There are very few songwriters these days who can move from pop ballad to R&B groove to folk narrative, from country shuffle to rock rave-up to gospel soul without stumbling. Tom Kimmel can. And very few writers whose songs are routinely covered by major recording stars can hold their own recording and performing those songs. Tom Kimmel can, and does, and more. Since 1980, when his compositions were recorded by the Byrds' Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman and the Band's Levon Helm, over 60 of his songs have appeared on major label releases by artists from Linda Ronstadt to Randy Travis, and in feature films (including Twins and Runaway Bride), television shows (including, yes, Captain Kangaroo, Miami Vice and Dawson's Creek) and made-for-TV movies. Recordings embodying his material have sold millions of copies around the world, achieving gold and platinum sales in Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, the UK, Canada and the USA by Joe Cocker, Johnny Cash, John Farnham, Shawn Colvin, the Stray Cats and many others.
Tom's peers and critics are plainspoken in their appreciation of his work. Irish songstress Maura O'Connell, who has recorded haunting versions of his songs The Blue Train and Poetic Justice, says, "Tom is an incredible songwriter... And he seems to be getting better as the years go on." Crow Johnson, former ZMN publisher, calls Tom a "singer's singer, writer's writer." And according to Michael McCall of Nashville's Scene, "Tom Kimmel's moody textured songwriting reaches into soulful realms that few Music Row pros enter."
After 2 critically praised major label pop/rock releases (in '87 and '90) Tom found his voice as a singer-songwriter while opening a world tour for Nanci Griffith. He began performing as a solo act, stressing a lean, acoustic-centered approach to his music and bringing an engaging, poignant and humorous spirit to his poetry and storytelling. His latest album Short Stories features guest performances by Emmylou Harris, The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch, Jerry Douglas, Jim Horn and other friends and special artists.
An avid whitewater enthusiast, Tom recently kayaked in the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and has paddled mountain rivers in Costa Rica, Nepal, Mexico and France. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he was born in Memphis, raised in rural south Alabama and is now a 20 year resident of Nashville. Along with his artistic endeavors he is a long time student of Siddha Yoga Meditation and is a Practitioner of Alaya Process, a spirit-centered therapy.