Tommy started learning music when he was 5 years old.
He wanted to learn to play the banjo but his mother, a
pianist, and father didn’t think he would have much
interest. His parents insisted he learn piano first and
after a year of piano lessons he, again, asked for a banjo.
His father being the jokester he is, made his 6-year-old
son a deal. “If you earn the money and buy a banjo I will
get you lessons,” he promised. Thinking that would be
the end of it, he soon found out Tommy was quite the
entrepreneur. Through odd jobs, Tommy earned the
money and went to Sears and bought his first banjo for
$85. His father, living up to his end of the bargain,
arranged for Tommy to get lessons.
Tommy loved listening to and playing Bluegrass music.
His father would take him to listen to George Winn and
the Bluegrass Partners and took him to different
festivals and jam sessions. After two weeks of lessons at
the age of 7, Tommy hit the stage with George Winn
and played Cripple Creek. That was the beginning of
his love for performing. It would be only 8 years later
Tommy would become the standup bassist for George
Winn and the Bluegrass Partners and get a taste of
Over the past 20 plus years, Tommy has had the opportunity to perform with some wonderful friends,
musicians, and performers. After having the opportunity of playing with George Winn and performing at
such venues such as The Grand Ole Opry, the now CMT Music Festival, Bean Blossom Festival and many
others, it was time for Tommy to branch out on his musical endeavors. Longtime friends Chris Stanley and
John McNiel joined in with him when he was 16, and they started performing around town in different clubs
under the name, Medley. Later, Tommy performed for a number of years with friends Harvey and Diane
Reams at the Tides Lodge, and The Chris Stanley Band, which included Stanley and McNeil, joined forces
with Lee Covington and Stu Grimes. In 2002, Tommy joined Pat, Jim, Jane, and Bob and became a member of
Tommy says, "Since joining The Wrest, I have had an opportunity to play with many great musicians and
friends. Many thanks to Sky Run (former Marna and Macy), River City Gang, Hoosier Daddy, The Jangling
Reinharts, for letting me play a part in their groups. I have also started another musical project joining forces
again with Chris Stanley and Jane Cooper, Out on A Limb. The Wrest allows for me to perform for many
great people, but I also have the opportunity to be with my best friends and great talent."
Birth Date: September 1, 1971
Stage Duties: Mandolin, Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Real Job: IT
History: Have been playing music since I was five.
Musical Influences: Bela Fleck, James Taylor, Tony Rice, Victor Wooten, John McNiel, Ricky Skaggs,
Mark O'Connor, Brent Mason, Chet Atkins
Favorite Author(s): James Patterson and Michael Crichton
Favorite Movie(s): Too Many to list
Favorite TV show(s): Modern Family
The Good: My home with Patti, Maddison, and Mason
The Bad: Mean People
The Ugly: Inconsiderate people
Special Thanks: to Pat, Jim, Jane, and Bob for having me become a part of The Wrest; to my parents for
helping me and supporting my musical career; and to Patti for continuing to push me forward in every aspect
of my life.