Bio

Tom Bodine

My first musical memory is hearing The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” on the radio at friend’s house as a kid.  Something moved in me and it was love at first listen. While I enjoy many styles, music that hits me at an emotional level is what I like best.  By day, I work as a computer specialist at the National Institutes of Health, but music is my passion. 

 

Born in Alabama where I lived for all of three months, I grew up in northeast Pennsylvania and Connecticut and started playing the drums in 5th grade.  Following high school, I went to St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY and began learning the guitar my senior year.  Following graduation, I spent a winter as a ski bum in Utah and later moved to Washington, DC to pursue graduate studies.  While living in DC, I continued playing guitar, mostly in the solitude of various living quarters, until a singer friend persuaded me (after a couple too many beers) to accompany her at DC pub open mic and the Tom & Monica duo was born.  The duo continued performing in the DC area for several years during which time I wrote my first few songs.  At some point along the way, I started singing, and following the dissolution of Tom & Monica, performed solo and in the Bodine & Brown duo. 

 

By no means a prolific writer, I went ten years without writing a song until stumbling across a copy of Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones, which suggested among other things, that “one must allow oneself to write crap.”   Freed to an extent from a vociferous and unrelenting internal critic, I wrote eight songs in 2011 and decided in early 2012 to record an album.  Overcome with emotion while driving to my first recording session on April 28, I had the feeling that I’d finally come to terms with the part of me that never felt worthy of “being a musician” and was about to embark upon something of vital personal importance—doubts and fear be damned.  Nearly seven months later, I walked out of Lizard Studios (a.k.a., recording engineer Gary Jaffe’s basement) with two CD masters in hand.  A couple weeks later, I took the day off from work and made the road trip to Pennsauken, NJ to pick up the finished product, my debut album Bring Me Back.

 

Bring Me Back includes twelve original songs celebrating the wonders of the natural world, the importance of friends and family, love (lost and found) and in my case, the significant role of music in my life.  A friend says my “songs are like little movies—you can see and feel the stories in them.”  Making the album was a great experience that I could not have done without a lot of help from a number of talented friends for whom I am most grateful.  I am happy with how the record turned out and more importantly, proud that I persevered through significant doubt and did the best I could at the time.  I consider myself very much a work in progress both as a songwriter and as musician, but am in it for the long haul.  I look forward to the rest of the journey. 

Debut album nominated for a WAMMIE award
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