Oh my but I'm in a pleasant nostalgia fueled haze this afternoon listing to my (just arrived) actual CD (replacing my 12year old audio tape) of pretty much my favorite college musician, Tom Acousti. He used to play the music lounge at my college, and may be responsible for my unwavering devotion to simple elegant storytelling singer-songwriters with a single instrument (Elton, Tim, Angie (pre-Angie and the Infidels and especially Angie covering Rocket Man! as this reviewer said, it's like Elton and Bernie wrote it just for Angie to sing. But I digress. often.
Tom's an amazing songwriter and has all kinds of odd bits and twists in his life - after all, he broke the record for "number of wins with original music" in the Male Vocalist category on Star Search ('94) and was the first contestant ever to present a song using only an acoustic guitar ! He also created the role of Nick Piazza in the pre-Broadway stage production of "Fame, the Musical,". Cool, huh? Oh, and he wrote "Still Stand" for his wife after she underwent hip reconstruction surgery at 28 years old.
Tom got a call years after releasing "Still Stand" from Debbie Hobson, whose husband Ken, a U.S. Army Sergeant, had been killed a few days earlier in the August 7, 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Though Tom didn't know Debbie or Ken, Debbie had explained how some of Tom's music played a special role in their relationship, and that "Still Stand" (from Tom’s 'Only' release) was "their song." She asked Tom to play the song at Ken's memorial service. He agreed and became so inspired by a phrase that Debbie used to describe how her husband had lived his life "Bloom where you're planted" that he developed it into a song - a gift for Debbie & her *gulp* now-fatherless daughter, Megan. The song grew into an album - and Tom developed a program in which he donates all potential profits from the sale of the CD to a 'Pay if Forward' style "Buy one give two free" program to honor the memory of the late, Kenneth R. Hobson II.
For every copy of 'Bloom' purchased, two are given away to families who have suffered the loss of a parent. The delivery of these gifts is currently facilitated by Comfort Zone Camps, the nation's largest bereavement camp for children who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver.
The chorus of Set you Free
If I could have what I wanted you'd want me
And if I could give you anything I'd let you go
I'd just let go and set you free
I am thankful today for the internet and for Tom telling his story and selling the old CD on his website. I'll have to hunt around for a digital copy of an old album from my other college favorites, the Al Mothersbaugh (cousin to Devo dude Mark) fueled Twist Offs.
C-O-W-B-O-Y Y Y Y Y Love Cowboy.
You had to be there. No kidding, eh?