Fifteen years ago, TomSongs was merely a placeholder on the WWW. The majority of my music was designed to fit neatly within a particular style or market. All that mattered was the potential to earn some cash and hear my records on the radio. A few of my early songs did exactly that. There is an amazing rush when you first hear a DJ rattle off your name and spin your song (And let's not forget that first quarterly royalty check from BMI. My first payment was nearly equal to the cost of the postage they paid to mail the check). My first (surreal) radio experience was during the early 90's in the Los Angeles country market. I tuned in to KZLA while driving west on the 91 freeway just as the DJ was chattering over the steel guitar intro of a new track I had released. Instant gooosebumps followed by a pure dose of reality:
"Here's a brand new one by a country singer from New Jersey"
And right there on the 91 freeway, my first clue that this train had completely left the tracks.
Since 2001, my musical priorities have changed drastically. I took my eyes off the charts long enough to focus on the music "inside" and the results were amazing. My first successful record project (Brick, 2007) was anything but commercial. With two Grammy entries and unprecedented (for me) record sales / digital downloads, I managed to blaze an original path towards a state of informed consciousness. I'm not there yet but certainly back on the tracks!
2009 - Turn! Turn! Turn! A clue to the next chapter for TomSongs lives somewhere within the verses Pete Seeger adapted from Ecclesiastes 3:1 during the 1950's:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Once I divine the next turn, you will hear the results! Tom Chelston