Written by Lacie Koford
Western Wasatch Contributor
Growing up on a farm in West Georgia, Tom Bennett packed up and decided to move out west to pursue career opportunities and better hone his skills in music and lifestyle. He had always had a fascination with the west, the wide expanse it presents, and opportunity to connect with the beautiful nature and down to earth people. He started his journey in Wyoming, and now has made Utah home, moving to various locations across the state. Most recently he has made St. George home. Tom is a singer and a songwriter for his one-man-band as he incorporates a resonator guitar with a slide, a harmonica, some foot percussion, and his voice in his unique craft. As a full-time musician for the past 6 years, Bennett books all his own shows, provides his own transportation to and from, and truly takes his success into his own hands.
Tom’s music has notes of country music, but also incorporates elements of blues and soul as well. He likens his musical sound to musicians like Chris Stapleton and Otis Redding. Tom began his interest in music as a teenager when he started singing in his Baptist church back in Georgia. This experience gave him confidence and connections to then move on to singing with various bands in his teenage years. Continuing to develop his skills, Bennett decided that his interests eventually led him to becoming a solo artist, incorporating his various talents into his one-man-band. Over a few years practicing and growing in experiences, he began his full-time solo career at the age of 32. Now at 39, he has been able to keep his schedule full with tours and performances across the country.
Tom has experienced many career highlights, but he recalls a couple experiences that stick out in his mind. First, Tom was invited to play at Snowbasin, opening for a band called Los Lobos. This event meant that he would be playing for one of the largest audiences he had ever played for, just about 8,000 people. Another experience he had was being invited to open for Billy Strings in San Francisco, a legendary bluegrass musician, right on the cusp of experiencing the fame that Strings enjoys now. Bennett reiterates that his entire musical journey has been truly rewarding. He loves finding and visiting small towns, finding those old honky-tonk and country bars, and having the experience to get back to his roots in these locations.
Right now, Tom is rebuilding his appointment book after being hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic and having to cancel many engagements, but he is rebuilding steadily and is excited for the new events he has been able to add to his calendar over the next six months. He’ll be traveling all over the west visiting California, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Arizona performing in at least thirty shows that he has booked as of now, and sure to add many more along the way. One of the events that he is looking forward to performing at is at the first annual Western Wasatch Expo in September here in Ogden. He will be one of the headlining performing artists at this event and will be sure to give a memorable performance. In his career so far, Tom has privately produced and released 2 full length albums and one EP in 2015 that won a Best of Utah award. He’s also finished another full-length album and is working on the logistics of releasing it over the next few months.
To keep up with events and news relating to Tom and his music, make sure to check out his Facebook and Instagram pages through “Tom Bennett-Country Blues” and visit his YouTube page at “Tom Bennett”.