Tom McFarland, RIP
Fri Sep 3 21:33:16 EDT 2004
Tom McFarland was a fixture in the Northwest blues scene of the 1970's and
1980's. This is more bad news in another really bad week of it.
From: Mark Dalton (Seattle)
I've got some sad news - I came home from work early because I got an
E-mail from Jim Hamilton telling me that Tom McFarland died in his sleep
this morning at about 2am. Peaceful. I've got his "Just Got In From
Portland" album on. When I first met him (auditioned for his band) in
1973, he had just gotten in from Portland. I'll never know a finer
Bluesman than Tom, and he died years sober on top of that.
"Going back to Oakland, where the sun shines most all the time
'Cause this Northwest rainy weather, is gonna drive me out of my mind...
You can talk about Sausalito, San Francisco and San Jose,
But I'm going back to Oakland, just to drive my blues away..."
- Tom McFarland; American Singer, Guitarist and Song Writer, 1945 - 2004
Tom McFarland has been playing the blues ever since he fell in love with
the sound in the sixties. You can hear years of nightclub dates in that
voice and the way he fingerpicks the guitar. Although he did record an
album on <http://www.arhoolie.com>Arhoolie in 1977, his very best work was
saved for the two albums he recorded on the Flying Heart label. (Take a
look at the <http://home.teleport.com/%7Eflyheart/fhcatalg.htm>Flying Heart
Catalogue ) He certainly has what one might call a distinctive and personal
Tom's had a nomadic lifestyle in the last decade, and has resided in
Vancouver, Portland, Tacoma, Auburn, Jackson, Terre Haute, Spokane and
(currently) Salt Lake City. To see him play his music "live" you have to go
to Salt Lake at this time and ask him. But he gets his songs covered by
other artistes. His song Voodoo Garden is on Charlie Musselwhite's
Grammy-nominated Virgin Records CD, Continental Drifter. Tom's beautiful
ballad, Blue Reverie, was recorded on Biograph Records by Kathy Hart. And
Margo Tufo recorded a cover of Just Got in from Portland on her "Live at
the Candlelight" CD.
Check out a few of Tom's songs on <http://www.musicmatch.com>Music Match,
an MP3 site.
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