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Tommy Jones

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:33 pm
by cgprnd
Hello Everyone,

Though I was foolishly off by a month with Paul’s birthday I know for certain that Tommy Jones would have been 56 today. He never quite made it to 48. I’ll never forget his inspiration in my life personally and contribution to the world of fingerstyle guitar.


Re: Tommy Jones

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:45 pm
by Richard Hudson
Hi Rande. Tommy gets a lot of mention on here and deservedly so. He was one of the very best fingerstyle guitar players, and at 48 he should have just been hitting his stride. Gone way too soon.

Re: Tommy Jones

PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:00 pm
by keener
Thanks for mentioning Tommy's birthday, Rande. I wouldn't have known.

I know you knew him very well and feel the loss more directly and personally than most of us. Because of some circumstances that I'll not get into, I've thought a lot about death in the past few months, and so often my thinking was about all the people who die way too young. Tommy came to mind just about every time that line of thinking came up. It grieved me that so much talent was here one day and not the next.

But, just about every time I thought about our loss of Tommy (whom I never even met), I thought about how good it is that he continues to be an inspiration to many (certainly to me), even years after his death. It is my hope that each of us can find ways to accomplish that, if not through our music, then some way. In that way, Tommy inspires me, just as he inspires me musically.

Re: Tommy Jones

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:17 am
by smokymtguitar09
I had an opportunity to see Tommy play up-close at the Kirk Sand display at CAAS and he was amazing with those large hands and great arrangements. Early one morning at CAAS I had the opportunity to talk with him about his music, especially the time he spent in Gatlinburg, TN at Archie Campbell's place. He revealed that he was disappointed that he couldn't acquire more financial success for his performances, regardless of how much he loved to play guitar.

He was admired by his fellow fingerstyle guitarists including Chet Atkins, his mentor, who produced his CD which I never tire of hearing and I play it often.

Ronnie Evans

Re: Tommy Jones

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:34 pm
by cgprnd
I was out of town at a high school reunion and just returned and was checking your responses. I appreciate the comments that I've read. Yes, I could talk a lot about Tommy's lack of financial success. Being a great musician doesn't automatically cause the money to roll in. Many of us are not self-marketers. People have to be aware of our existence. YouTube has helped Tommy Emmanuel immensely, by his own admission. He is also a performer and this attracts even more people who don't have the background to be able to appreciate a high level of musical talent.

Tommy Jones was a great musician and never claimed to be a performer. He was also not into the business side of music. He didn't have the marketing behind him that Tommy E. has had, which I'm sure includes a lot of self-promotion.

He and Buster were both highly unusual talents (in different ways) and neither ever made it to 50. Neither were polished performers in the entertainment sense and I feel they were both highly underappreciated for their level of skill. Few understood the depth of their abilities. For those of us who painstakingly put in the thousands and thousands of hours of practice time and experience seemingly insurmountable limitations at times, we can understand what we are witnessing when someone like Tommy Jones performs for us. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible but also creates a belief that maybe it's possible after all because we just saw someone do it. We go back to our little corners, often hungry and tired and continue working at it with the hope of seeing even a small improvement. Not everyone is cut out to be this passionate, and all too often the rewards are appreciated only by a few.

I admire the dedication of Josh Woods and feel that he is one of these who will only continue to improve and impress even more. Though their styles and ways of thinking musically are different, I believe that Tommy Jones would have been impressed with this 23 year old. I know that I was certainly blown away by Tommy when I first met him as a young 21 year old and amazing me from 2 feet away!