwater Sound. The sales reps are terrific.
a. For the guitar/bass player: The Aroma (light, strong, cheap) guitar/bass stand

Man oh man, this is the best light stand EVER. My old travel stands are now retired, replaced with these guys. Weighs just over a pound and costs around $15. Easily adjustable to perfectly hold just about any acoustic or electric guitar or bass. Check it out HERE.
b. For the beginner guitar player: Yamaha JR1 ¾ size (with tuner, strap etc.)

I picked out one of these for my neighbor’s granddaughter, and I didn’t wanted to KEEP it! Not a toy guitar. Amazing value. Great for starters, good travel guitar. About $150 with strap, tuner & DVD. May find it cheaper without the extras. See it HERE. With the bundle or guitar only HERE at Sweetwater.
c. For the songwriter: My Doe Branch Ink retreat June 3-9, 2018

In my experience there’s great value in writing daily in an intimate setting and supportive atmosphere, removed from day to day distractions. (See description above.) And These Doe Branch Ink retreats included lodging, instruction and precious time to learn, share, write, co-write… and hang. For all the info, click  HERE.

d. For any music lover who’d appreciate great sound in miniature speakers: The IK Media ILoud Micro Monitors

The reviews I’d read on these miniscule monitors sounded too good to be true—and at $300 for the pair, they ain’t cheap—but I finally sprung for them for portable recording, and lo and behold, they knocked me out!

They’re self-powered, small and light. For alternate studio speakers, portable recording, or just for amazing computer speakers for your desk, I highly recommend these. Click HERE to check it out at Sweetwater or HERE at Amazon.

e. For husband/boyfriend bearded/buzzed type guys: Philips Norelco Mulit-Groom 3000
I’ve been through a few of these type gizmos over the years, and this is is hands-down the best! And it’s also one of the CHEAPEST (about $20).
I use one attachment for my beard, one for head, and I “fine-tune” with a couple of the trimmer attachments. EASY, with just a tiny bit of practice. Plus the blades don’t need lubrication and are self-sharpening—and the battery stays charged forever. I was in Europe for 6 weeks last year and never charged it… once. Check it out HERE.
f. For wives & girlfriends: Rex Foster earrings, good wine glasses cheap, bamboo socks

i. Rex Foster earrings like the ones I gave my wife… which she LOVES. Rex makes great, soulful, earthy, high quality stuff. See my wife’s earrings HERE and browse more of Rex’s work while you’re at it.

ii. World Market has an amazing value for wine glasses, and you can order online HERE or at your local store. I like the red wine glasses you’ll see via the link, but they have other nice ones too.

iii. The women in my life like soft socks, and bamboo is hard to beat. You can find them lots of places. HERE is an Amazon link for convenience.

g. For couples: Join me for my Idaho raft adventure in August. It’s an undescribably sweet and easy way to completely unplug and reconnect with our true selves far from cell phones and city lights. Plus the food’s great, the scenery amazing, and the music… See above or visit my website HERE.

Happy, low stress gift-giving to all!

6. Looking for Booking: In the New Year… Maryland & Virginia in January…
I’m playing a couple of shows in January—in Maryland & Virginia—and I’d love to bookend them… if I can make the drive(s) work. Here’s what I’ve got:

Friday, January 12, 2018  *8pm
Baldwin’s Station (solo concert)
7618 Main St.
Sykesville, MD 21784
*doors open 6:30pm
—for more info click HERE


Saturday, January 13, 2018  7:30pm
Tidewater Friends of Acoustic Music  (solo concert)
5200 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23462
—for more info click HERE

…and I’d love to find a show or workshop for Thursday, January 11, 2018 (that would allow me a short-ish drive the next day.

and/or a show or workshop on Sunday, January 14, 2018 (that I could drive to from Norfolk, VA that day).

If you have an idea—or would like to host me yourself—please contact Shauna Jamison by emailing her at booking(at)

7. Tom’s Up-to-date Tour Dates

To view Tom’s latest schedule, click HERE.



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