Growing up and watching my big brother "Bob" play guitar made me want to be just like him! Never learning how to read music (it looks like hieroglyphics to me), I learned how to play guitar by watching my brother and listening to some of my favorite artists like James Taylor. After going to college and gaining some confidence in my musical skills, I started to perform coffee houses on my own, as well as joining forces with other college musician "wanna-be's" playing JT songs and others I had learned from listening to the artists of the time. This led into a few of us eventually joining forces and forming a band called "Riverside" which gave me my first taste of the big stage.
After graduating from college and getting a "real" job in manufacturing, I still had music in my blood and eventually hooked up with some talented musicians in Dayton,OH to form a band called "Nightwatch", playing gigs on weekends for not much money! With different variations of band members and styles/genres of music, I finally settled in to a solid Classic Rock band called "Second Shift", the name coming from the fact that we all had normal, first-shift jobs and played music at night. Our band became quite known in the area and soon became recognized by a few different music agents wanting to take us to the next level. After getting a small taste of music as a "business", we decided to be true to ourselves and play music for the "fun" instead. Along the way, I formed a strong bond and friendship with the final members of "Second Shift" which carries over to this day.
As an off-shoot of "Second Shift", my guitar partner, Kevin, and I created an acoustic duo called "Third Shift" (even though we didn't perform during those types of hours!), playing all kinds of sing-along songs and getting the audience involved in our act! Even though we played some acoustic songs with "Second Shift", I missed the true inter-connection and closeness you get with the smaller audience when sitting on a stool and playing acoustic songs everyone knows. Even though "Second Shift" has long since dis-banded, Kevin and I still get together once in a while to get our acoustic "fix" as "Third Shift".
After moving to South Carolina in 2005 and leaving my band members behind, I couldn't stop playing music and decided to go back to my coffee house roots, continuing to entertain folks with my acoustic solo act. Using some of the repertoire that "Third Shift" developed, I performed at all types of public and private venues, singing favorites from the Beatles, the Eagles, JT (of course), Jimmy Buffett and many others. In 2011, I put together an acoustic album of Elton John songs called "Makin' Friends" (see "Tom's Music" section) and invited my old band members to reunite with me for this project; it was a time I will never forget! My latest album project called "Spiritual Spins" (also see "Tom's Music" section) is a compilation of some of my favorite old hymns that I have put an acoustic "spin" to with an awesome support cast of musicians and singers from around the world. I hope you enjoy both of these albums and would love your feedback on them!