Tom Lockwood has been a working musician for over forty years. In that time he has released 6 albums under his own name, had his compositions used in television and radio productions in 33 countries around the world, has had to opportunity to work with some of Canada’s finest musicians and taught literally thousands of people to play the guitar. In the year 2000, Tom was honoured to be chosen to be among a select group of musicians to represent Canada at the Organization Of American States conference in Windsor. He had the opportunity to perform before over one thousand delegates from Canada,The United States, Mexico ,Central and South America. His 2011 Blues record with the amazing Jaimee Paul on vocals has been picked up by streaming services around the world-at last count the “Common Ground” album has been heard in 45 countries! His acoustic playing has been recognized by guitarists such as Don Ross and Liona Boyd and publications like Guitar Player magazine. His electric work has been compared by Le Net Blues to the late, great Gary Moore. In 2010 , two of Tom’s performances were included on a sampler of virtuoso guitarists from the Acoustic Guitar Forum. In 2009, Tom toured with harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens in Western Canada. In 2011, the Tom Lockwood Band took part in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and in 2012 Tom performed at the Montreal Guitar Show representing Luthier Dennis Kwasnycia. Tom is pleased to announce his new CD “Ace In The Hole” is now available for purchase and can be previewed on the Discography page!!
Tom was born in Los Angeles and was exposed early to Jazz and Gospel music by his dad, who was a journalist working for an LA paper, but also was involved in promoting Dixieland Jazz in California. By the time he was 5, Tom had tagged along with his father to many jam and recording sessions, hearing many legendary New Orleans musicians who had moved to the west coast because of the work available there. By the time he moved to Canada when he was 14, he had also lived in South Bend ,Indiana and Detroit, Michigan. Tom has been a Canadian resident ever since!
Like a lot of kids in the mid 60’s, Tom picked up the guitar inspired by the music of the day, playing high school dances. Once while on a trip to Toronto he heard a band In Yorkville covering a Paul Butterfield song, and after coming home and checking out the first Butterfield album, he found inspiration in the playing of Mike Bloomfield. Other influences followed: Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Peter Green with John Mayall,Muddy Waters, Jeff Beck ,Wes Montgomery, BB King,Django Reinhardt, Miles Davis, John Coltrane were all essential listening early on.
The 70’s saw an explosion of new and different guitar sounds-Steve Howe of Yes, John McLaughlin with Mahavishnu , Frank Zappa, and Robert Fripp were opening new vistas for music…but Tom also was influenced by finger style players like John Fahey ,Leo Kottke and Joni Mitchell. Players who straddled the line between Jazz, Blues and Rock&Roll also made an impression- Domenic Troiano,Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Larry Carlton, Skunk Baxter, Denny Dias and Lee Ritenour all influenced his direction. Tom was especially influenced by the legendary Lenny Breau-who he got to see many times while living in Toronto-“the part of guitar that is the most personal for me is composing and arranging for solo guitar, and Lenny Breau, as well as Joe Pass, did such groundbreaking work in creating beautiful and compelling arrangements of Jazz standards-with Lenny opening so many doors as to what was possible on the guitar.”
Tom made his home base in Toronto for most of the 70’s-spending most of that time slugging it out on the road with various groups. A highlight of that time was studying with CBC staff musician Hank Monis-” Hank was a great teacher and I learned to read music through my time with him-Hank also encouraged my writing and arranging!” As well, Tom got to open (with the band Rosco) for Tower Of Power at the legendary Colonial Tavern!
Returning to his adopted home Chatham in 1978, Tom began teaching guitar as well as studying Classical Guitar in London with Ray Sealey. As well, he started a Jazz-Fusion group with Steve Fowler that included Pat Crone (drums), Brent Hunter (Bass) and Mark Tremblay (keys). A CD of the group’s original material was released in 2011 after the passing of Steve.
Through the 80’s Tom divided his time equally between the Acoustic and Electric guitar until attracting the attention of Classical guitarist Liona Boyd-“I sent her a tape and she really enjoyed it, even making a copy to send to Chet Atkins!” With her encouragement Tom focused on the Acoustic guitar-releasing an album of solo guitar compositions in 1989 (Passion Flower) and followed that with “Streamline” (1991), “Ascension” (1996) “Hands On” (2003) and “Point Of View” (2007).
Some of those discs contained Electric guitar pieces as well. “I’ve always listened to what was going on in the Jazz and Blues world and wanted to get back to that type of playing-I was especially impressed with Robben Ford’s playing-I could hear the influence of Mike Bloomfield on his work and also loved the fact that there was a lot of Jazz in his phrasing-hearing him play made me want to explore that side of my musical personality.”
Tom did his first CD as an electric guitarist as a member of the Johnny Rocca band in 2009.It was entitled “Don’t Wait Till Tomorrow”-featuring original songs by Johnny.”It was a great band with well written tunes-all the players were exceptional- saxist Ray Manzerolle had toured with Earl Klugh and George Benson, Harmonica player Kelly Hoppe was a member of “Big Sugar” and Bassist Bill Loop had played on hits for “Edward Bear”.
In 2011, Tom had the opportunity to record the “Common Ground” CD with Nashville session singer Jaimee Paul. This was a Blues record that struck a nerve with listeners world wide. At last count, it’s been heard in 45 countries. This CD featured Jaimee and her husband Leif Shires (on trumpet) with a Canadian backing band with arrangements ,as well as two original compositions, by Tom.
2015 saw the release of Tom’s first Blues release under his own name-“Ace In The Hole” with six original songs and six covers. The CD features Tom’s working band with several guest artists-including Jaimee Paul and Leif Shires on two tracks and virtuoso harmonica player Mike Stevens on the title track. The CD has been met with some great reviews and points the way for future endeavors!
Early in 2016 Tom approached guitarist/vocalist Paul Langille with the idea of putting together a duo performing Blues oriented music. They made there debut at the Light-house Blues Festival in Kincardine and were met with a positive response. This led to Paul & Tom representing London at the prestigious International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN-where they reached the semi-final round. This led to many festival gigs over the summer of 2017 and a return trip to Memphis in 2018! Tom’s collaboration with Paul has proven to be a very satisfying musical endeavour with the pair writing new music together-some of which they played in Memphis. As well, Paul and Tom were nominated for a Jack Richardson Award in the Blues category this year-it was an honour to be considered for this prestigious award!!!
“…a musical pedigree that covers Blues through Soul to Jazzy undercurrents and salsa swelling sounds…an album that screams quality.” -review of “Ace In The Hole” -Blues Matters (UK)