A few months ago, I got a myspace friend request from Tom. He’d just moved to the area, was looking for folks to play with, and did I want to play sometime? I took one look at that myspace picture and thought, “This guy’s too big time for me. Too polished.”
You know how it is. Every once in a while you’ll get a friend request from some music fem-bot looking to fan a friend for life. I had a similar feeling. Not from the language in his message. Something about that picture on his myspace page told me he was too big time.
I was only partly right.
Since then, I’ve seen Tom play, and met him by way of the Radials, who graciously played the first Dotmatrix Project. Needless to say I was awed by Tom’s lap steel guitar skills. And a little disarmed by glasses. The guy in the picture looks a lot different than Tom does in person. Something about Tom’s narrow oval spectacles puts an approachable midwestern affect on his countenance. Plus, the occasional Ohioan slang takes the slick polish off that photo posture, and Tom is as real as they come.
He’s also opening for an upcoming Dotmatrix Project. Here’s what I wrote about his music:
A short-timer to Greensboro, Tom has already made his mark as a master lap-steel guitar player, and a man who can lay back and jam with the band, or handle the spot light himself. As a pedigreed ethnomusicologist from Ohio State, Tom spent time in West Africa to study highlife, soukous, Afrobeat, and traditional music. And all those styles sift through his peculiar kind of blues that leaves you wanting more, more, more.