You'd have to be some mean class of bastard to dislike this music. HOT PRESS
The gentle songs of a gentle man, ringing out above the tumult and the shouting. Through people like Tommy Sands there will be an answer. BELFAST TELEGRAPH
Most gifted songwriter...with an ability to write on serious subjects which come across as songs rather than sermons...also well able to be extremely funny in the way he puts words together. IRISH TIMES
Tommy Sands is one of the most important songwriters in Ireland if not the rest of the world. SING OUT (USA
It's true. I haven't been touring Great Britain in a long time. I miss being there and meeting up with old friends and new ones I have yet to meet. A lot of my work has been here at home in Ireland but also I have been doing much travelling beyond these islands. This 'report' will let you see what I've been doing and should explain why I've not been around your part of the world for a while
Like many others here, The Peace Process in Northern Ireland has been important to me. Music has a part to play in all of this. This video clip is a song I wrote when the Talks were faltering and we went and sang a song or two outside Stormont. The Politicians stopped talking and came out and sang with us.
Also here are some clips of other home events, some dating back and some more recent.
Many of my songs on this subject have travelled around the world. See a clip here of a version of Daughters and Sons from a gathering of US progressives - people like Angela Davis, Howard Zein and Charlie King.
Pete Seeger's passing brought a great sadness to all of us but we have many precious memories. High amongst them was this wonderful night in Madison Square Garden on the occasion of his 90th birthday. I was very proud to be there with my children Moya and Fionan;
This is a clip of Dolores Keane, Liam O'Flynn, Vedran Smailovic and myself with Pete's favourite version of Where Have All The Flowers Gone?;
It was Pete who organised my music tour of India … an unforgettable experience. A meeting with Bengal Bauls taught me many things, not least the relationship between Irish and Indian music.
Before our Moya decide to have a baby and move to Barcelona and before my son Fionan went to Big Creek, Misisippi to co-write a book about a journey he took part in on horseback with a friend across USA from East to West, we did a tour together of hurricane hit villages in Cuba. That was a tremendous experience!
I went to Palestine and Israel a few times to meet up with musicians there to help connect like minded groups on both sides. I did many concerts from Gaza and Ramalla, and Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. It was a hard tour but worthwhile. I had just written the anthem for Irish ship "The Rachel Corrie" bound for Gaza at the request of Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire who was travelling on the vessel. As a result of that, a concert I was to give in Israel was cancelled. A long story and this is the song, Peace on the Shores of Gaza.
Recently I returned to Reno, Nevada to work with music in prisons. This clip is from one of my visits to prisons.
I toured all our 32 counties in October 2013, did it all in a month and a day, and enjoyed it immensely. I did some of the gigs with Tom Paxton, some with Peggy Seeger, some with my brothers and sister in the Sands Family, some with my children Fionan and Moya and many on my own. Here is a song I wrote about that journey, Every County On The Island.
Currently I am working with theatre director Martin Lynch on a stage version of my book The Songman and still do a lot of radio here in Ireland and now do a local weekly TV music and chat hour.
So, as you can see I keep busy but I do need to reconnect with the folk around the UK. I hope to see you in September 2015.
Read here for more about Tommy Sands.
See DropBox folder Tommy Sands for promotional materials.