To the Buffalo/Niagara Chapter,

I was contacted by traveling performing songwriter Tom Neilson about the potential of performing in the Buffalo/Niagara area on Sunday, April 24th. He suggested that one of our members might be interested in hosting a house concert for him to perform at, so here is the content of his email. Feel free to contact Tom directly if you have any interest.

Hi John,

I am a JPF member of many years and have enjoyed my association with Brian and
all a great deal. I could be in Buffalo on Sunday April 24 if you know of a
venue for a concert. Brian is an excellent reference for my music if you want

I play at house concerts, colleges, fund raisers, coffeehouses, union halls,
conferences/conventions, churches, Meeting Houses… When I perform at colleges,
professors from several disciplines often make my concerts part of the
curriculum or give extra credit for attendance. Sometimes I am invited to
classes to perform and to discuss the song writing process, writing music for
social change, writing to entertain and educate, discussion of current events,
the media, environment, and other issues.

I have just been nominated for Song of the Year for Social Action by Independent
Musicians Awards for my song about the coal ash spill in Harriman, TN. This is
the second year in a row that I have been nominated. Last year’s song was about
the cancers at the nuclear weapons plant in Paducah, KY.

If you want to hear the song and participate in the voting, go to
Please feel free to share with anyone who might want to hear the music or be
able to use it in their work with MTR, toxic waste, clean water, etc.

My shows are interactive with frequent audience participation as I weave
historical and contemporary themes through the performance. I have written
several songs about nukes and coal, dioxin, water privatization, incinerators,
fracking, telling the tales of these corporations and their impact on our
health, economy, and communities. My music has been used in 7 documentaries.

If you want to do a concert, please check my web site and read “ORGANIZE A
SHOW.” This will offer some ideas, as well as explain logistics, travel needs,
finances, etc. Please feel free to fwd my email to anyone interested in
progressive folk music. Below is a concert review. Attached are a bio, song,
and sample poster. There are music samples on Sound Click and at my web site.
Hope to meet you in my travels. Thanks John, peace, tom 413-774-2411


If anyone wants a good dose of humor, compassion, and outrage in songs
about real people’s struggles, last night’s concert at the Echo Lake Coffeehouse
in Leverett
was the place to get it. Featured singer-songwriter, Tom Neilson, had the crowd
lifting their voices from the very first chorus of “WMD”, a parody to Woody
Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi.” A master at parody, there were several in his line-up
that skewered the behavior of the greedy and powerful in the media, corporate,
and political world.
It was an evening of stories, both historic about Tom’s Great Uncle
Mikey in the Mexican War and Annie Dunn in the Napoleonic Wars, both of them
survivors of the horror of war, and contemporary anecdotes highlighting the
misadventures of John Ashcroft, John Kerry, corporate financiers, Dubya, Obama,
and more. No one escapes his playful (and sometimes not) scrutiny.
Tom personalizes his show with an award-winning song about his
childhood on a dairy farm in upstate New York. His farm roots are meshed
throughout his music and intertwine with international themes from the dozen
years he has lived abroad, mostly in Africa and South America. One quickly
recognizes the sophistication of his writing that brings together some of the
finest components of song and comedy, and has resulted in his winning several
music awards.

Tom was joined during the second set by the brilliant vocal harmonies of Kat
Allen. Cleverly introduced to the crowd through some audience theatrics, they
were off and running with parodies from South Pacific, “Nothing Like A War,”
and My Fair Lady, “Immense Expense Is Mainly In Defense.” The stage presence of
the two was captivating. Alternating between lead and harmony, the two were on
every nuance, in both the playfulness and passion of their songs. The passion
in their lyrics and arrangements about the coal industry was captivating and
Tom is light, warm, funny, compassion-filled, heart-felt LIFE just
pouring out of a guitar with a sharp wit, a seasoned experience, and a big fat
uncompromising bunch of truth behind it. Go to his next concert to get a
refresher course on what it means to
be appropriately *fresh* ... and to support Tom. He's the kind of sweet &
playful that we need around.

Keith Harmon Snow
Investigative Journalist
6 Hyde Hill Rd
Williamsburg, MA