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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
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Country musician Leslie Tom takes her audience back to their roots

Photo by Photo by Madeline Ramos

Performing for an intimate audience, class of 1999 graduate Leslie Tom’s latest album is inspired by Hank Williams’ music.

Leslie Tom, country music star and Class of 1999, returned to Aggieland to perform songs from her new album, “Ain’t It Something, Hank Williams,” which was released on March 23. Tom and her band kicked off the show with a lively rendition of “Hey Good Lookin’,” Tom’s 2018 tribute single.
Tom’s music often mirrors the style of older Nashville artists. The Denver-based musician, originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, took the stage March 24 at 8 p.m. for a free show at the Cavalry Court Hotel.
Tom’s new album is a tribute to country singer Hank Williams, in vein of the style of older Nashville artists. The show featured Tom’s love song to Williams, “Born Too Late.”
“Most people, even if you’re not a huge fan of country music … really love the style of country music the ‘50s and ‘60s and that’s really our sound,” Tom said.
Featuring old tunes along with some brand-new music, Tom and her band performed a set to entertain nostalgic country fans and young students alike.
“It feels like a homecoming of sorts,” Tom said. “ I’ve never played in College Station, so being back in town is very nerve wracking.”
Tom and her band kicked off the show with a lively rendition of “Hey Good Lookin’,” Tom’s latest 2018 single.
“We’re excited to hear them because we thought she was going to be unique and probably really good,” Lana Trantham, Houston resident said. “We all went to A&M, but we’re here just for the weekend … just on a mini vacation without the kids.”
Tom brought her personality and a flash of spunk to the stage with stories of her days in Aggieland and rise to success in the country music sphere. Tom’s steel guitar player produced the artist’s self-titled EP with her record label Coastal Bend Music.
“I’ve always loved country music,” Tom’s lifelong friend Sheridan Leftwich said. “I guess just because I knew her as a little girl, I’m proud of her because she saw her dream and she went after it. She’s worked so hard, it’s enjoyable for me to see someone I care about do what they love and be successful at it.”
Inspired by Hank Williams when she was younger, Tom and her band play classics like “Honky Tonky’” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” The band also tributed Williams with the brand new song “Mr. Williams.”
“I have huge amounts of respect for Hank Williams because of the legacy.” Tom said. “He had such a short career, but it was so impactful. So I wanted to make sure we put a modern spin on some of the stuff that we covered of his, while still keeping it traditional.”
Tom first stood in the spotlight on a throwback night at a San Antonio Spurs game in 2004. She was working for the team as a promotions coordinator at the time when she let her desire to sing be known and organizers let her sing a song.
“I was in choir when I was in high school … but girl, [I had] acute stage fright, I could not sing by myself,” Tom said. “The first time I played more professionally, and I sang a song before the San Antonio Spurs game in front of 10,000 people.”
In the midst of her successful album release and tour, Tom utilizes her platform to encourage others to pursue their dreams as well.
“People will tell you, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that,’” Tom said. “Don’t listen to all the noise, because there’ll be a lot of it. You just make up your mind what you want to do and you go and do it.”

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