In his book, “American Guitar,” the Italian author and composer Maurizio Angeletti said that Tom is “completely free from the barriers of commercial music…the playing is, and couldn’t be other that a reflection about life, and the conceptual transcription of it into music…” Tom tends to call it “Contemporary Guitar.”
It could as easily be called “Neo-Impressionism,” “Real Interesting,” or just plain “Good Guitar Playing” judging from comments made by members of his audiences.
Using both his music, and stories from an eventful life Tom Smith’s performances take his audiences on a creative tour through the world of their own imaginations. From dancing leprechauns and rose-scented evenings in Spain, to images perhaps darker and more mysterious, Tom uses his guitar, banjo and anecdotes to paint musical pictures for his listeners’ enjoyment.
Tom has a style all his own.
This style shows the influences of Jazz, Country, Classical, Blues as well as other contemporary guitarists, while existing clearly in a universe unique to itself.
Since he began playing in 1966, Tom has performed in 30 states and three countries. His musical career has taken him from coffee houses in North Carolina and bars in San Francisco to concert halls and festival audiences of 10,000. He has done PBS shows, and shared the stage with such artists as John Hammond Jr., Odetta, Livingston Taylor, Melanie, Tuck and Patti, Michael Hedges, Robin Ford, Dave Van Ronk, Jesse Winchester, John Fahey and Todd Phillips. He has six records, “Still Life”, “Musical Pictures”, “Little Dog”, “On Any Given Night”, “Juliet’s Window” and “Jack Rabbit”(featuring some spoken word selections) on Lone Oak Publications.
Somewhere aroung 2009 Tom took off on what he revered to “The Great Walkabout”, this lasted for five years. From this a live album titled “Live at the Loft” emerged.
The walkabout ended around 2013, and Tom settled down to work out new material and performance formats. From this his latest album “Shades of the Moon” evolved. It is a truly remarkable work.
During that time a book “Riki” came to be, which is in editing now, and an album around it which will feature new music, as well as spoken word excerpts. They both will be released soon… keep your eyes open.