Tom Kimmel

Country Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter Nanci Griffith

Born: Memphis, TN

Lived in Monroeville, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Tom Kimmel is one of those unique singer-songwriters whose heartfelt artistry with words and music is both genre-crossing and timeless. Since 1980, when his songs were recorded by Roger McGuinn & Chris Hillman (of Byrds fame) and Levon Helm (of The Band), dozens of his compositions have been covered by a host of major artists including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker, Shawn Colvin, Waylon Jennings, the Stray Cats, Randy Travis and the Spinners. Tom’s unique ability to write songs that connect stems from his lifelong career as a touring performer.


Once an eclectic rock and roller, Tom found his voice as a singer-songwriter while opening Nanci Griffith’s 1991-92 world tour. A New Folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival in ’93, he began performing as a solo act, stressing a lean, acoustic-centered approach to his music and bringing a poignant and humorous spirit to his poetry and storytelling.

Tom’s peers have joined critics in commending the Alabama native's unadorned stylings as uniquely soulful. Irish songstress Maura O’Connell, who has recorded haunting versions of Tom’s 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 The Nashville Scene, "Tom Kimmel's moody textured songwriting reaches into soulful realms that few Music Row pros enter."

After releasing two critically praised major label albums (in ’87 and ’90), Tom made his first independent album in 1994. Bones, a collection of live recordings, was followed by Short Stories, which featured guest performances by Emmylou Harris, The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch, Jerry Douglas and other friends. Shallow Water, released in 2002, is a collection of spirit-infused songs and hymns, and Tom's latest album, Light of Day, features vibrant, spare voice-and-guitar recordings written and produced by Tom in his home studio. A volume of poetry, The Sweetest & the Meanest, will be published in the fall of 2005.

Featured in motion pictures such as Runaway Bride, Serendipity, and Twins, and in television shows as varied as Captain Kangaroo, Miami Vice and Touched By An Angel, recordings of Tom’s compositions have sold millions of copies around the world, achieving gold and platinum sales in many countries.

An avid whitewater enthusiast, Tom has kayaked through the Grand Canyon, in the remote Himalayan kingdoms of Bhutan and Nepal, and in the mountains of Mexico and France. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he was born in Memphis and raised in rural south Alabama. Along with his artistic endeavors he is a long time student of Siddha Yoga Meditation and is a Practitioner of, a spirit-centered therapy.

Tom Kimmel (born Thomas Eugene Hobbs II in 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee), is an American singer-songwriter and poet.
Tom Kimmel grew up largely in small towns in south Alabama. He attended public schools and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1975.
A respected performer and recording artist, Kimmel is perhaps best known as a songwriter, as his compositions have been recorded by many popular artists, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Cocker and Randy Travis. His songs have also been featured in television shows including Miami Vice, Touched By An Angel and Dawson’s Creek—and in films including Twins, Runaway Bride and Serendipity.
That's Freedom, the lead track on his 5 To 1 album, was co-written by Kimmel. This song became a Top 10 hit for Australian singer John Farnham in late 1990.
His concert performances stress a soulful, acoustic-centered approach and bring a poignant, humorous spirit to his songs, poems and stories. Today he continues to tour widely, usually as a solo performer. He occasionally tours with the Sherpas, a trio he formed in 1994 with Michael Lille and Tom Prasada Rao. A new trio, the New Agrarians, was recently formed with Pierce Pettis and Kate Campbell.
As writer and artist, Kimmel’s devotion to spiritual inquiry and social activism is evident in the depth of his work, and he is appreciated for his compelling and intelligent recordings. A man comfortable wearing many hats, he frequently teaches songwriting and creative expression at retreats and workshops, and in 2006 he published his first book of poems. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and daughter.
1987 – 5 to 1
1990 – Circle Back Home
1993 – Don't Look Back
1994 – Bones
1999 – Short Stories
2002 – Shallow Water
2003 – Honor Among Thieves (with The Sherpas)
2004 – Light of Day
2006 – The Sweetest and the Meanest
2008 – The Sweetest and the Meanest
Never Saw Blue, Tom KimmelSelections from the Sweetest and the Meanest - Poems By Tom Kimmel, Tom KimmelShallow Water, Tom KimmelLight of Day, Tom KimmelShort Stories, Tom KimmelBones (Live), Tom KimmelProduct Details


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