Friday, February 12, 2016

Tom Neilson

14th Annual Social Action Song Nominee
10th Annual Sing Out For Social Action Song
Vox Pop Winner
9th Annual Sing Out For Social Action Song Nominee

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Vote Now For This Artist At The 14th Vox Pop

Hear More At The 10th Vox Pop Jukebox

Hear More At The 9th Vox Pop Jukebox

Record Label: Self-Released

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10th Annual:
Home Base: Greenfield, MA, U.S.A.

Genre: Folk

Category Entered: Sing Out for Social Action

Work Submitted: “Solstice Morning”

Artists Featured: Kat Allen, vocalist; Derrik Jordan, fiddle

Label: Roaring Jelly Music


Influences: Woodie Guthrie, John Prine, Emma’s Revolution, Phil Ochs, Victor Borge, Tom Paxton, Martha Neilson, Dave Lippman

Describe your nominated work? This song tells the story of the largest coal ash spill in US history in the predawn of the 2008 winter solstice in Harriman, TN.

Why did you choose to submit this work to The 10th IMA’s? People in Tennessee, people working against mountain top removal all told me how moved they were by the song and the importance of the message.

Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? no

Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? as planned

Did fans help you fund this project? no

Who’s sitting in your audience? all ages 12-95, students, activists, people affected by and/or concerned with social, economic, political, and environmental issues about which I write.

What makes your fans unique? My fans want to hear the message in the music.

Are there any songs you wish you wrote? “The Ministry of Oil” by the Prince Myshkins

What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? Broadway show tunes and classical music

What is your dream show lineup? Corporations are Human, Allenwood Jail, Four Lane Highways, Tamarack Tree, Solstice Morning, Heroes of the Cold War, Jacob and the Flag, Nike, Only Outlaws will be Free, The Spirit of Justice, Sueno con Serpientes

Do you have any rituals before you go on stage? just the normal preparation

Should music be free? If musicians were publicly supported, then their music should be free. Otherwise, I could not afford to travel and play music.

How has digital affected your career? I’ve had to spend more time on web site maintenance than I care to.

Are digital singles vs. full albums the future of music? don’t know

Finish this sentence: The music industry is… controlled by large corporate interests, but there are still people and groups concerned with the message that music can carry.


5 Responses to “Tom Neilson”
  1. Jan Lovelace says:

    Keep singing. Thousands of nuclear workers have been denied health care and compensation…..Oak Ridge TN is a small town with 3 nuclear sites…..

    Many of us have health problems from working in plants…. many, as my husband did last year, have lost lives to cancers. And we live near the river with Ash Spill….

  2. Judy Padilla says:

    I am a former hands-on nuclear worker from Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Golden,Colorado. We have had the same problem getting the government to recognize that plutonium, americium, enriched uranium, and polonium, (as well as toxic chemicals) cause cancer. At least you people in Kentucky got an award. We not only had our facility closed down,(in 2005), we have been virtually ignored. I have gone to 9 funerals of co-workers in the last year. I worked out there for 22 years and also contracted cancer. The EEOICPA and NIOSH are experts at denying claims. I appreciate your song.

  3. Jeff Schultz says:

    I just listened to your song. Thank-you for effort producing this song. I am another nuclear worker out there being ignored by the federal government. My wife and I both worked in this industry. My wife got cancer in 2003. I had the pleasure of working at Oak Ridge in 1988. I spent most of my time at the Rocky Flats Plant in Colorado. We are waiting for our politicians to admit what they did to our health. We are pushing for legislation to change the EEOICP for our workers. Our bill is known as the “Charlie Wolf Act”. It is stalled in Washington now. We would appreciate support from our fellow workers in Tennessee and Kentucky. We need to connect with nuclear workers all over the country and unite with our cause. Perhaps with enough voters involved something could get done. Love the song.

  4. Cindy says:

    Thank you from all the true and real Mountaineers that love our mountains just the way they are!

  5. Steve says:

    It’s a beautiful song! Thanks for that and for caring. Good luck.

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