Thom Swift

Thom Swift

 Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Thom Swift performs a distinctive blend of roots-blues. With 12 albums to his credit, this Halifax-based musician is known for his “sophisticated guitar-playing”, “earthy baritone voice” and “textured and truthful” lyrics. He was chosen by CBC as one of Canada's top singer-songwriters in 2010.

Biography

Thom Swift

Multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Thom Swift performs a distinctive blend of roots-blues. With 12 albums to his credit, this Halifax-based musician is known for his “sophisticated guitar-playing”, “earthy baritone voice” and “textured and truthful” lyrics.

When he released his solo debut Into the Dirt in 2007, Swift’s musical reputation had already been established with over 15 years of touring and recording with the acclaimed blues-jazz group, Hot Toddy Trio. With nine recordings and multiple awards and nominations, the group toured nationally and abroad, opening shows for artists such as Dolly Parton, Bill Frisell, Juan Martin, Steve Gibbons and Guy Davis.

Into the Dirt was a landmark record for Swift, picking up an East Coast Music Award, a Canadian Maple Blues Award, a Galaxie Rising Star prize and two Music Nova Scotia Awards, including Musician of the Year honours. Listeners were pleased to hear Swift’s soulful voice in a fresh musical context, blending his vivid story-telling and his blues and roots influences in new combinations for a rewarding aural experience. Blues Revue praised it for its “dark, brooding, pop-inflected tunes that sit atop rich, multi-textured arrangements, elevating each composition beyond anything seen as fleeting.”

In 2010, Swift released blue sky day (GroundSwell/Warner). The day of its release, he performed in Vancouver as part of the 2010 Olympic celebrations and was soon chosen by CBC as one of Canada’s top songwriters as part of the 2010 Great Canadian Song Quest. Swift was nominated for a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Producer of the Year and won Music Nova Scotia’s 2010 Blues Recording of the Year Award. He was also nominated for three 2011 East Coast Music Awards, including Factor Recording of the Year, Male Solo Recording of the Year and Blues Recording of Year.

Like Into The Dirt, blue sky day was produced by Swift and his good friend, Halifax-based engineer/producer Charles Austin (Buck 65, Joel Plaskett). Featuring 11 original songs and a cover of The Carter Family’s “No Depression In Heaven”, blue sky day features multi-instrumentalist, J.P. Cormier, blues-roots artist, Matt Andersen along with Swift’s band, the El Caminos: Brian Bourne (bass and Chapman stick), Geoff Arsenault (drums and percussion), Chris Corrigan (guitar) and Bill Stevenson (piano and organ).

"...rich, textured songs,” said Socan's Words and Music. "...Swift writes from a well-earned place of domestic contentment, tapping his folk, jazz, funk and blues chops for a dozen great tunes,” said Penguin Eggs, “…impressive guitar work and soulful baritone voice,” said Canadian Musician and Roots Music Canada wrote, "…his always-expressive vocals are at the forefront of his solo career – every bit as important in the mix as his sophisticated guitar-playing."

In addition to strong airplay on CBC Radio right across the country, blue sky day earned a spot on Earshot’s Folk/Roots/Blues chart at campus/community radio. Swift’s song “Killer” was added to heavy rotation on Halifax's Home of Rock 'n' Roll, Q104, and secured a spot on the active rock radio chart in Canada. The song also hit #1 on the East Coast Countdown, which is heard on stations from Newfoundland to Nunavut.

In March 2011, Swift and fellow Nova Scotia-based musician, Keith Mullins embarked on a new album project. They visited ten schools in ten days in Northern Alberta and each morning they worked with a small group of students to create a song from scratch. Exploring themes of love, family, strength, community and heritage, the student’s voices were recorded, followed by the songwriters' voices and instruments.

Funded by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, 10 songs were written, performed, and recorded to create The Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project. Produced by musician, Steven Bowers, along with Swift and Mullins, the recording was mixed and mastered by Dave Gunning.

Swift is currently writing for his next recording, set for release in 2012. In November, he will be performing a show with Symphony Nova Scotia in Halifax and touring with Montreal-based roots-blues artist, Rob Lutes.

Swift tours solo and with his group, the El Caminos.

For tour dates and more information, visit: http://thomswift.com/

October 2011

Lyrics

Stand Tall

Written By: Thom Swift

Stand Tall

You can hide out and never show your face
You can make on that you left this place
Bury your troubles in an old suitcase
And head on out the door

You can bet high when the bucks are low
You can turn your back on everybody you know
You can hop a train when you don’t want to go
With no turning back

When will you stop runnin’
To take a good look at yourself
Nobody learned nothin’ from runnin’
You can learn that lesson from me

Stand tall, when your world feels like its falling apart
Stand tall, make your mark up high on the wall
Stand tall

How many years is it gonna take?
For these words to start to resonate
How many bridges are you gonna burn?
Before you change your ways

Can you remember when times were good?
If you can’t, you really should
Now you got the metal and you got the nerve
You’re going to end up with what you deserve

Blue Sky

Written By: Thom Swift

Blue Sky

I’ll be the listener and you pour the tea
You’re gonna tell me what is botherin’ me
Words of love, never lettin’ me down
All in a blue-sky day

You bring the karma and I’ll bring a ghost
And we’ll do a dance, the one you love the most
We can’t move backward when we are movin’ ahead
All in a blue-sky day

Can you remember anything bad?
A million tomorrow’s sittin’ in our hands
Can you remember anything sad?
Blue skies above ya and someone to love ya
That ain’t half bad

When we hit the town, everything’s all right
We’re holding each other and hangin’ on tight
Let’s raise a glass for those who stand and unite
All in a blue-sky day

I’ll light a fire, it’s cold out tonight
And you grab a blanket and cuddle up tight
You whisper love and I’ll whisper you
All in a blue-sky day

Can you remember anything bad?
A million tomorrow’s sittin’ in our hands
Can you remember anything sad?
Blue skies above ya and someone to love ya
That ain’t half bad

One Way Track

Written By: Thom Swift

One Way Track

I can hear footsteps comin’ up behind
I can never settle, no peace of mind
Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
Got my boots on a one way track

All I’ve ever known, is livin’ day to day
Never had no dreams, that worked out ok
Always lookin’ for a hustle, get out of my way
Got these boots on a one way track

And I ain’t got time, for anybody but me
Ya see I never had no mother, to love and cherish me
My Daddy split town, when I was three
Got these boots on a one way track

All I wanted was money, nobody should a got hurt
But the gun went off, and a man hit the dirt
So the police come, and off I go
Got these boots on a one way track

So I say to the judge, I got nothing to say
He said your goin’ down son, your gonna have to pay
99 years in a twelve by six
You had your boots on a one way track

So here I sit, in my twelve by six
I can’t help but wonder, of all I’ve missed
Too late for changin’, I ain’t goin’ nowhere
I’ve had my boots on a one way track

Home

Written By: Thom Swift

Home

Can’t remember leavin’
But I know I did
Didn’t have no reason
I was just a kid

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

I left family
Left all my good friends behind
I left love that once was mine

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Where my father’s father walked
And the soil is rich in my bones
Where the quiet moments live
And a man like me, is understood

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
You can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Home

Written By: Thom Swift

Home

Can’t remember leavin’
But I know I did
Didn’t have no reason
I was just a kid

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

I left family
Left all my good friends behind
I left love that once was mine

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Where my father’s father walked
And the soil is rich in my bones
Where the quiet moments live
And a man like me, is understood

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
You can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Home

Written By: Thom Swift

Home

Can’t remember leavin’
But I know I did
Didn’t have no reason
I was just a kid

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

I left family
Left all my good friends behind
I left love that once was mine

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
Ya can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Where my father’s father walked
And the soil is rich in my bones
Where the quiet moments live
And a man like me, is understood

I was in a hurry, to get out there on my own
You can’t turn back time
But if I could, I’d go back home

Blue Sky

Written By: Thom Swift

Blue Sky

I’ll be the listener and you pour the tea
You’re gonna tell me what is botherin’ me
Words of love, never lettin’ me down
All in a blue-sky day

You bring the karma and I’ll bring a ghost
And we’ll do a dance, the one you love the most
We can’t move backward when we are movin’ ahead
All in a blue-sky day

Can you remember anything bad?
A million tomorrow’s sittin’ in our hands
Can you remember anything sad?
Blue skies above ya and someone to love ya
That ain’t half bad

When we hit the town, everything’s all right
We’re holding each other and hangin’ on tight
Let’s raise a glass for those who stand and unite
All in a blue-sky day

I’ll light a fire, it’s cold out tonight
And you grab a blanket and cuddle up tight
You whisper love and I’ll whisper you
All in a blue-sky day

Can you remember anything bad?
A million tomorrow’s sittin’ in our hands
Can you remember anything sad?
Blue skies above ya and someone to love ya
That ain’t half bad

Stand Tall

Written By: Thom Swift

Stand Tall

You can hide out and never show your face
You can make on that you left this place
Bury your troubles in an old suitcase
And head on out the door

You can bet high when the bucks are low
You can turn your back on everybody you know
You can hop a train when you don’t want to go
With no turning back

When will you stop runnin’
To take a good look at yourself
Nobody learned nothin’ from runnin’
You can learn that lesson from me

Stand tall, when your world feels like its falling apart
Stand tall, make your mark up high on the wall
Stand tall

How many years is it gonna take?
For these words to start to resonate
How many bridges are you gonna burn?
Before you change your ways

Can you remember when times were good?
If you can’t, you really should
Now you got the metal and you got the nerve
You’re going to end up with what you deserve

Discography

SOLO albums:

blue sky day (GroundSwell Music/ Warner Music Canada, 2010)

Into The Dirt (Independent, 2007)

The Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project (Independent, 2011) with Keith Mullins

HOT TODDY recordings:

Hot Toddy Trio (Independent, 2008) - Hot Toddy

Live At The Black Box (Independent, 2005) - Hot Toddy with Isaac and Blewett)

The Salty Sessions, vol. 2 (Independent, 2004) - Hot Toddy

The Salty Sessions, vol. 1 (Independent, 2003) - Hot Toddy

AnyDay (Independent, 2003) - Hot Toddy

Shoe Factory (Independent, 2000) - Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy (Independent, 1998) - Hot Toddy Duo

Hot Toddy (Bellwether Records, Germany)

Set List

2X45 minute sets of original music