TOMMY STEPHENSON | MUSICIAN
Tommy began his music career at the age of 5, when he started playing ‘Boogie Woogie’ piano music from records his father collected and played at home. He quickly became a favorite performer at local business organizations in his hometown of Ottawa, KS.
He formed his first band, The Lost Souls, at age 14, playing weekends and summers until joining bands that toured all year round, and were based out of Lawrence, KS. Tommy has been inducted to The Kansas Music Hall of Fame, three times. Two times with the midwest touring bands he played with, and finally for his own accomplishments in recording and touring with internationally known artists.
In 1971, he was asked to come to Boulder, CO. by Tommy Bolin, who was forming a new rock/fusion band, and needed a keyboard player. He immediately moved to Boulder, and played with Tommy Bolin & Energy, for the next couple of years.
He was then asked to join Joe Walsh & Barnstorm, after the band had a hit record, ‘Rocky Mountain Way’. Tommy went on to record with Joe Walsh, on the ‘So What’ album, and ‘There goes the Neighborhood’... plus appearing on several Joe Walsh compilation albums as well.
Next, he became a session player at Criteria Studios, in Miami, FL., until getting the call from his cousin Stanley Sheldon, who was playing bass with Peter Frampton, asking if he would be interested in playing with Gary Wright, who had a hit record ‘Dream Weaver’ and needed a keyboardist. Wright would be the opening act for the ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ tour in the U.S. and a good part of the world!
He then went onto be the first keyboard player to be asked to play with the band Poco! The ‘Legend’ album would be Poco’s best selling album ever, and Tommy played on the two biggest hits, ‘Crazy Love’ and ‘Spellbound’.
Tommy has recorded or toured with R&R master Chuck Berry, blues legends John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Albert Collins, Paul Butterfield & Big Momma Thornton, R&R Legends Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm (The Band), Blondie Chaplin,(Beach Boys/Rolling Stones), to mention a few!
A MUSICAL Taster...
Hot Dry Feet and Agua are songs that I wrote with my partner Michael Reese, for my band "F-5", "Dodging the Dream Killers" The guitar player, Michael Reese, bass Stanley Sheldon, and drums Alez Velasquez. Produced by Michael Shrieve, from Santana & Woodstock fame, and Executive Produced by Norm Waitt. (Gold Circle Entertainment). The very unique version of the Robert Johnson song Crossroads was recorded by a guitar player/vocalist friend, Phil Brown and myself on "wah wah" Fender Rhodes & keyboard horns – as was my composition, Snake in the Grass. Small Moves is co-written by me and M. Reese, and we had Larry Thompson on drums, and Chris Wright on fretless bass. Big Rock is a song composed by M. Reese, with me on the Hammond Organ. The final cut is Zeta Reticuli – my composition, and I played all tracks except for saxophone and guitar. (recorded in 1988) on an analog cassette recorder!!!!
Joe Walsh ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ Midnight Special August 1973
Joe Walsh, “Turn To Stone” 2nd Feb, 1975
Poco ‘Crazy Love’ from the album, ‘Legend’, 1978
Joe Walsh ‘Life Of Illusion’
TOMMY STEPHENSON © 2023