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

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

The Battalion

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Leslie Tom set to perform at Cavalry Court

Photo by Provided by Josh Vertucci

Leslie Tom, Class of 1999, is a singer-songwriter inspired by Hank Williams. Her latest album is titled “Ain’t It Something, Hank Williams,” and features four original Hank Williams songs, as well as six original songs inspired by his life.

There’s a Hank Williams fan combining her admiration with songwriting, and it looks like she’s cooking up something good.
Leslie Tom, Class of 1999, is bringing her traditional country sound to College Station. The Denver-based musician will play a free show on March 24 at 8 p.m. at Cavalry Court Court Hotel.
Tom’s latest album, “Ain’t It Something, Hank Williams,” is comprised of four original Hank Williams tunes, as well as six original songs inspired by his life. Tom says her father often played Hank’s music on long car rides, which likely set the first creative stepping stone in Tom’s artistry.
“Hank Williams has been a huge influence in my life for as long as I can remember,” Tom said. “I’ve realized as my own career has grown that that influence is instrumental and the foundation of my sound.”
Originally, Tom said, her idea was to first make a Hank Williams-inspired EP and then create a full-length record in 2019. However, as Tom began constructing the album, the songs just kept coming and coming.
“I didn’t want to do a record of all covers because it’s really hard to cover someone that is as iconic as Hank Williams,” Tom said. “It just sort of all came together. It wasn’t purposeful when we started out working on this new project, but after we started working we realized we had something pretty special.”
John Macy, Tom’s producer and steel guitar player, is a true fan of her work. As native Texans, Tom and Macy said they have a deep appreciation for true country music that is slowly finding its way back to Nashville.
“I think there’s a big resurgence of it,” Macy said. “It’s so old school that it’s becoming fresh and modern, almost. I call it ‘real-deal country music.’ It’s not swing but good honky tonking, two-stepping kind of music.”
According to Tom, most traditional country music is based on gospel, blues and jazz — not the pop music played on today’s country radio. Tom maintains today’s country music isn’t really country at all.
“It’s based on synthetic sound, a lot of the time not even real instrumentation,” Tom said. “It’s based on technology. You lose so much of what music truly is when it’s all digitally done without using real instruments.”
Gabriela Reynolds, architecture junior, was raised on musicians such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. Reynolds is attending Tom’s show at Calvary Court and hopes those in attendance leave with a refreshed attitude about country music.
“I think it’s important for kids my age to understand the importance of keeping traditional elements, such as the steel guitar, in today’s music,” Reynolds said. “Country music has lost its soul, and artists like Leslie Tom will help bring it back.”
For a female traditional country musician, Tom says there are many obstacles to overcome. Nevertheless, she says authenticity remains a vital part of her performance — something Hank would have admired.
“When you come to one of our shows, we’re all real,” Tom said. “We may make mistakes, we may not make mistakes, but you’re going to get an honest show. It’s not anything that’s fake.”

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