Tom Bennett

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief

It actually a funny story on how I met this artist. I was walking around the Fort Worth Stockyards and I stopped to get a burger. I walk outside and see this puppy tied up to a suitcase. So of course I had to reach down and love on that precious baby. I mean do you blame me? Puppies are awesome. Any way the owner of the pup walks up and I ask if it’s okay if I pet his dog. He said of course and we start talking about his suitcase because it has all sorts of stickers. And if you have ever met me you know that I am a collector of stickers! I ask where he is from because obviously that accent isn’t Texan. (Which I have the heaviest accent of anyone I know.) Any way we get talking and I find out he is a musician and I tell him what I do and he gave me his card and the rest is history.

Mr Tom Bennett is from Atlanta, Georgia but was raised on a farm called Eagle Crest out in the country west of the city out by Alabama. Tom is currently based out of Salt Lake City Utah. His hobbies include: meditation, running and studying psychology.

Are you currently touring? If so with who?

“This tour I'm solo though I usually partner with people. I felt that solo would be good for me right now. Though I do have a puppy that I picked up in Tulsa. Her name is Lil Oakie.”

When and why did you start playing?

“I started playing harmonica when I was 9 after getting one for Xmas from an old woman from west Virginia. I always sang. I started playing guitar April 7 2013. I picked up the guitar to let some things go. I found out I was being cheated on by my girl.”

Which instruments do you play?

“I'm a one man band. I play resonator guitar with a slide, harmonica, vocals and foot percussion.”

What drives your passion?

“I'm driven to make music because I can't help but do it. It's my fate. My great grandfather was a traveling folk singer before I was. He died after his final show in 73. The same will likely happen to me one day.”

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?

“I write songs spontaneously, lyrics cone to me at random times and places. I've learned to grab a pen when the muse moves. The guitar is a bit more difficult being that I haven’t been playing long. I thing songs are given to us, we are only the vessel.”

What were the first songs you learned?

“I don't do many of other people songs the few I do I've learned by accident. I'd prefer to sing my own stories.”

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

“As for famous musicians I admire. I admire anyone who makes it anywhere in this industry while still remaining authentic. I don't know many famous musicians but I've met some real amazing folk singers out there who sing the truth. I draw inspiration from folk, country, blues and soul. The beat compliment I ever got was that I sing like Otis Redding.”

What are your fondest musical memories?

“Some of my best musical memories include singing on the steps of the Utah Capitol for 5000 people. Singing in a Masonic Temple. I've also had some great moments on street corners all around America. I've had many times where I stand up front at shows and just cry. In Oregon the folk singer McDougall put me in a trance and I did some wild dance and cried haha. It was liberating.”

Were you influenced by old records & tapes?

“As far as influences I am influenced mostly by delta blues, people like Bukka White and Robert Johnson. I'm also influenced by old southern moonshiners I met as a boy and my great grandfather.”

What is a typical week like for you?

“A typical week involves a lot of time on computers setting up shows. A lot of driving a lot of playing shows and roaming the streets and probably too much drinking and not enough meditation.”

What's your favorite thing about being on the road?

“My favorite thing about life on the road is the freedom and seeing the American west. I love a wide open lonesome desert. I love seeing the purity of forgotten places and historical landmarks. I've been on reservations and old stockyards and dirty alleys. I love it all.”

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?

“The funniest thing that happened on the road is I flipped my truck off a cliff, totaled it and walked away without a scratch. I laughed a lot that night. I also once dropped 461 dollars on the ground. Never found it.”

Best place to eat while on the road?

“I've eaten some damn good food. Best breakfast was in st George Utah. This place had an amazing omelet. George's I believe. I had a brisket sandwich on the side of the road in TX that blew me away. Red 5 hot dogs in Eugene Oregon has THE Best BRAT in the universe!”

What's the best town play in?

“It's hard to pick a favorite town to play in but. I love Oregon, Colorado pays the best thanks to my agent Kimberly who helps me. St George Utah is always a party. Wichita Kansas is full of amazing musicians and Texas everyone is so kind. I love them all.”

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?

“Advice to new musicians is remember to always play from the soul. Always be on time. Don’t get wasted.  Ask everyone for info on venues. Be a professional.”

Thank you so much Tom it was wonderful meeting and talking with you!

xxx West Texas Sweetheart 

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