Tommy Blackwood

Before I start I’d better give a bit of background.  I met Tommy when he worked in a music shop in Guildford.  I know him to say ‘hi’ a chat a bit of shit about music, but no more than that.  He loves the Beatles and Hendrix and Pink Floyd.  Classic rock, with a bit of prog and psychedelia is probably not a million miles away it.  Not particularly my thing at all, not least as pre-about 1974 I can pretty much ignore all music apart from Stooges, 13th Floor Elevators and the White Album.  And the fucking Troggs who were just incredible.  And lots of other things too, but you kinda get the point.  Anyway, he plays guitar, piano and likes recording to tape (I have no idea how good is studio / home studio (?!?!?!) is, but he records his voice and guitar beautifully for youtube).

Just before Christmas I got an email with a reminder link to his youtube channel where a few new tracks have been posted.

https://www.youtube.com/user/tommblackwoodmusic

I started writing this post a couple of weeks back, and this is my second attempt.  The following words are from my first attempt –

“There are two interpretations.  Either he is a boring classic rock obsessive with an unnaturally strong affinity for the Beatles and especially Paul McCuntney. 

Or maybe he’s better described as a very talented guitarist, pianist, and songwriter with a stunning voice and a look to match.

As much as anything I just wanna know where he’s at and where he’s going.”

On reflection I’d rather not be so blunt so I won’t be.  His is the sort of music that I would never search for and would probably never prick my ears up at if I heard it on the radio.  But when you meet someone local, and they just come across as a really nice person, the sort of person who if everyone was like the world would be a totally different and infinitely better place, then it’s different.  You want to like it, and when every ingredient in the mix is damn near perfect then its hard not too, even if the style of music ain’t “your thing”.

My other half said she thought he had a great voice.  “Like Paul McCartney’s but better” were her precise words.  And she has ears that are not cloth unlike me so she should be writing this really.  There’s a McCartney cover, a piano ballad that says it was written the day it was recorded.  And an acoustic guitar ballad.  I swear there was something light-hearted too, but that seems to have disappeared.  On the one hand I see why – it was a bit silly… but on the other hand it did hint at something more modern and original than the more serious stuff does.

In fact loads of stuff he’s previously posted has disappeared.  On the one hand I believe in recording and archiving everything; on the other artists should have an air of mystery and leaving stuff from your past in plain view when it isn’t what you want to present to the world today is unwise.

For me I want things which are more forward looking and less mainstream.  But then again,  I like old analogue sounds too, and to a large extent when you criticise someone as being mainstream you’re just saying they can play and know how to write a proper chorus.  And this is mainstream of 50 years ago more than now.

And although I try to be forward looking my [joint-]favourite band hit their peak 30 years ago and were themselves massively influenced by stuff from the late ’60s so perhaps I should shut my trap.

He’s not gonna suddenly become a metaller or a dubstep producer, but I hope he can find an angle.  A little something to make it feel a bit more now.  And I have no idea what that might be.

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