About Texas Tom (aka Tom Webber)

Texas Tom playing his guitar

I’m a middle-aged guy from the Panhandle of Texas, transplanted to Milwaukee, WI where I have lived since 1981.

Here’s the skinny on what kind of a guy I am:

I’m a rather passionate person who loves to laugh; I am an idealist with a rather mystical bent; and I am either an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert who is always drawn to ponder the mystery of life, but not so much that it overshadows the fact that I love people — all people, really! My family and my connection with God are what are most important to me in my life. And I have dedicated my life to bringing the Gospel to young people. Finally, I view the world as an artist, even though I didn’t end up being one professionally. For me, art and music, spirituality and politics are inseparable. And I believe one thing: love is fundamental fabric that underlies all reality and is the most powerful force in the world. As Sting says in one of his songs: “Love is the Seventh Wave.”

Some other important facts about me (this part being unfinished):

I have been married to my best friend, Barb, since 1989. We have four wonderfully talented kids; everyone of them cool, and everyone one of them geeky, my three youngest in the worst way! (I have no idea where they got that from! — jk)

My wife and I have been performing as a singer-songwriter duo for over 20 years. We also have a folk rock / americana band called “Fair Webber.” Barb is the lead songwriter. You ought to check us out at our main website at http://www.fairwebberfolkmusic.com . We also have a MySpace site  at http://www.myspace.com/tomandbarbwebber .

Professionally, I have dedicated my life to the field of religious education in both parish youth ministry and in the classroom as a high school theology teacher. I have been doing this since 1980.

Religion: I am progressive Roman Catholic who is very ecumenically minded. I am also a student and teacher of world religions. I have a long-standing interest particularly in Buddhism, the teachings of which has informed and enhanced own Christian faith and practice over the last nearly forty years.

Musical interests: You only need to look me (Tom Webber) up on Pandora Radio to discover that I truly have an eclectic taste in music. (In order to begin to satisfy my musical interests, I actually have two Pandora accounts, with 100 stations I have created for each. I listen to not only all kinds of rock and folk (as perhaps most people my age might tend to do) but also world beat; celtic; traditional country blues; contemporary electric blues; almost any form of jazz, including much of the pop music from the 20s & 30s; all the great male and female crooners, traditional country and neo-traditional country; bluegrass; psychobilly; fingerstyle guitar; jazz fusion; oriental and middle eastern music; several forms of electronic music (a love of which goes back to the music of Walter Carlos and Tomita); reggae; calypso; new age; many forms of classical music but with a special fondness for music from the composers from Romantic period, for British light music, and the great waltzes from all the Strausses . . . . . and on and on and on. (I realize that your eyes are glazing over by now!)

Naturally, being a child of the 60s and early 70s, I draw the most inspiration as a musician and songwriter from the rock and folk singers of the era. But the same can be said for the impact many of the singer-songwriters and indie artists of today. This would include quite a long list, but here it comes. The music my wife Barb and I compose and perform have been favorably compared to artists such as: Dave Carter and Tracy Grammar, Buddy and Julie Miller, Nanci Griffith, Bill Staines, Robin & Linda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, Kathy Mattea, and The Mamas and the Papas. In addition to these, we also count as influences a wide range of artists, including: Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Mississippi John Hurt, Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn, John Prine, Doc Watson, Guy Clark, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Band, Van Morrison, John Stewart, Pierce Pettis, JohnSmith, Willy Nelson, Janis Joplin, early Neil Diamond, Neil Young, the Beatles, Mason Proffit, Roseanne Cash, The Carter Family, Arlo Guthrie, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGe, Bob Wills and the Playboys, Otis Redding, Cat Stevens, Rogers and Hammerstein, Blind Willie Johnson, Sandy Denny, Sting, Roger Miller, The Dixie Chicks, Kris Kristofferson, Gilian Welch, Judy Collins, Peter Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkle, Kate Rusby, the Chieftans, Tom Russell, Crosby Stills and Nash, Steve Goodman, Steve Earle, Kevin Welch, Dave Alvin, Lead Belly, Mahalia Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Emmy Lou Harris, Normon Blake, Jerry Garcia, Old and in the Way, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Jimmie Rodgers, David Allen Coe, Hank Thompson, Buck Owens, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Charles, the Eagles, Poco, Pure Prarie League, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds, Dolly Parton, Riders in the Sky, Lyle Lovett, Michael Murphy, Al Green, Janis Joplin, B B King, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, Louis Armstrong, Stephen Foster, the Moody Blues, early Elvis Presley, and most recently the music of The Weepies….just to name a few!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Anyway, this section of biographical information and background on me will have to be a work-in-progress. I will be sure and add more to it soon! But for now, let’s “call it a day”! Please stop by and view this section grow over time with further details on who I am!
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