In all the years I've known the family and all the times I've called the house, Tom has only answered once. I was so dumbfounded that day I thought I had the wrong number.
Today I felt like saying hi and asking how they were coping with the winter. They're sort of in the country so when it's bad here, it's even worse at their house. They're not youngsters any more so I'm not sure how mobile they are in the winter months.
I wasn't surprised to hear that when I called, Tom was in the middle of intense negotiations with his record company, EMI. At 72, he keeps on writing, playing and recording. No doubt he still has a lot to say. I haven't spoken to him recently so I'm not sure what's on his mind these days but with Canada being what it is, I'm sure he has some very strong feelings to express in song.
He wrote a tune about the Canadian military (Blue Berets) when Whiskey Jack was performing and recording with him (1993) and even though it isn't a subject that I know much about, it turned out to be one of the finest songs the band ever recorded. He made a video about the song and I was thrilled to hear the banjo solo play a prominent role.
I've often called when Tom has been in seclusion, writing and preparing for a new "album". At times like these, there is no disturbing him. Lena and I joked about how he can tune out the world, including her, when he gets like this. His concentration is remarkable.
Tom produces his own material. I've often fantasized about Tom producing a Whiskey Jack CD of Stompin' Tom songs. However, time and money being what it is, this won't likely happen. But man would it be fun!