Tom Rawson, folksinger and storyteller from Orcas Island, Washington is the Northwest’s very own version of Pete Seeger. Armed with longneck banjo and other weapons of mass delight, Tom is a master of warmth and wit who loves to share his musical treasures with an ‘I know something you don’t know and you’re gonna love it too’ kind of smile’. From gospel to contemporary, profound to downright silly, Tom will have you singing, clapping, and laughing along all night.
Tom has been singing and storytelling on stage for over three decades. He is a self proclaimed “song harvester” with the goal of spreading the songs of contemporary songwriters as well as keeping traditional songs alive. Tom has performed at many events in the Pacific Northwest, including Winter Folk Festival (Florence, Oregon), Tumbleweed Music Festival (Richland, Washington), Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle, Washington), Princeton Traditional Music Festival (Princeton, British Columbia), and Jericho Folk Club (Vancouver, British Columbia). In 2007 he performed at the Our Way Home Reunion peace conference in Castlegar, British Columbia, sharing the stage with Holly Near, Country Joe McDonald, and Rosalie Sorrels. Tom has performed with folk music regulars Bill Staines, Linda Allen, and Anne Weiss. He has been the song-leader at The Fellowship of Reconciliation annual regional conference at Seabeck, Washington, as well as at many Quaker gatherings throughout North America.
Join Tom for an evening of humorous stories, user-friendly songs, and acoustic folk philosophy that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling. Tune up your vocal chords—you’ll need ‘em!
“Tom Rawson has a great talent for inspiring people to come together, and on this night, it was to sing along with nearly every song he played. With his disarming manner and generous heart, he fed us lyrics like he was cooking us supper. The result was a houseful of people united in song. I mean, since when do you go to a concert, and the focus is on the audience, not the ego of the performer?” — S. Jaen Black, Orcas News and Review
“Enter Tom Rawson. Witty, energetic, and armed with banjo, lap dulcimer, and guitar, he takes the stage to warm applause from the crowd who has turned out to see him. Tom leads them in several classic folk singalongs—his grin broadens as the harmonies swell. He teases them singing one called ‘This is NOT a Sing-along!’ You got it: they sing along anyway, getting louder and fuller as Tom more stridently insists that this is NOT a singalong! His wry humor continues with his rendition of “Key of R.” In between the humor, Tom weaves thoughtful serious messages on topics like racism and war. Most touching was a monologue about the last e-mail messages sent from the World Trade Center by the victims of the September 11 attacks. When the show is over, Tom responds to thunderous applause by performing not one, not two, but three encore songs. Hearing a great performer play at a great acoustic venue is a double treat. If you have a chance to hear Tom Rawson, DO IT! And sing along, even if he tells you not to.” — Hank Cramer, Victory Review