Tom's biography, well the printable bits anyhow!
Having grown up outside BallyMoney in Country Antrim and went to school there, the opportunities for a career in music did not initially present themselves.
On a sunny September morning I drove into my first teaching job in St Brigid's Ballymoney, armed with the essential tools of my trade, chalk, books and of course my guitar. Eight brilliant years passed too quickly, the highlight of which was an appearance on a national talent show in ITV's ‘Opportunity Knocks.' Following ‘Op Knocks,' I took some months from teaching to tour the Working Man's Clubs, Holiday Camps and theatres of England , ah, fame at last! Returning to teaching after my fairly short journey into the hectic world of show business a career move was on the cards with my moving to St Brigid's Primary School in Cloughmills as the newly appointed and terrified Principal. I had a great bunch of kids in the school who loved music and who were delighted when I recorded the Ricky Scaggs composition, ‘Don't Cheat in Our Hometown.' These same kids did me an enormous favour when they wrote to UTV's ‘Good Evening Ulster' asking to sing along with their teacher on TV. The first I knew about the ‘conspiracy' was the arrival of a UTV camera crew at the school wanting to do feature on the ‘Singing Schoolteacher,' how fantastic! This stroke of genius on the pupils' part and the exposure made the song into quite a hit throughout Ireland and indeed the UK . Following hard on the heels of this break came the opportunity to go to Nashville and appear on the Saturday gospel slot in the ‘Grand ole' Opry,' definitely an experience to cherish.
As the years went on a busy solo career took off with me starting to write my own songs to perform in the concert halls, wine bars and clubs. My blend of country and acoustic rock found a good niche in this market. Probably, it was part of a mid life crisis, but I returned to the academic life in 2002 when I completed a masters degree in education and a law degree in 2008. As one of my journalist friends, the ‘Singing Farmer' wrote, ‘Tom can now sing in court!'