Country music megastar, Garth Brooks is among the multitude of music fans anticipating the new record release from longtime friend and early band mate, Tom Skinner. Simply titled TOM SKINNER, this rare collection of original music is set to be released on November 13th on 598 Recordings, a new upstart label headed by Oklahoma music icon, Mike McClure, and partner Chance Sparkman. “I know Tom Skinner well enough to say that making a record of his original recordings was not something he was easily talked into doing and hats off to McClure for getting it done. Tom is very private with his music because the stuff that he writes is extremely personal. This is a very, VERY special gift from Tom to all of his fans…of which I am one.” says Brooks.
If you talk to any artist from Oklahoma who has cut their teeth in the anomaly known as Red Dirt music, you would be hard pressed to find a single one who doesn’t contribute their well- honed craft and a portion of their success to Tom Skinner. Tom is considered one of the main pioneers, alongside of Bob Childers, of the genre, and his songs have been covered by The Great Divide, Cody Canada, The Red Dirt Rangers, Stoney Larue, and Jason Boland. Hindsight being 20/20, when you are young, life seems to be filled with complexities and wrought with an endless barrage of tumultuous storms and a constant struggle to survive. But when you have been on the vine long enough and your ripe years are at hand, the weather tends to do little more than roll off your back and wash you clean. Now on the backside of 50, Tom Skinner is ripe for the picking and his new SELF-TITLED album bears the savory indigenous fruits of that rich Oklahoma soil. His singular voice sweeps down like the fabled Mr. Sandman, the voice of a true time traveler worn with rugged trails and hard-lived tales told to a fortunate few by the glow of a well burned down camp fire. Songs that gallop with hilarity in their utter honesty and ones that invite a reflective stillness are well endowed with his plain-speaking style and well-seasoned sense of humor. With his brand new record in hand, Tom is an old friend who has come to visit, to sit a while and recount his latest exploits well into the night.
An Okie through and through, Tom grew up in Bristow, Oklahoma and started playing music in Stillwater with his brothers during the time Garth Brooks was trying to making a name for himself. Brooks called on Tom and his brothers to create the Sante Fe Band and after a stint of playing around the local clubs they all moved to Nashville in the pursuit of landing a record deal. As Garth was turned down by everyone in town, Tom became homesick for Oklahoma moved back home. In the late 90’s Tom found himself in Louisiana where he landed a small record deal with Binky Records and recorded two albums. He played the Louisiana circuit for a few years and once again found himself back in Oklahoma where he became a favorite of the musicians in the Red Dirt scene and was a mainstay at the now fabled Farm, a safe haven on the outskirts of town where musicians ended up at the end of the night. It was at the Farm that Skinner met long-time friend, band mate and producer, Mike McClure, for the first time and their mutual respect and camaraderie is just as legendary as the music they have both created. Tom joined the Mike McClure Band in 2007 and has played bass ever since. McClure felt that Tom needed a definitive recording that could bring to the world what Stillwater musicians have long since known. The recording was made at the Boohatch studios in Ada with long time Skinner fan and friend Steve Ripley (the Tractors, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell). The album was produced by McClure and the legendary Joe Hardy (Steve Earle, Georgia Satellites, ZZ Top). For the first time in his life Tom Skinner is just where he wants to be doing just what he loves to do, and looking at the world through his new pair of designer rose-colored glasses. “I’m having the time of my life!”