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Tam White - JPop.com
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Tam White

Tam White

Tam White


If there's one man who can prove that you don't need to come from Chicago, Memphis or the Mississippi Delta to sing the blues, it's Scottish blues supremo TAM WHITE (born Thomas Bennett Sim: 12 July 1942 – 21 June 2010). In an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Tam White has established himself as a troubadour in the truest sense of the word, acclaimed in mainland Europe as one of the great European blues singers and in his own country, Scotland, as a national treasure. Read more on Last.fm
If there's one man who can prove that you don't need to come from Chicago, Memphis or the Mississippi Delta to sing the blues, it's Scottish blues supremo TAM WHITE (born Thomas Bennett Sim: 12 July 1942 – 21 June 2010). In an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Tam White has established himself as a troubadour in the truest sense of the word, acclaimed in mainland Europe as one of the great European blues singers and in his own country, Scotland, as a national treasure. In England blues legend Alexis Korner hailed him as " the greatest undiscovered blues talent of our time". He was an east coaster living in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket until the age of 13 and thereafter moving to Saughtonhall where on leaving school he trained to be a stonemason. Primarily known as a blues vocalist with a trademark gravel-voiced sound, in the 1960s he recorded with beat groups The Boston Dexters and then The Buzz, who recorded one single with producer Joe Meek in 1966. In the 1970s, White was the first artist to sing live on Top Of The Pops.

Since his early fame, Tam has packed concert halls and clubs throughout the world, performing solo or with his big band, Tam White's Groove Connection, or his smaller outfit, The Shoestring Band. Over the years Tam has played with and guested for John Mayall's Blues Breakers, Long John Baldry, Brian Auger, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Rev Al Green, B.B. King, Mose Allison to name but a few. He also provided the vocals for Robbie Coltrane to mime to as Big Jazza McGlone in John Byrne’s award-winning television series Tutti Frutti in 1987. In his other profession as an actor he played a major role as Clan Chief MacGregor in Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart', and acted in 'Man Dancin' with an accompanying CD of the same name. Whilst in Dublin he recorded what has become known as “Dublin Demos 1994″.

Here is the story behind the recordings: ‘Dublin Demos 1994′ Found by Yianni Mano "In 1994 I was in Dublin at about the time Tam was working on the movie Braveheart. A friend of mine was working on the set, and called me to say he had ‘a guy who wanted to record a demo’. I am from Australia and at that time I was based in Dublin with a band I was a writer in, and I had a very basic Portastudio setup – no monitors, just a pair of Sony MDR7506 headphones. Long story short, Tam came over to where I was living at the time.

I had absolutely no idea who he was – though he seemed like a very personable man. I set him up in a basement room with an acoustic guitar, 3 Shure 545′s that i had on hand (1 as a vocal mic, and two in an x+y config). I put my headphones on (no monitors!!) hit record, and nearly fell off my chair from what came down the mics!! ". Collaborations with musicians such as guitarist Neil Warden, the harmonica player Fraser Speirs and bassist Boz Burrell (Bad Company) eventually developed into a permanent lineup known as The Shoestring Band, who continued performing together either as a trio or a larger band until Burrell’s death in 2006.

White and Burrell also issued a mini album “The Celtic Groove Connection” in 1999/2000. Tam White’s Shoestring’s “The Real Deal” was recorded live at Edinburgh’s The Dome and released in 1997. Tam's 60th birthday celebrations at the Queens Hall in Edinburgh were a testimony to Scotland's greatest blues singer, a performer at the height of his powers. The critics appear to agree: 'The Crossing', his collaboration with pianist Brian Kellock, received the kind of notice that most performers can only dream about and Tam's recent appearance fronting the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra brought the house down. The last Tam White album was 2004′s “Hold On” which featured this painting of Tam by Maggie Milne on the cover. On the album White extends beyond pure blues to adorn his sound with a retro jazz feel with a touch of soul.

One of the tracks is a remake of his “Man Dancin’” which was timed to tie in with the release of the feature film which he appreared in as noted above and which borrowed it’s title. Tam White is the U.K. godfather of blues, but if truth be told Tam's talent covers a far wider spectrum of colour than that of blue. His idiosyncratic style reveals a potent mixture of power & sensibility few artists achieve in their lifetime. He is equally in his element with such songs as Gil Scott-Heron's 'Home Is Where The Hatred Is', John Hiatt's 'This Is The Way We Make A Broken Heart', the traditional Scottish ballad 'The Water Is Wide' and his own superior original material.

His repertoire is drawn from experience and his personal appearances are a master class in how to lift, move and involve an audience. In the words of the man himself "It's just in my nature to perform, man, I have to do it. I like the message in the music I play. Music is communication." Despite being a fitness fanatic Tam died of a heart attack on Monday 21st June 2010. “The greatest undiscovered blues talent of our time.”~ALEXIS KORNER “Superb melodies, vacuum-tight arrangements, awesome musicianship.”~SCOTSMAN “One of the best blues singers in Europe.”~METTMAN BLUES FESTIVAL “This high calibre music deserves the widest audience.”~FOLK ROOTS “When Tam sings, it’s a party … he’s an entertainer, but one whose art creates moods.

His audiences leave happy, but thoughtful too.”~THE SCOTSMAN “Tam’s real talent lies in his ability to connect with his audience in such an honest, down-to-earth way, that you’re drawn in, hook, line and sinker. From the moment he hit the stage… it’s the real deal.”~STORNOWAY GAZETTE “Tam is habitually described as a blues singer, and while he has that in his locker beyond any argument, it is far from alone there – rock, R+B, funk, country and jazz all play a part in the totality of his style.”~THE LIST Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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