Fun fact- I once had to tell Buddy Guy to hush up cause I couldn't hear what B.B. King was saying to me.
This always feels like the toughest thing to explain about one's self... but I like to talk, so grab a seat.
Short attention span version;
Tommie John, Knoxville-area born and raised. Multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter. Performing both as a solo artist and as a sideman for many other regional acts. I don't like to eat my veggies.
The longer, arguably more informative version:
The beginning of my musical tale dates back to a time when most styles of popular music were in quite a phase of transition. Rock was moving from hair bands to alternative, Country was experiencing a revitalization, Hip-Hop was shifting to a more hard-edged persona, and Pop was moving from cheesy synth stuff to wherever it went.
I was probably about four feet tall and Mom got tired of me cramming all of my GI Joes inside of the family's old Yamaha guitar, so she asked me if I'd like to learn how to do something useful with it. I wanted desperately to be like Slash or Marty McFly (I decided I'd even settle for CC Deville), so I was all for it. She put me in bluegrass lessons. I didn't like it at all. I was, infact, NOT learning how to rock.
Although I wasn't blessed with tons of natural talent, I WAS blessed with an unrelenting and infinitely patient teacher- one who also happened to be one of the most decorated and accomplished acoustic guitarists in history, the legendary Mr. Steve Kaufman. Steve miraculously was able to keep a pre-teenaged boy obsessed with Rock engaged and improving at acoustic bluegrass. We spent a few years together and I developed a pretty strong fundamental technique, which I have since ruined all to hell.
I picked up a couple more instruments along the way, mainly on account of there was nobody around to play with me. I was by this point writing songs and recording them however I could. I wrote a lot of crappy songs back then. I still write a lot of crappy songs, but at least now there's one good one in there every so often.
Somewhere over the course of more than 1,000 live shows between those days and the present, I have learned to fake proficiency to a stunning degree. I've gotten so good at it, that people pay me actual money to get onstage and do what I do. That's still amazing to me every time I think about it. I've played on stages from Key West to Vermont, from San Francisco to Amsterdam, for crowds of more than 10,000 all the way down to playing intimate acoustic songs for just your mom.
Currently writing and recording another new album that I'll probably change my mind about and never release, and drinking too much at cover band gigs all over the east coast.
Get at me if you want a piece of the action.
The Flora-Bama, Perdido Key, FL
The Original Margaritaville, Key West, FL
The Windjammer, Isle of Palms, SC
710 Beach Club, Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA
Phins to the West, Laughlin, NV
Tropical Isle, New Orleans, LA
Southern Living's Taste of Charleston
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago, IL
Little Texas, Meguro, Tokyo, JP
St. Patrick's Day Bash, Savannah, GA
The Torch Club, Sacramento, CA
Churchill's, Miami, FL
Koyote Club, Düsseldorf, DE
Citadel Stadium (Johnson Hagood) Charleston, SC
Friend's on 6th, Austin, TX
Hard Rock Cafe, Pigeon Forge, TN
Red's Icehouse, Charleston, SC
Schooner Wharf, Key West, FL
Maloe Melo Bluescafé, Amsterdam, NL
BB King's Blues Club, Nashville, TN
Whiskey Joe's, Tampa, FL
Tin Roof Bars locations in Nashville, Knoxville, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington, Columbia, and Charlotte
Wild Wing Cafe locations in Nashville, Knoxville, Savannah, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Asheville
Homemade Wine the Band
Southern Drawl Band
The Jaystorm Project
among many other fill-ins and tours with other artists