Tom Savage is one of Kingston’s busiest musicians. For over 12 years he has hosted the open mic on Wednesday evenings at the Rose & Crown. Every September, he heads west for a four- or five-week Canadian tour, and he’s been spending quite a bit of time touring the States in recent years. Last year, Savage released his sixth album, Everything Intertwined, and produced an album for local country/blues musician Al Duquette. So far this year, he has added two additional production credits to his name: one for Chris Morris’ debut album (full disclosure: Chris Morris is also the author of this article!) and another for Sandy Stubbert’s soon-to-be-released album.
That covers his solo career, both performing alone and with the Tom Savage Trio. That trio, with drummer Bonz Bowering and bassist Richard Piche, also forms the backing group for The Tony Silvestri Band, a busy Kingston-area keyboardist, guitarist, and singer. Between the three acts, Savage will have played about 50 shows from June to August this year.
“We’ve been rehearsing a lot over the last month or so, getting a bunch of new material together,” says Savage. “But I’ve been thinking about changing the name from Tom Savage Trio. Partly so I can add other musicians if necessary, but also to differentiate a bit more from my solo stuff. This is definitely guitar-driven rock, blues, soul, that kind of thing. The solo stuff is more folky, singer-songwriter.”
Savage is eagerly awaiting the release of Sandy Stubbert’s record, her first in 20 years and Savage’s third production effort outside of his own albums. It will be available digitally this summer and will be out on CD later in the year.
“I’ve just seen the artwork,” says Savage. “It looks awesome. It’s a great sounding record, so I’m really looking forward to it coming out.” Savage and his band will back Stubbert at Back to the Farm: MacKinnon Brothers Beer & Music Festival in August, right before Tom Savage Trio plays their early afternoon set.
Savage is not new to producing: he’s self-produced the majority of his own work, but producing material for other artists is still somewhat new, and quite rewarding.
“The biggest thing I get from producing is it makes you step back and get out of the moment,” says Savage. “It’s made me realize I’ve got a lot of perspective from doing this on my own. I have more objectivity working with someone else. When you’re producing yourself, I like to think I have objectivity, but you never really know.”
While Savage is certainly busy in the Kingston area this summer, he’ll be hitting the road regionally as well with upcoming shows in Peterborough, Montreal, Wakefield, and Toronto, before heading out west in September. And though he’s one of this city’s best-travelled musicians, he’s quick to point how strong Kingston’s music scene is.
“I’ve been everywhere, all around the country” he says. “For a town this size, we have a lot of a stuff going on, a lot of great talent. It’s pretty supportive here.”
See the Tom Savage Trio tonight at Blu Martini starting at 10 pm with opening act Riley & Riley.