'Still Wurth Every Penny!'
Tom Wurth is not an artist by accident. He is an artist by choice.
His destination is his journey.
Tom Wurth grew up in Marcus, Iowa [population 1,500] where hard work was everything and nothing was for free. “I grew up in a Mayberry RFD kinda town. We were a middle class family and I was a farm kid. I walked beans, pulled sunflowers, sprayed the milkweed and fed the hogs. You name it, if it was a ‘chore,’ I did it,” Tom introduces. “I learned from the get-go; if you want to achieve something, you’re gonna have to do the work and stay ‘constant.’”
Tom acknowledges his upbringing as an important thread in his character and artistry today. Both of his parents were teachers [K-8]. His mom was a music teacher at a Catholic school and his dad taught special education. He describes his mother as a genuine caregiver and lover of music, and his father as a Jack-of-all-Trades. “My dad was [and still is] a worker of wood and had his hands in the dirt. He makes mandolins and clocks. He loves to work in the gardens and with the farm animals. …And both of my parents play music.” Tom’s heritage translated into hard work and harmony. “I was taught that life is all about balance.”
In 2002 Tom scored two major cuts including a co-write with David Frasier and Bill Luther entitled "If The Road Runs Out" recorded by Ty Herndon (SONY/Epic) and "I Can't Kick My Country" [written with Bart Butler and Ken Mellons]. Mellons cut the single for a NASCAR compilation CD entitled INSIDE TRAXX. (2002)
Tom moved on to perform as the “other half” of a duo initially called The Chase and later known as Mitchell and Wurth. The duo worked together for three years opening for a number of headlining acts (Rascal Flatts, Marty Stuart, Lonestar, Billy Dean, Clay Walker, Trick Pony, Ty Herndon, Shannon Lawson, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Chris Cagle) and the pair hosted JAM Against Hunger in 2001.
Today Tom Wurth is concentrating on his career as a solo artist with the release of his brand new self-titled album. Stepping out on the center of the stage, he’s played casinos, festivals and some of the largest dance halls in the nation.
You know that music is what you were called to do and what you are made for. However, are there ever times that you have doubts and that may be your instincts were wrong? As your bio states, you are a hard-worker, diligent, and knew that life is about balance. How did you know which of your many talents would turn into the one your career should be based on? "You know, I’m not sure if I chose music or if music chose me. Music has always been a big part of my life. I have musical parents, my mom played the piano and my dad played the guitar. Having a career in music was just an instinct and instincts are never wrong. I think music was what I was meant to do, so I’m just going to run with it and see where it takes me."
Your story is very encouraging and it must feel good knowing that your personal and potential life-threatening tragedy can encourage others. It makes me have to ask ... do you ever feel like you need a personal "experience" to move you to write? Or do you contemplate a topic to specifically write about? "I follow the Harlan Howard rule of thumb who said “Write about what you know, then lie about it a little bit.” What he meant was…sing from the heart, write from a personal experience and then make it someone else’s experience. You have to write from the heart, what you feel and what you observe. More times than I write from a personal experience. Then there have been times that I sit down and make something up--that’s a lot of the reason why country music tells a story."
Tell us about your relationship with your parents. Did they lead you to music or was it more of a subliminal submersion into music that led to pick out music as something to try? "Music has always been a part of my life. I come from a musical family; both of my parents are musicians. It strengthened my relationship with my parents because it gave us something to do together on the weekends. It gave my whole family something to do together."
Going from being in a band to recording as a solo artist seems like a big shift. Tell us about your decision to "go solo." What motivated you to make the move to a solo artist and tell us about the difference between being the lead man for a band vs. taking the plunge to become a solo artist "I’ve always been the front man in any band I’ve played in, including in high school, and I did play in a band [called the Chase] for a little while. It was a great experience. But it showed me that I wanted to be a solo artist even more. It showed me that I was meant to be a solo artist."
Which artists influenced your musical style and tastes? Have you enjoyed the opportunity to meet any of them? "I’ve always said that Steve Wariner and Vince Gill have been very influential in my career, simply because they have reputations of being great guys, great songwriters, great musicians. Yes, I have met them both and spent time with them on various occasions and I experienced first-hand what nice guys they really are. As an artist, I think that’s important. Be nice!"
What do you love most about performing live? What is it about performing live that seems to be more satisfying than actually being in the studio recording? Or is it a totally different feeling? If so, for reader's who don't know, please describe the euphoria of creativity vs. the live performance "Performing live is like the best drug in the world. There’s nothing like it. However, I do love being in the studio too, because that’s where it all comes together. In the studio you can experiment and try different things. But…performing live is where I get to showcase all of that studio work and I can connect with the audience. All of their energy comes back to me on stage and my energy goes back them. It’s one of the best feelings in the world."
What would you say was your biggest challenge with getting started in a music career? How did you overcome it? "Moving to Nashville was the biggest obstacle I had to overcome. It’s so hard to live somewhere else and network and write and perform. I used Belmont University and my education as a “reason” to move to Nashville. I attended Belmont and studied music business before I realized that I wanted to take a more hands-on approach to music. I decided that music would become my full time job."
Are you where you wanted to be when you started? What was your original goal you were trying to achieve through music? "When I started, I wanted to be an artist, a musician, a songwriter, and I’m all of those things now. So, I’m absolutely where I wanted to be, but I am going to keep growing as an artist, musician and songwriter and I’m always going to try to be better at what I do."
Now a solo artist out on an indie label, what are your upcoming plans for the immediate future? What do you feel like is the next step for Tom Wurth? "I don’t feel like Aspirion is an indie label, really. The label staff works very hard for me and I feel like we have a really good and solid relationship between us. They let me do what I feel I need to do. If you have the right song, every record released, whether on a major label or an indie label, will climb the charts. The next step for me is going to be a radio tour. I also have some acoustic performances in the works, so keep checking my website and myspace page (www.tomwurth.com/
www.myspace.com/tomwurth) and I should have some dates posted up there soon."
If you could cover any '80s (possibly cheesy!) pop song, which one would it be ... and why?! "I don’t know if I would cover an ‘80s song. The “sound” of the music recorded in the ‘80s is just not me or my style of music. Right now, I’m going to focus on me, my music and what I’m going to do next."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Tom's new CD, just answer this easy question: Tom's new self-titled album is a body of work that can only be described as an assembly of personal short stories. With four co-writes, he has brought on board renowned song authors Tim Johnson, Shane Minor, J.P. Pennington and which other to complete the quartet?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: TOM WURTH SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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