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Press Kit: Quotes, Reviews, Links


  • "One of our great wordsmiths today." -- Barry Hansen, aka Dr. Demento
  • "[And They Say I've Got Talent] is in the running for Best Tom Smith Album Yet. Stevie LIKES it.... I'm going now to listen to 'Rock Me Amidala' again." -- Steve Jackson
  • "The copy of Plugged arrived last Saturday, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it all, not just the narcissistic part. I will say it was my second or third listen of 'Falling Free' that I finally noticed it didn't have a back-up orchestra -- the four part harmony is very rich (and very appropriate). I was delighted with it, and have been forcing family and friends to listen to it whenever I can corner one." -- Lois McMaster Bujold
  • "I think you've got Tom Lehrer Disease." -- Larry Niven


The Daily Vault -- review of Digital Acoustic Compilation (12-29-98)

... Smith is called "The World's Fastest Filker"; he has been known to write compositions at SF conventions to order while stopwatches tick, and his faculty for verbal and musical puns is astonishing and occasionally painful....

Smith's sense of humour and timing is exemplary, and his selection of targets for parody is keen, reminding me of a guitar-bearing Tom Lehrer....

Laughs aside, what raises Smith above the legion of puerile Valdemar fans with guitars is his serious side. "Starlight And Saxophone", "Mandela". "Rocket Ride" and the dark-edged "PQR" are all excellent, but two tracks stand even above those: the faerie story "Storm Dancing", whose haunting melody will echo in your head long after it is over, and the magnificent Jim Henson tribute "A Boy And His Frog". There aren't too many songs that make me cry; this is one of them.

... There are very few real songwriters in the world; Tom Smith is one of them, a bearded SF geek with a pen and a stopwatch who turns out music with substance and style.


Cool Sci-Fi Stuff # 47 -- review of Plugged

"Shtick and Twisted", all right.

The Tax Zombie @ Firebird Arts & Music -- review of Plugged

[Plugged] is a good collection of sweet and silly. My personal favorite on is Psychic Voicemail Hotline - this is an excellent spoof on the phone psychics. Cthulhu Lite FM is also a fun listen. Tom Smith Disease explains it all. If you enjoyed [Domino Death] or [Who Let Him In Here?] then you will want to add this one to your collection.

Peter B. Gillis -- review of CapriCon concert (2-16-05)

... Tom's stage presence is, initially, unassuming. Just a guy with a guitar, rotund, indifferently dressed (not that there's anything wrong with that!) with a music stand of dog-eared sheets that fall to the floor once in a while. Absolutely no distance between him and the audience.

None of that matters when Tom begins to work.

He's fast, he's witty, he plays as well as any folk musician and has a warm, hearty voice.... Many of Tom's songs are song parodies, but others are traditional folk song structures adapted for talking about, well, having sex with aliens and getting drunk on alien beverages--and others are his own well-constructed songs. No one-trick pony he.

And boy, he works the crowd. Most don't need to be worked: they sang along even when he didn't ask them to. But he plays and talks and doesn't miss a beat when someone shouts out a comment. He picked on (with utmost kindness) a woman who had never seen him perform before--and nearly had her convulsed with the laughter of surprise.

The fascinating and wonderful thing was that I could just feel the sense of community being built by this performance. Tom was referencing everybody's common experience as fans.... If it's part of Fandom's common culture, and is part of the stuff that binds the community together even if it isn't SF or Fantasy, it was legitimately part of the show.

And did I mention he was funny?... His big closer, "Rocket Ride" (a paean to all the B-Movie 50's cadillac-fin spaceship stories of our childhood and all the sensawunda they embodied in all that tinsel) is just one flat-out great song. Hell, if Bruce Springsteen sang it he'd have the crowd on its feet stomping and cheering.

So I left Tom's concert delighted, moved--and enlightened.... In the words of George S. Patton, Jr., "A man that eloquent has got to be saved!"




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