Tom Neilson
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Tom Neilson

Easthampton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Easthampton, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Solo Folk Children's Music


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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.



2011 IMA Peoples Choice Song of the Year for Social Action
2009 Winner, Kerrville Folk Festival
2009 SAW Folk Song award
2009 JPF Award for CD 
2007 Winner South Florida Folk Festival
2006 JPF Awards for Folk Song, Folk CD, Spoken Word Nominee

Tom grew up with long hours in the barns and hay fields of Upstate NY dairy farms. Dancer, organic gardener, basketball coach, historian, and educator, he provides a voice for all those who believe in the power of folk music to effect change. His award-winning songs have been performed in 21 countries on 5 continents. His lyrics are celebrated for their sophistication, political astuteness, and wit. A classical vocalist in his youth, he has performed at the Washington Cathedral, New York City’s Town Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, and the New England Conservatory of Music.
 Tom has spent over a decade working and traveling around the world, mostly in Africa and South America. These experiences are reflected in his songs, particularly about the environment. “Biomess” was the theme song in the struggle to keep an incinerator out of Greenfield, MA. In Viroqua, WI he wrote another anthem to fund raise against Dairyland Power’s failed attempt to dump coal ash waste on farmland. In Lee, MA he sang against water privatization by Veolia. In Montague, he wrote “Turn On The Tap” to help defeat Nestles’ attempt to exploit Montague’s water. In “Five Tons An Acre” he sings about corporate control of food. His coal ash song about mountain top removal received a song of the year award. Some of his music has been used in documentaries. Tom is a storyteller who chronicles the events and idiosyncracies of our culture with thoughtfulness, irreverence, and a touch of levity along the way. 

Among others, Tom has collaborated with Medea Benjamin, Cesar Chavez, Cynthia McKinney, Amy Goodman, Cindy Sheehan, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, David Cobb, Jill Stein and played at the Martin Luther King Center in Havana, Cuba.

“Politically cutting-edge, incisive, warm, & very funny; Raucous political satire &, quick wit, had everyone laughing & engaged.” Cathy Gilbert, Miami Dade Green Party

“A coming together of Phil Ochs and Tom Lehrer,” Nick DiBiasio, WICN-FM, Worcester, MA

“Creative & compelling; skewers the outrageous behavior of the greedy & powerful in corporations, the media, & government.” Ray Korona, People’s Voice Café Collective, New York City

“Does a great job of reminding people of what is really important, and the power of folk music to say
it.” Michael Stock, WLRN, Miami, FL

“Brings together some of the finest components of song and comedy; the kind of sweet & playful that we need around.” Keith Harmon Snow, Independent Journalist

"One of the most savvy, songwriters I know." Hilljoy Music

"The music is great. The politics are great." Tom Paxton

"One funny hombre who knows his history." Utah Phillips

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